Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, along with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, won a temporary restraining order last week against a La Porte Freeway gas station and convenience store to stop the retail sale of synthetic marijuana.
The order signed on March 23rd prohibits Moon Mart, 10010 La Porte Freeway, from selling or buying synthetic marijuana or any other “illicit synthetic drug.” The order specifically bans the sale of “potpourri, incense, bath salts, or herbal cigarettes that contain a controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, or an illicit synthetic drug.”
Synthetic marijuana, also called “Kush,” is a designer drug, typically manufactured overseas, that is marketed as a “safe” and “legal” alternative to marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is not marijuana at all but a dried leafy substance that is sprayed with powerful, added-in hallucinogenic chemicals that are dangerous and highly addictive to the user. It is often marketed to children, and is the second most abused drug by high school students, after marijuana itself.
According to the lawsuit, narcotics officers from the Harris County Sheriff ’s Office, working undercover, purchased synthetic marijuana in packages labeled “Klimax.” The packages were hidden under the sales counter, and the officers had to ask for it by name. The brightly colored packaging states that the product is “potpourri” without disclosing that the contents actually contain dangerous and illegal hallucinogenic chemicals.
“This office is committed to fighting the illegal marketing and sale of these powerful and dangerous drugs to our kids,” said County Attorney Ryan. “We will continue to send the message that businesses that choose to sell these substances will face the consequences, including shutting down their business if necessary.”
The filing is one of a series of civil actions taken by County Attorney Vince Ryan, in partnership with law enforcement and other agencies, using the state’s consumer protection laws to combat businesses that sell synthetic marijuana.