"It's no different than alcohol, it's no different than drugs. Be it legal or not, if they alter your mind it's a public safety question. It shouldn't be a for-profit motive involved in this decision. It should be that there is public safety in jeopardy," said Representative Charles Perry.
Rep. Perry says it's time for a change in the sale of incense or synthetic marijuana.
"Synthetic or not, if it alters the mind it needs to be regulated or controlled or outlawed, one of the three," said Perry.
You may remember that Texas banned synthetic marijuana brand "K2" back in 2011, but a change in the chemistry of the product has them back on the shelves. Perry says he's hoping the Texas State Congress will take up the issue again in the upcoming session.
"I've had several people from this region actually say they'd like to come to Austin and testify against these things. It's time to look at them, and hopefully get them off the market," said Perry.
Smokehead Shop is one of many smoke shops in Lubbock that legally sells the incense.
"What we sell in our five locations in Lubbock, we sell incense. People use it for just either put it in a bowl light up your house, make your house smell good or put it in an incense burner and burn it off," said Michael Johnson of Smokehead Shop on 50th St. "The aroma helps you relax. Nothing is supposed to be smoked, nothing like that, everything is just for relaxation."
The incense packages say "not meant for human consumption" and that's the reason they can be sold over the counter.
"Once they buy it, once it leaves the store it is up to them," said Johnson.
Stores can't police what people do with it when they leave, but Perry wants stricter enforcement laws to discourage the sale of these substances in Lubbock.
"Maybe its time for those businesses to be reviewed and see if their licenses are going to be revoked. We need to hit this head on. There are too many instances that are beginning to surface," said Perry.
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