The Lubbock City Council was briefed in executive session last night about a draft ordinance for a city wide ban on the sale, use, display or distribution of synthetic marijuana in Lubbock.
"At first blush it looks to be a complete, total ban of these synthetic drugs, but legal still has a few more questions as far as how they're going to enforce it, penalties for breaking the law and that sort of thing. They are going to work those out with Mayor Pro-tem Gibson and she indicated that she will be bringing it to the council at the end of the month," said Mayor Glen Robertson.
The exact day that the ordinance will be on the agenda is January 31, which will be the first vote, and a second vote will take place at the first meeting in February. If it is passed, the ban will go into effect immediately following the second vote, but the Mayor says right now he is a little torn on the issue.
"My opinion is we need to figure out a way to stop the sale of these products to minors, but I have had a little bit of a problem with carrying this law over to adults," Robertson said. "I'm just not so sure that it's my role as an elected official to protect you from yourself as an adult. I will really be struggling with this between now and the 31st, but I want to do everything I can to keep these synthetic drugs out of the hands of our children and if that takes a complete ban to do that then I'm probably going to be on board."
Synthetic marijuana distributors have been infamous for getting around these laws by changing one or two ingredients on the package and re-releasing them, pointing out that it says not for human consumption on the back. The Mayor concedes that this may happen in Lubbock.
"I think we've got to realize that the Federal Government has been unable to solve this problem, that state government has been unable to solve it, no other cities have completely solved it, so what this is is probably a first step in trying to address this issue that we have right now," said Robertson. "I think it's a cat and mouse game and it's something that we're going to have to continue to stay on top of."
He added that since the law only applies within city limits we could see smoke shops open up just outside of the city and still sell synthetic drugs, but he just wants to do everything within his power to make sure they won't be allowed in Lubbock.
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