LONGVIEW - Khalimba Smith said he believes in investing in a child's future. He volunteers his time as a mentor to teens at the Boys & Girls Club of Gregg County. Smith said he's in full support of Representative Jay Dean's House Bill 2671. The bill would place synthetic drugs like k-2 under the same penalties as cocaine and heroin.
"I gotta look at these kids everyday and tell them 'hey its gonna be better'," Smith said. "Anything that puts a penalty on anyone or anything a child can get their hands on. He's doing the right thing to me."
Smith said the bill could save kids before they're in danger. In May 2016, a high school student who attended Longview high school died from smoking the designer drug k-2.
Jason Chadwick who attended the same school said the new bill is definitely needed. Chadwick said he believes political leaders care about his future.
"I think it's nice to actually pinpoint these things," Chadwick said. "[The bill] Creates stricter guidelines and show that they are aware of these things."
However, just because a bill has been filed, doesn't mean it will pass. Khamlimba Smith said he hopes parents and teens will support what Jay Dean is trying to do.
"If we actually stepped up, do what we need to do for our children, then all of this would be different," Smith said.
House Bill 2671 will be taken into consideration during the 85th legislative session, which ends in May 2017.