Odessa Smoke Shops Carry Synthetic Drugs on Cusp of Deadline

Odessa Smoke Shops Carry Synthetic Drugs on Cusp of Deadline

Brian Wise
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Smoke shops around the City of Odessa have until this Thursday to remove Spice, K-9 and Synthetic Marijuana packages from their shops. NewsWest 9 went to shops around the Odessa and they still carry it. Shops didn't want to talk with NewsWest 9 on camera but NewsWest 9 learned that shops are selling it under the name potpourri.

Synthetic drugs have hurt Odessa families for over a year. Brandy Jones saw the effects on her son.

"My son is a user and he's struggled with it for about a year. I've seen many different stages of what it will do to him. He turns real white. He can't really talk he's stuttering, falling down," Jones said.

The City of Odessa saw that something needed to be done. Synthetic drugs have a complex chemical make-up and it can be changed to get around laws that ban just one certain substance. To test individual packages requires mailing the drugs out of state and paying a hefty fee. The city council decided to target packages instead.

Sandra Carrasco, City Council member of District 5 in Odessa, spoke with NewsWest 9 about the situation.

"In reference to the labeling of the packages is going to be key. I know that's a little controversial in itself but I think that we have to do something," Carrasco said.

The City Council passed a motion on September 10 that bans the sale of misleading packages. If a shop is caught carrying items with a certain chemical makeup, they could get charged with a misdemeanor and a $2,000 fine.

Jonathan Venable felt the affects firsthand.

"I turned to bath salts because I thought they were legal. They kicked my butt harder than any dope ever did. I thought I could get away with it and that they were okay because of them being legal. I ended up in ICU twice. On life support twice. Five days a piece," Venable said.

Owners of stores in Odessa have two days left to get these synthetic drugs out of their shops. Police have not said whether they will do searches around town after the date.