County Attorney Vince Ryan, Attorney General win order against smoke shop for selling synthetic pot

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan working with the Texas Attorney General obtained a temporary restraining order last week preventing a north Houston smoke shopp from selling synthetic marijuana.

Ryan and the Texas Attorney General sued the Good Timez Boutique & Smoke Shop located at 3517 Little York Road after an investigation by the Narcotics Task Force of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the purchase of a package of synthetic marijuana—called Kush—in May. More than 400 packages were seized, along with a pistol and ammunition, and over $3,700 in cash.

Tests performed at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences on sample packets collected by police found they contained XLR11, a synthetic cannabinoid that falls into Penalty Group 2-A under Texas Law.

The temporary restraining order was issued by 129th District Court Presiding Judge Elaine H. Palmer on Thursday, June 16, 2016.

The underlying lawsuit claims that the defendants are violating the Deceptive Trade Practices Act because the packages were labeled “safe” and that the store is a “common nuisance” because of the illegal drugs sold there.

Synthetic marijuana is a designer drug, often 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. The added chemicals are intended to mimic the biological effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

While the product may be labeled “not for human consumption,” that is exactly how it is intended to be used. Ingesting these substances can cause paranoia, psychotic episodes, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts. Persons who have ingested Kush have become violent and have suffered paralysis, brain damage, heart attacks and even death.
The next hearing on this lawsuit will be at 3:30 p.m. on June 27 in the 129th Court.

Click here to view the temporary restraining order and petition.