AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, joined by the Harris County Attorney’s Office, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Happie Hippie Smoke Shop and its operators, Esam M. Ali-Hasan and James Ayling. The lawsuit accuses the smoke shop of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by deliberately leading consumers to believe the illegal drugs sold to them are safe and legal. The State is asking the Harris County District Court to grant a temporary injunction against the operators to halt all activities related to the production, transfer, possession, and/or sale of controlled substances, including synthetic cannabinoids.
In a search of the apartment of Ali-Hasan and Ayling, police discovered pure synthetic cannabinoid crystals and foil packages. Police learned that in a in a fifty-gallon fish tank, Ali-Hasan and Ayling mixed synthetic cannabinoid crystals with acetone and subsequently sprayed that mixture on dried leaves, which they then packaged and sold. Ayling, who was arrested as he left the Happie Hippie Smoke Shop, told officers that 100-150 packets of synthetic cannabinoids were sold daily at the smoke shop. Ayling and Ali-Hasan were charged with felony possession with intent to deliver synthetic cannabinoids.
This is the eleventh synthetic cannabinoid lawsuit the Attorney General has filed to block the sale of synthetic drugs in Texas. Under state law, it is a crime to manufacture, deliver or possess a synthetic cannabinoid. Synthetic cannabinoids—known as Kush or spice—have been linked to overdoses throughout the United States and cause paranoia, hallucinations, seizures, psychotic episodes, and suicidal thoughts.
To view a copy of the lawsuit click here: