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Portales battling synthetic drugs after teens hospitalized

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Portales, NM - Synthetic marijuana has sent four Portales students to the hospital recently.

It's been an eye opener for many Portales High School Students. Four of their classmates were taken to the hospital because of synthetic marijuana. Now, people of Portales are coming together to battle this drug.

City councilor Keith Thomas has proposed an ordinance which he says will help protect their children. The ordinance would ban the sell of any synthetic drug inside the city limits.

"I think our citizens, our children a safer community to live in. And I want to send a message to people who want to hurt our kids. Go somewhere else," Thomas said.

Thomas says this ordinance has been in the works, but after what happened to four Portales teens, they moved quickly.

Although the state of New Mexico already has a law against synthetic marijuana, it is specific to certain chemicals.

"We're trying to make it morph, so when they change that chemical it automatically enters into our city ordinance and becomes illegal," Thomas said.

The city council isn't alone in their efforts. Portales High School is joining in.

"We got all students in the gymnasium, talked to them about our concerns regarding this stuff. You know and we talked very blunt to them," Melvin Nusser, Portales High School Principal said.

Classroom education was also done by showing how synthetic marijuana has affected other teens across the country often times resulting in death, which could have been the case for their peers.

"I think more importantly is the education component of it and the awareness for kids to say stay away from that stuff. It's not worth the chance. It's not worth taking the risk to cause permanent damage to yourself," Nusser said.

The next step for the ordinance will be a public hearing, so residents can voice their opinions and concerns.

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