Q&A: Port Lavaca Police Chief John Stewart talks K2
by Dianna Wray
Jan. 16, 2011 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 15, 2011 at 7:16 p.m.
PORT LAVACA - Port Lavaca Police Chief John Stewart presented the proposal of an ordinance banning K2, a synthetic marijuana, from being sold or possessed in Port Lavaca during Monday night's city council meeting.
Stewart sat down recently to talk about K2 and why he feels it needs to be banned from the city.
What is K2?
K2 is all over the Internet. It's sold under the auspices that it is an incense, and it is being sold all over the country. It's a synthetic cannabis.
What are other local governments doing about K2?
A number of cities in South and Southeast Texas are fixing to pass ordinances to outlaw the stuff. It is estimated to be somewhere around 300 times as stimulating as ordinary marijuana.
There have been a lot of medical issues with it, a lot of people calling in and being transported. The effects can be vomiting, people have high blood pressure and heart problems. There are all kinds of side effects.
Have you seen a lot of local use of K2?
It's for sale in just about every small grocery store in the area. We've had a number of incidents here when it has become a medical problem. It's completely unregulated. Kids, middle schoolers, have been getting it and smoking it and getting sick.
What is the city doing about it?
Basically, this is an ordinance banning the sale or possession of the product. I presented this to the council Monday night. It passed the first reading. They'll review it and have another reading at the next meeting. It'll probably get voted on next month.
How did K2 come to your attention?
Various chiefs in the state have been talking about it and we've all been hearing a lot about this. It's a health problem. The ordinance will have people getting fined up to $2,000 for possession or sale of the product because of the damage it does to health. It's totally unregulated and nobody knows what they are spraying on that stuff to make it into K2. You can just walk into a store and buy it, and we've even seen some kids getting ahold of this stuff and smoking it and getting sick. This is a health issue, a health concern.