HOUSTON – Several stores have been shut down and more than a dozen others have been issued restraining orders in the latest effort to fight a growing problem of “Kush” in Houston.
Mayor Sylvester Turner made the announcement Thursday morning at press conference alongside officials from the Houston Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
This is a joint effort that also included the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
Kush is dangerous synthetic drug that can make people agitated or even violent. The drug has been linked to a string of arrests – and now there’s a new push to fight Kush – as authorities go after the suppliers.
“It became an illegal substance in 2012 and it is more than 100 times more potent than marijuana,” the mayor said.
During undercover operations, authorities have found 58 locations where Kush was being sold. He said 400 pounds of Kush has been seized this year.
Six people have been arrested, four stores have been shut down and 20 others have been served retraining orders.
The mayor says they are fighting the Kush problem by cutting off supply and spreading the word that even though it’s referred to as “synthetic marijuana,” it’s nothing like it.
“There is the perception that Kush, also known as ‘Spice’ and ‘K2,’ is safe. It is marketed as potpourri but it is in fact a very dangerous synthetic drug,” the mayor said.
“It's hurting our people and it's making a very large medical impact on our hospitals. They see dozens of people in the emergency room each and every shift,” HPD Asst. Chief Mark Curran said.
Since the beginning of the year, 400 pounds of Kush have been seized, and anyone caught selling it will be charged with a first degree felony.
The mayor says the city has already paid out an additional $2 million to HPD in overtime.
If you know of a place that is selling Kush, you can report it anonymously at https://stopdrugshouston.org/.