Calcasieu & Texas authorities join forces on drug problems

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) -It's a dangerous and growing trend among young people. The use of what's called fake pot.  Herbal products that can give the user a high similar to marijuana. The federal government has now taken action and law enforcement here and across the state line in texas are teaming up to do more.

The U.S.. Drug enforcement agency recently used its emergency authority to temporarily control five chemicals often seen in what's known as fake pot often marketed as incense or potpourri-- under names like spice, k2, blaze and red x dawn.

Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier brought together about forty law enforcement officials from Texas and Louisiana to work on joint efforts to fight illegal drugs and those they think should be illegal. " If Louisiana outlaws it and Texas doesn't then everybody from Louisiana would go to Texas to buy it. If Texas is successful and outlaws the use and possession and distribution of synthetic marijuana and Louisiana does not, then vice versa."

DeRosier says they need more blanket laws instead of those tied to specific chemicals. "There are new chemical compounds that are coming out on the market so what we're addressing now are ways to accommodate the development of new synthetic marijuanas as they develop."

Sheriff Mitch Woods of Jefferson County where Beaumont is located says it's a severe problem. "Obviously a lot of money, a lot of effort and a lot of technology, chemical technology is going in to the manufacture and creation of these synthetic marijuanas."

Judge Patricia Lykos is the district attorney for Harris County Texas, the Houston area. She applauds DeRosier for putting a focus on what she calls a public health and safety issue. 
"It will go national because foreign chemical companies are producing compounds that impair people's judgement and their motor skills, putting our children at risk."

She says much of it comes from China and India. They are also working together on illegal use of prescription pills.  "We're going to halt that whether it's the pill mills, whether it's the doctor shopping."

All agree Louisiana and Texas can be much more effective working together.

Besides law enforcement, officials would like to see the State Department and Federal public health agencies get involved because fake pot often doesn't list its origin or ingredients when manufactured.

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