LUBBOCK, TX -- As people report that smoke shops in Lubbock are still making money off of synthetic pot, Mayor Glen Robertson said he is not sure what the next step is from the city.
"It's very scary, and I just don't want anyone else to go through what I've been through. It's horrible," Dustin Leatherwood told us earlier this month. Leatherwood said he had a heart attack after smoking synthetic marijuana.
Then, his dad co-founded 'WASP', meaning Warriors Against Synthetic Pot. The group has been protesting outside of smoke shops.
People have reported that smoke shops are still selling synthetic pot, calling it aromatherapy and labeling it 'not for human consumption'. It's through a loophole, they said, that the drugs are still in stores.
"They change the compounds, they change the make-up of these chemicals, and they're working their way around it. We're talking about, I mean, just locally, multimillion dollar business," Mayor Glen Robertson said.
According to the Mayor, the ordinance, passed a year ago, only lists off certain chemicals that are banned.
He also said the city has as much of a problem with synthetic marijuana as they do other drugs, like methamphetamine or cocaine.
"Our success ratio at dealing with those drugs has been poor I don't know what makes us think we're going to do any better at this," Mayor Robertson said. "You know, the only difference is they can buy this stuff over the counter, and we've been even unable to stop that."
Police can and do write citations about the drugs, but it's a fine, something Mayor Robertson said he's not sure is enough to stop people.
"I really would like to put anybody in jail that sells this to somebody under 18," Mayor Robertson said. He said he has an issue with the ordinance, which he voted against, because it's hard to enforce.
"This stuff is getting so bad and it's literally killing so many people that we're gonna have to find something, some policy that can at least slow it down," Mayor Robertson said. What exactly that policy is, he's not sure.
"The next time we do something, it's gotta be something that's enforceable, and has enough teeth in the law that people aren't just willing to pay the fine and go on down the road," Mayor Robertson said.
Mayor Robertson said it's not just Lubbock that's dealing with this problem; other cities across not only Texas, but across the country as well, are all trying to figure out how to regulate the drugs, according to Mayor Robertson.
WASP said they will continue to plan protests each week, trying to talk to people and keep synthetic pot out of more people's hands.