Parent who lost teen continues to fight synthetic drugs in Nebraska

By: Jenn Schanz 

Steve Tucker and his son Jordon are two men on a mission; they want to get synthetic marijuana like K2, off Nebraska’s streets.

Steve’s eldest son Billy died after using K2 in October.

“Now we’ll never hear ‘hey good morning Dad’ or ‘I love you Dad.’ That’s gone,” Steve says. 

Since Billy’s death, he’s fought to get rid of the substance, spending hours doing research and working with lawmakers to tighten restrictions on the drugs, that showed up in the Midwest in 2009 and are on the rise. 

But Tucker says a recent bill to expand bans on the substances falls short.

He says he gave lawmakers a list of synthetic substances popular in Europe, that he feels will make their way to Nebraska, but that the bill didn’t include most of them. The penalty for offenders was also watered down.

“We had big hopes of being able to say ‘hey we put a big dent in this,’and we didn’t,” he says. 

I spoke to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ken Schilz over the phone. He says he too is disappointed, but feels despite the changes to the bill, things are moving in the right direction.

“In becoming proactive, it’s going to have to be more than just this law that we look at,” he says. 

Schilz says taking a look at fair labeling laws is another route to limit access to synthetics.

He plans to take another look next legislative session, and wants to continue to buckle down.

“Everything that we learned, we will put to good use and make sure that we move forward knowing more everyday,” he says. 

Still, Tucker says until all synthetics are off the shelves, he’ll keep fighting.