Pubdate: Sun, 07 Nov 2010
Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
Copyright: 2010 Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Author: Terry Evans


Bedford and Euless have joined other Metroplex cities in banning the
sale and possession of K2, the synthetic product that users smoke to
get a high similar to marijuana.

The Bedford City Council adopted an ordinance Oct 12 out of concern
that the city might become an island in the midst of municipalities
that banned K2, said Police Chief David Flory.

"We didn't want to be the only ones who didn't have an ordinance,
[becoming] a safe haven to do K2," Flory said.

Euless adopted an ordinance banning K2 on Oct. 26.

Bennett Sandlin, executive director of Texas Municipal League, said
his office hasn't tracked the number of cities that have joined the
ban. But he believes there are more in the Dallas-Fort Worth area than
anywhere else in the state.

Should the Legislature consider outlawing the products, Sandlin said
the municipal league will back the effort.

"The league is in the process of adopting our legislative program, and
the K2 issue is in it," he said. "We'll support legislation to ban

Mansfield was the first city in Texas to limit K2 sales to people 21
and older. Other cities, including Haslet, Roanoke and Watauga, have
banned its sale or possession. Keller and Fort Worth are considering
an ordinance banning K2 sales.

Euless Mayor Mary Lib Saleh said that she and fellow council members
responded to a request from their police in adopting the ban.

"We want to go along with our sister cities' efforts," she said. "Our
police found [K2] for sale in multiple places and came to us saying
they didn't want it in our city."

Hurst council members will hear a police report at next week's meeting
that could lead to an ordinance there.

The Hurst, Euless and Bedford police chiefs agreed that the
Legislature likely will pass legislation against substances with names
like K2, Genie, Spice, Dascents, Zohai, Sage, Pep Spice and Solar
Flare during its next session.

But city officials don't want to wait for state laws, saying the
products are too dangerous.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports on its
website that more than 1,900 calls involving synthetic marijuana
products have been received this year by centers across the nation.

Bedford's ordinance mentions that emergency responders were called to
a scene where one of several "young members of our community" was
transported to a hospital after using a product labeled as K2.

Euless Police Chief Michael Brown said that his officers reported
"running into more and more people who were using this stuff, and it's
pretty volatile."

Speaking with Flory and Hurst Police Chief Steve Moore before
presenting the situation to the council, Brown said he found that all
three departments were seeing increases in the presence and use of
synthetic marijuana products.

"We're looking at it as a public health issue," he said. "We felt it
was important to do what we can do to protect our citizens, especially
our young people."

Moore expects that the state Legislature will address K2 but is
reluctant to wait while so many cities around Hurst are moving.

"We're getting to be the only ones around still selling it," he said.
"That isn't the main reason we're doing it. We want to stop the sale
of it in our city now, because it appears to be more dangerous than

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.
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