Amarillo, TX - Synthetic marijuana continues to plague the Amarillo area, and Impact Futures is fighting back.
The organization hosted a workshop Tuesday evening to educate the community about the dangers of the popular drug known as K2 and how it is affecting people in the area.
"We have kids committing suicide. We have kids overdosing on it. Everyone is like, oh it's a drug, but it's not. These are poisons. These are chemicals sprayed on plant material that kids are smoking," said LaViza Matthews, the project director for Impact Futures.
Matthews said there are currently seven locations selling K2 in Potter County and one location in Randall. The organization started a petition to encourage local officials to take action against the places selling the drug. They asked workshop attendees to sign the petition. They are also working with Representative Four Price to create new legislation to tie up the loopholes allowing the sale of K2 within the current law.
"We're always trying to draft legislation that stays current with the problems," explained Price. "Some of the hurdles or obstacles with the synthetic drugs is that they're being developed so fast that by the time you draft the law to cover what exists today and by the time those are implemented, there's something new that's actually in the market."
Price said they are working on ways to make the law more comprehensive but that they keep running into problems with how the drug is labeled when it is sold. "There's labeling laws and laws that allow some of these products to be labeled as "not for human consumption" and to be sold," said Price. "The reality is that they are being sold for the purpose of using them to generate a high."
Despite obstacles with the law, Impact Futures just wants as many people in the community to be aware of the problem and to know how they can fight back, starting with signing their petition.
"People talk about how they want to do something and how they want to get rid of this stuff in our community. And this is the time to do so," said Jon Payne, the project coordinator for Impact Futures.
As of Tuesday, about 50 people have signed the petition so far.