A man who identified himself as the owner of Elemental Trading Company has threatened legal action against city council candidate Brian D. Carr after he included the store on a list of suspected synthetic marijuana dealers.
"I received an email yesterday afternoon in which the gentleman who apparently operates a number of these shops - a number of these shops in the region - says he doesn't sell any of those type drugs, that he was not happy about having his shop's name up there and that his attorney would be calling me," Carr said.
"In our back and forth conversation, I just kept trying to nail him down about are you selling synthetic marijuana, are you selling potpourri or bath salts and at this point I can tell you I'm still not clear about that," Carr said.
Carr says he asked the store owner for an invite so he could visit and help clear his name.
"I asked him to invite me to come down to his shop where I would be more than happy - if I saw nothing there that was these substances I would apologize - but I believe from what I can tell that he probably is selling these substances. I just await his response to invitation so I can go see," he said.
"I want to give these shops every opportunity. If they're not involved in this we certainly don't want to put their names out there," Carr said.
He says he published the list as a part of a larger plan.
"I think it's part of a three-pronged effort," Carr said. "The first one is law enforcement, where I've called for increasing this to a felony. The second is public protest like we see with Warriors Against Synthetic Pot, where they're out there exercising their first amendment rights, not breaking any laws in front of these stores. The third is public education and this is the third part."
"I relied on a list provided to me by WASP of stores that they indicated were selling these products and then I posted those online," Carr said.
He says he isn't afraid of legal action but hopes to avoid that option.
"Well certainly I don't look forward to any kind of legal drama but on the other hand I've actually got supporters who have told me that if we need an attorney we have an attorney. So if he wants to spend a bunch of money on this and attempt to slander me, I would say that I have not revealed anything that isn't a matter of public record," he said.
"I'd hate to have to go that direction because I think...we can have a civil conversation about it and if he wants to own that he's doing it fine and if he's not doing it then we need to let people know."
Carr knows that there isn't a one-stop solution to preventing people from using this drug but he feels at this point it's a matter of saving lives.
"I do realize that it's very difficult to legislate morality but I do think that we have to have a persistent measure because the tragedy of these drugs. We're not talking about just a minor riff, this is killing people."
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