MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

July 8, 2013

City right to fight despite lawsuit


— When is a fight worth fighting? When you believe you are right.

The city of Muskogee is willing to fight the spread of synthetic marijuana despite a pending lawsuit.

Synthetic marijuana, or K2, was being sold in businesses throughout the city.

It is packaged as spice, herbal incense or potpourri.

Muskogee city councilors feel the substance provides a significant risk to our youth. They feel the substance “mimics the intoxicating effects” of marijuana.

The councilors want to fight.

They passed an ordinance that prohibits the sale, possession or use of synthetic marijuana.

The ordinance is considered groundbreaking because it attacks the substance as a public nuisance.  Previous attempts by state and federal government tried to prohibit the substance by making the chemical makeup illegal.

By the time law enforcement could seize and test the substance, manufacturers would change the chemical composition. That skirted the intent of the law and made enforcement nearly impossible.

By deciding to enforce the ordinance despite a pending lawsuit, councilors are telling you they are willing to fight.

The question comes down to the risk of potential monetary payouts for lost lawsuits versus the spread and use of K2.

Councilors believe the fight is worth the risk.

It is possible the law will be overturned in court. It is possible that business owners could sue the city for lost revenue if the lawsuit is successful.

But that does not make the fight unnecessary.

Councilors feel the fight is worthy.

They feel the fight is worth the risk.

We agree.