LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock City Council voted to expand the ban on synthetic marijuana at their meeting Thursday night.
The proposed update to the ban came from Councilwoman Karen Gibson, and adds 30 additional chemicals to the ordinance.
However, Gibson's opponent for the District 5 city council seat, Brian Carr, believes this ban will not be effective enough.
Carr is the Lubbock Board of Health Chairman, and although he is glad city council members are taking action against synthetic marijuana, he is calling for a war against it.
There needs to be more pressure from the public and law enforcement, Carr said, since this is a Lubbock-wide issue and is spreading. He wants to increase public awareness about the dangers of synthetic marijuana, and would like for buyers and sellers to face stricter penalties.
Carr said the way to do this is to convince elected officials in Austin and Washington to increase the penalty against synthetic marijuana from a misdemeanor to a felony.
"I think it's more of a matter of coordinating and emphasizing that this is a public concern, and then once we get that changed to a felony, then we can get the crime labs to get involved," he said. "Because at this point, they're telling the board of health that they have no interest in lending support to the tests because it's only a misdemeanor."
Car also wants to host public education campaigns particularly for parents to increase knowledge about synthetic marijuana. The Lubbock Board of Health is working on a video contest with the Young Women's Christian Association detailing the dangers of the drug. He said the contest will have a grand prize of $1,000.