Proposed KC ordinances take aim at synthetic drugs - KCTV5

Proposed KC ordinances take aim at synthetic drugs

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

It is a problem that is on the rise across the metro - convenience stores and smoke shops selling illegal synthetic drugs and cigarettes to minors.

Police are doing all they can to put a stop to it but are outnumbered. So the city council is looking to help.

Normally, the state is in charge of cracking down, but their team of inspectors has dropped off dramatically from 22, a few years ago, to just two inspectors statewide now.

Police are doing what they can, including raiding shops, like they did in Parkville last February, but they just don't have the resources needed.

So Kansas City Councilman Scott Wagner is spearheading a two-pronged approach aimed at hitting those businesses where it hurts the most.

"The reality is that if you have a convenience store that is selling synthetic drugs, it's a money maker, but not as great a money maker as cigarettes or alcohol might," Wagner said.

Wagner is set to introduce two new ordinances this week. If approved, stores found in violation could lose their cigarette license or their business license all together.

Shaid Shiekh manages a Northland gas station. He has pulled all synthetic drugs from his shelves and says he always checks IDs when it comes to cigarettes.

He supports Wagner's plan, saying other managers will soon realize it is just not worth the risk.

"Why should I take risk because of you? I don't want to take the ticket. Who is going to suffer? Me and my kids," Shiekh said.

Wagner admits it will be an uphill battle, but he hopes threatening violator's bottom lines will convince them to change their ways.

Officials recently tested 100 stores and found 60 percent of them sold cigarettes to minors, and they are hoping that will soon change.

The two ordnances will go before the council on Wednesday. They could be approved as early as Thursday.

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