The effects of a new synthetic drug, called K2, are everywhere to be seen in downtown Dallas unfortunately. Just last month, on Sunday 17 September, a homeless man called Branden Holbert, 22 years old, was so high on the drug that he pulled a pocket knife on two women standing on North Ervay and Main streets. He rambled incoherently and threatened the women. Before being arrested, he ended up cutting them in their faces, arms and shoulders.
For this reason (as well as many other reported cases), Dallas police is now focusing on drug usage amongst the homeless in the Dallas downtown area.
So far, there have been 151 arrests at the West End rail station. That means about
four K2 arrests a week at the busy train stop.
Texas Attorney General Ms Ken Paxton is also stepping up the fight and wants to include business that provide the tools for smoking, saying: "The sale of dangerous, deadly drugs must be put to a stop. Businesses that sell synthetic drugs will not escape punishment."
In close cooperation with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police (most of the sales of K2 take place at railway stations), the Dallas police are trying to make downtown stations safer. As the drug contains a simple blend of chemicals and herbs which are then smoked like marijuana, it is cheap and can easily be sold by dealers to homeless people found mostly in the city’s downtown rail stations and shelters.
Sadly enough, because of the easiness to make it, K2 is becoming "a drug whose supply we cannot regulate," informed City Council member Philip Kingston, repeating a widespread fear amongst police forces that they are fighting a losing battle.
Manufacturers change the chemical compounds known as the "spice" in K2, making it harder for police forces to keep up with the new substances that need to be banned.
According to the latest reports, the Dallas areas where most of the K2 sales occur are the central business district and Deep Ellum, the Kiest, Park Lane, Bachman and Morrell stops.