Borger approves new synthetic drug ordinance - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Borger approves new synthetic drug ordinance

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Borger, TX -- With synthetic drugs taking an ever-larger presence in the public eye, one area city is taking matters into its own hands.

On Tuesday (Mar. 19), Borger city council members approved a new ordinance that not only declares synthetic drugs illegal, but gives police the authority to enforce it.

Currently, synthetic drugs present a host of legal complexities and logistical headaches for lawmakers and police.  Testing for any of the substances currently outlawed by state law can take weeks, and the chemical makeup of the drugs themselves is easily changed.

Borger's ordinance broadens the definition to include anything that acts as an intoxicant.

"In our ordinance, we also cover that gray area," explains council member Brandy Callahan, "If it gets you high, if it causes certain effects that mimic the illegal substances, it falls under this act."

Borger police will have the authority to issue citations of up to $2,000, seize property, and even make arrests for the sale or possession of synthetic drugs.  Lieutenant Anthony Griffin of the Borger PD says the new ordinance will give local police the teeth they need to crack down on synthetic drugs. 

"This lets us go straight to the source, and start making arrests or issue citations, and get those people into court," says Griffin.

Borger city officials say they hope other cities follow suit in their own jurisdictions.

"Ultimately, tougher laws have got to come from the state and federal government," says Callahan. "But until then, cities like ours are going to do whatever we can to combat the issue."

The law is set to be enacted April 2nd and will take effect shortly thereafter.

And police say it will apply to anyone caught with synthetic drugs in Borger - not just Borger residents.