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Borger town hall meeting addresses synthetic drugs

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Borger, TX -- Since synthetic drugs came into the mainstream market a few years ago, they've been a constant headache for lawmakers and police.  And because the federal and state governments have not yet come up with any concrete proposals, some communities, like Borger, are searching for their own solutions.

Borger city officials, police, and concerned citizens gathered at the high school this evening for a town hall meeting to address the problem in their community.  One concern was just how prevalent and accessible the drugs are in Borger.

"We have several businesses now located within our city limits that sell the synthetic drugs," says City Council member Brandy Callahan, "One of these businesses is across from our middle school, which creates another mess of problems."

And the students weren't the only worry - many are concerned about some refinery workers who reportedly use the drugs while working.

Borger resident Brandon Gibbs started using synthetic drugs when he joined the U.S. Army in 2009, and continued using after returning home and beginning work at the refinery.

"I'd meet people at work, out at the refinery," says Gibbs, "I mean, imagine how dangerous that is for people under the influence of that stuff to be working in our refinery and out in the oil field."

And while the federal government issued an emergency yearlong ban on the substances in 2011, neither federal nor Texas lawmakers have enacted any criminal law against them.  So now Borger may consider a city ordinance to criminalize the sale and possession of synthetic drugs.

Poison control centers in the U.S. fielded about 3,000 calls involving synthetic drugs in 2010 and that number more than doubled to about 7,000 in 2011.

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