Houston police say they're seeing an increase in synthetic drug use in the area. The rise has led ci 2

Houston police say they're seeing an increase in synthetic drug use in the area. The rise has led ci



FOR CLEAN VERSION SEE STORY NUMBER: apus018876

VOICE OVER:
SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES PULL OVER A CAR FOR FAILING TO USE A TURN SIGNAL.
BUT THE TRAFFIC STOP TURNS UP SOMETHING ELSE.
(NATS – Sheriff’s Deputy: “This was found under the seat�they just came from the smoke shop)
THIS SHINY PACKET MAY CONTAIN SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS – MAN-MADE CHEMICALS APPLIED TO PLANT MATERIAL. USERS SAY THEY MIMIC THC, MARIJUANA’S ACTIVE INGREDIENT.
((SOT: Robert Dean, 29 year-old suspect pulled over for traffic violation))
“I don’t consider it a drug, but I guess it is a drug, but I wouldn’t consider it a drug but it’s a drug.”
THE FEDERAL DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY HAS LABELED HOUSTON A KEY MARKET AND SOURCE OF THIS SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA, ALSO CALLED “KUSH. “A CHALLENGE FOR HOUSTON LAW ENFORCEMENT�
((SOT: William Strong, Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy))
“”If the individual cannot score or purchase marijuana, they will go out and purchase kush.”
THE PROBLEM SO BIG, THE HOUSTON CITY COUNCIL THIS MONTH PASSED A SWEEPING BAN, OUTLAWING THE SALE AND USE OF THESE SO-CALLED DESIGNER DRUGS.
THEY’RE OFTEN LABELED “NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION,” AND MARKETED AS POTPOURRI.
(NAT from James Miller – “First, we have to identify these chemicals, then we have to determine whether or not that’s a chemical substance that is actually regulated or controlled.”))
SYNTHETIC DRUGS ARE TESTED HERE AT THE HOUSTON FORENSIC SCIENCE CENTER.
SOMETIMES THE MANUFACTURERS INCLUDE A MIX OF LEGAL AND ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES; OTHER TIMES, NO CHEMICALS HAVE BEEN ADDED�
((SOT: James Miller, Criminalist Lab Manager, Controlled Substances Section at the Houston Forensic Sciences Center))
“So that they’re staying ahead of the control status or law enforcement when it comes to making these substances illegal.”
AND WITH CATCHY NAMES, LIKE ‘BLING BLING MONKEY’ AND CARTOON FIGURES, THE DRUGS DON’T EXACTLY APPEAR ILLEGAL OR DANGEROUS.
((SOT: James Miller, Criminalist Lab Manager, Controlled Substances Section at the Houston Forensic Sciences Center))
“I’m afraid that when people look at that, it’s something that’s appealing, it’s appetizing to them, surely they don’t think, ‘this is something harmful.”
BECAUSE THEY WERE PULLED OVER BEFORE THE NEW BAN WENT INTO EFFECT, ROBERT DEAN AND HIS FRIEND WERE RELEASED WITH JUST A WARNING.
OFFENDERS NOW FACE A FINE OF UP TO $2,000 PER PACKET.
JILL CRAIG, Associated Press, Houston

You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/287fffdd52f41d6cbcd06e1a09f473f3
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