Friendswood looking to ban synthetic marijuana

March 3, 2011 4:11:03 PM PST
Another city in our area is pushing to ban synthetic marijuana. Officials in Friendswood say it's not only dangerous, it's deadly.

At least two deaths, Friendswood police say involved the use to synthetic marijuana and now the city is looking make the legal product illegal.

"Everybody, I'm not going to stand here and lie to you; everybody knows what everybody does with it," one woman, who didn't want to be identified, told Eyewitness News.

Bags of synthetic marijuana, sold as herbal incense, are popular with some in the Friendswood area.

"I've been smoking it now for about eight months," she said. "It gets you a little light headed, but it's not like marijuana."

She just purchased three packets of "Space Cadet Flight Risk 100 Strength" and "Kush." It's these types of synthetic marijuana, sold legally in smoke shops that the city of Friendswood is looking to ban.

"It doesn't have any of the restrictions that tobacco products do, so anybody of any age can go in and purchase this," Friendswood Police Chief Robert Wieners said.

Within the last six months the Friendswood police department says synthetic marijuana was found at the scenes of two deaths. One was a traffic fatality.

"We actually know that the individual that was killed in that accident had gone up to the store to buy it," Wieners said. "It was one him; it was in his pocket."

The Friendswood mayor and city council are expected to pass the new law banning the sell and possession of synthetic marijuana products.

It's something Texas legislatures are already debating.

In January, state lawmakers proposed a statewide ban to the production, sale and possession of six forms of synthetic marijuana and punishment would be more severe than possession of regular marijuana.

And at least for some, a ban will stop them from buying.

"If they do that than I will quit buying it, because I'm not trying to do anything illegal," the woman said. Sixteen other states have already banned some forms of synthetic marijuana, and federal legislation is being introduced this year.

The city of Friendswood is expected to pass the ban on Monday. Once in effect, anyone in possession would be ticketed with a fine of up to $500.


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