Lubbock Criminal District Attorney Matt Powell, Council Member Karen Gibson and City Attorney Chad Weaver have found a new way to deter the sale of synthetic marijuana in Lubbock.
Powell has prepared a letter that will put sellers on notice, presenting a long list of synthetic drug brands that "commonly contain banned substances in violation of felony state and federal laws."
The letter was sent to 53 stores in the city of Lubbock to get "synthetic marijuana and all substances that mimic the effects of items and/or controlled substances."
The updated regulations for these substances went into affect June 6, when the letter was delivered to store owners.
The letter says sellers may be subjected to criminal penalties under such statutes as aggravated assault, criminally negligent homicide, injuring a child or endangering a child.
The letter warns that labels on these products, despite being labeled "not for human consumption" do not comply with the labeling requirements of state and federal law because the products are consumer commodities.
Therefore the sale of the products is prohibited as a Deceptive Business Practice under Texas Penal Code 32.42.
The penalties for violation of this code include possible confinement up to one year in jail and civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation.
The letter promises to prosecute violators to the fullest extent of the law.
City leadership has been working closely with the Workers Against Synthetic Pot (W.A.S.P) to put a stop to the sale of all synthetic marijuana.
And for three parents in particular, this ban hits close to home.
Gina Johnson says she became active in W.A.S.P when her son started using.
Though he has since stopped, her heart for this issue continues.
"If it had not been for Karen Gibson, none of this would have happened," Johnson says. "They've got these stores on notice that they're coming for you. so get it off your shelves and get it out of your stores."
Geannine Kelley says today is an emotional time, and the reward is long awaited.
"It's overwhelming. That's the only word I can find to describe."
The letter lists products the ban will include:
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