Amarillo commissioners to vote on synthetic drug resolution - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Amarillo commissioners to vote on synthetic drug resolution

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AMARILLO - Synthetic drugs are a problem in Amarillo. City commissioners agree with local non-profit Impact Futures on that.
     
The disconnect is how to tackle the issue.

"We're going to change the policy, create an ordinance, and our mayor and our commissioners are 100 percent on board," Impact Futures Director LaViza Matthews said.

"We don't think it's effective to try and handle this on a city ordinance perspective," Amarillo City Commissioner Brian Eades said.

Eades says any local law banning synthetic drugs would be impossible to enforce and it's not an option the city is considering.

He says any real impact has to come from the state or federal government.

"This is a much bigger problem than just writing an ordinance to ban certain products today in the Amarillo market," Eades said.

But Matthews wants the city to pass a local ordinance based off a Florida law. Other Texas cities have used that same Florida law as the basis for their ordinances.

"They did pass this one in Lubbock, and they did pass one in Levelland," Matthews said. "Ours does not look exactly like theirs of course, but it has bits and pieces, something that would fit Amarillo and really well."

Amarillo commissioners reviewed a draft of a potential ordinance, but Eades says it was too broad to ever be effective here.

Instead, the city is expected to vote on a resolution February 20th that would urge state and federal lawmakers to take action.

Right now there are two bills already filed in the Texas senate, SB 263 and SB 264, that would do just that, something both the Eades and Matthews agree would be a step in the right direction.

"We have to do something right now," Matthews said.