Misawa has joined several other overseas U.S. military bases that have banned synthetic drugs commonly sold in off-base establishments.
Col. David Stilwell, 35th Fighter Wing commander, signed the order last week to ban the possession, distribution, introduction and use of Salvia divinorum, “Spice” and “Zohai.” Officials began distributing the order to the community via the chain of command on Monday.
The move came after “the commander had received sufficient evidence from law enforcement folks that it was becoming more prevalent in this part of Japan,” said Lt. Col. Mark Patterson, Misawa’s staff judge advocate.
Patterson called the order a preventive measure, saying, “I don’t think I would ever want to say that there was widespread use, [or] any indication of use by military members.”
In signing the order at Misawa, Stilwell made the infractions punishable under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, failure to obey an order or regulation. Servicemembers face disciplinary action including loss of security clearance, demotion, confinement and discharge from the service.
Civilians who break the rules can face administrative action, including being barred from the base, he said.
By T.D. Flack and Chiyomi Sumida
December 24, 2009