Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, joined by city officials, won a restraining order from a Harris County civil district court against a Gulf Freeway gas station and convenience store to stop the sale of synthetic marijuana, an illegal drug known on the streets as “kush.”
Synthetic marijuana, or kush, is typically manufactured overseas and 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. It is often sold in colorful packets, with flavors such as strawberry and blueberry, in order to appeal to children, and is the second most abused drug by high school students, after marijuana itself. It is also illegal in Texas.
Today’s restraining order forbids the owners of a gas station and convenience store located on the feeder road at 6420 Gulf Freeway from selling kush. In October, narcotics officers with the Houston Police Department, using confidential informants, determined the store was selling synthetic marijuana in unmarked “silver” bags. When officers returned to the store with a search warrant, the store clerks locked themselves in the back room and attempted to hide the kush by pouring it down the sink. Officers retrieved the evidence and arrested Mohamad S. Islam and Tofayel Ahmed. According to police officers, the store owner and clerks had been warned repeatedly in the past not to sell kush.
Judge Michael Landrum, presiding judge of the 113th Civil District Court of Harris County, ordered the store owner to engage two uniformed law enforcement officers for security at the store and close the store by 10 p.m. At final trial, the County Attorney will seek a permanent injunction to close the store location for one year.
“My office will continue to work with law enforcement, the Mayor and city officials to send the message to store owners that the people of Harris County will not tolerate the sale of these dangerous substances,” County Attorney Ryan said. “We will take whatever steps necessary to stop the sale of kush, including shutting down their businesses if necessary.”
The next hearing in this case is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on November 14, 2016.