LUBBOCK, TX -- Gary Leatherwood says his 25 year old son's heart attack was a wake up call.
"My son had a heart attack after he had smoked some of the stuff. This particular night he took one hit and just fell over dead. And he was resuscitated and he is doing quite well, but that just made me realize there was a big need for somebody to get the awareness out there," said Leatherwood.
He says someone had to take a stand against the sale of synthetic marijuana in Lubbock. So Leatherwood co-founded the group "Warriors Against Synthetic Pot" or WASP and he helped organize two protests, one March 7th and the other March 14th.
"We are going to keep doing it every week. We are going to come back to Smokin' J's on Friday in hopes that our numbers are big enough that we are also going to hit Another Tobacco Road," he said.
"Why do we want to? Well just people driving by don't realize that these smoke shops are selling death in there. Just trying to get the awareness out and every time we reach people that have come in there and said we've been fighting this for a few days and thank you guys," he said.
Synthetic pot is a banned substance by the City of Lubbock. But concerned citizens tell us smoke shops keep selling it by labeling the drug with "not for human consumption" or "aromatherapy." Leatherwood says the city needs to close that loophole.
"I'm just trying to find someway to get the city motivated. I know they are working on some stuff but try to get them a little more motivated to try to get these places shut down or maybe even shame these owners into stopping selling it," said Leatherwood.
Leatherwood says they will be back at Smoking J's at 6:30 this coming Friday because it is one of the busiest smoke shops in town. He is hoping they will soon have a large enough group to picket multiple stores at once.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.