Picketers protesting the sale of spice have been marching in front of Iron Mountain smoke shops recently. Spice is a type of synthetic marijuana that is continually finding its way into the hands of upper Michigan's youth.
The parents blame Ma's Smoke Shop. But Ma's blames the parents.
"I think that they should work on their parenting skills and being parents and being at home and raising their children better that they don't want to do drugs," said Tracy Sheldon, owner of Ma TMs Smoke Shop.
The spice is a big earner for Ma's, and Sheldon said she wouldn't stop selling the spice unless it became illegal.
Ma's has an air hockey table and couches, and the store serves as an after-school hangout for some local kids.
"What is the mentality of a business person to actually make a business model out of profiting from getting 14-year-old kids stoned?" asked Mike Carey.
"If I'm not going to sell it, somebody else is going to sell it," Sheldon said.
Jayz Tobacco Outlet has tried to donate to local charities and expressed interest in educating kids about the dangers of drugs, however, most charities refuse to publicly recognize them because of the growing spice controversy. Parents are scared of the spice and want it off the streets as soon as possible.
"I've talked to countless parents who have horror stories of their kids getting involved with this, getting addicted to this," Carey said.
Again, Ma's Smoke Shop disagrees.
"I don't feel that the children are having a problem with what I do sell anyways," Sheldon said.
The Iron Mountain city council is expected to draft a letter to state representatives on Monday, Nov. 21 to try and ban the spice completely.