The landlord for a new business selling synthetic marijuana in Frederick County issued an eviction notice Saturday, giving the owner three days to clear out.
Dave Schaefer, who was attending a community meeting dealing with problems from the sale of synthetic marijuana, said he was told by the business owner, Joe Cohen, that wholesale tobacco would be sold there. Schaefer said he was not told synthetic marijuana would be sold at the business, called Dream Maker Bulk Sales, on Araby Church Road.
The landlord said Cohen using the property for reasons other than what he had stated was the justification for the eviction notice. When asked in a telephone call if he would honor Schaefer's eviction notice, Cohen did not respond to the question.
"They lied to this man, and by issuing an eviction notice, he is being a good neighbor, a good citizen and extremely responsible," said County Commissioners' President Blaine Young, who attended the meeting called by the Araby Civic Association in Frederick, after reports that the shop was selling synthetic marijuana, often referred to as Spice.
"I knew that once Frederick and Thurmont banned the substance, they would find a loophole to continue selling this stuff, and I knew we would have to deal with it, too," Young said. "Synthetic marijuana is an evolving issue we're all dealing with."
Araby Civic Association member Roy Taylor and other residents -- about 60 of whom attended the meeting at a barn on Araby Church Road -- wanted to find out what they could do to keep the substance out of their neighborhood.
"This is the kind of thing a small, close-knit community like this just doesn't need," Taylor said.
Several residents called for increased patrol by sheriff's deputies and the park rangers. Young said Sheriff Chuck Jenkins was aware of the problem and deputies will be watching the store.
A similar store was opened about three miles away near Goodwill, Taylor said, "and they attracted a lot of derelicts."
Taylor also attended a session Saturday morning at Winchester Hall before the county's Annapolis delegation. After telling Young about the problem in their neighborhood, the commissioners' president invited Taylor to the meeting.
The local delegation wants to do something on a statewide level to make it illegal to sell synthetic marijuana, Young said.
"When they go back into session the second week of January, we've asked them to get this bill to the governor's desk quickly so he can sign it into law," Young said. "If we had a charter form of government, we could do it right now."
One resident hoped the bill to ban synthetic marijuana would be comprehensively written to cover more than synthetic marijuana products.
"The bill should be broad enough, but we've got to be careful it doesn't ban nutmeg sold at a 7-11," Young said. "We want to make sure we dot all the 'I's' and cross all the 'T's' to eliminate loopholes.
"But the message we want the press to convey is that those who have properties should not rent their properties to people who will sell these substances."
"The city ran Joe Cohen out so he came out here," Taylor said.
Schaefer said he has tried to be a good neighbor since he bought the property 30 years ago.
"People came and begged us to put pornography in, and we said no, and we turned down a request for a liquor license," Schaefer said. "You can't always tell what people will do when they move in."
At 76 years old, Schaefer said he is tired with the property and asked the residents for their assistance selling it, saying it is ideal for a plumbing or electrical business.
Tabitha Kim left the meeting hopeful.
"Keeping this stuff away from our kids is definitely important," said Kim, who has three children, ages 15, 13 and 12. "The fact that people are willing to stand behind this effort and Mr. Schaefer for doing what he did is commendable."
Taylor said Cohen promised to meet him at 10 a.m. Tuesday at 4240 Araby Church Road, "but quite honestly, I don't expect him to come. But if he comes, I'll tell him we don't need him in our community." ___
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