Council to Expand Ban on Synthetic Pot, If Approved

Published 04/06 2014 02:37PM

Updated 04/07 2014 12:59AM

Karen Gibson, image from City of Lubbock
Karen Gibson, image from City of Lubbock
LUBBOCK, TX -- The Lubbock City Council has already cracked down on synthetic marijuana once – banning it as of early March 2013. This week the council is set to expand the prohibition from 9 to 39 listed substances.

“I’m not gonna stop till I get it done,” said City Councilwoman Karen Gibson. Gibson’s proposal to expand the ban goes before the Council Thursday night.

Retailers found a way around the city’s ban by changing the chemical composition, and labelling it “not for human consumption.”

“We’re still working on other avenues to stop this,” Gibson said. “This is just one step along the way.”

EMS Training Chief Chad Curry said in late March that on average five people every day are taken by ambulance to an emergency room because of synthetic marijuana. Curry said often the users are violent – so much so that firefighters who also respond to emergency medical calls are instructed on self-defense.

Occasionally, the use of synthetic marijuana leads to death.

For several Fridays in a row a group called W.A.S.P – Warriors Against Synthetic Pot – have organized protests in front of local smoke shops.

“It helps educate the public,” Gibson said about WASP. “It makes people more aware.”

Gibson also said, “I don’t picket with them. I do stay in touch on a regular basis.”

Gibson is also in touch with state lawmakers, but the Texas Legislature won’t meet again until early next year.

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