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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials July 22, 2014

4/2/2013 1:09:00 PM
Editorial: Grass roots protests lead to creation of new state law on bath salts

Too often, we read about misguided laws created by misguided lawmakers who are obviously far removed from the realities of life.

But every now and then you see the creation of a new law at the Arizona Legislature that has firm roots right here in our own backyard.

Such is the case with a bill designed to finally shut the door on synthetic drugs. The Arizona Senate unanimously approved it last week. Its next stop is the desk of Gov. Jan Brewer.

It was just a few years ago that folks in Old Town Cottonwood went on the offensive when discarded wrappers of “Glass Cleaner” and other bath salt derivative drugs were showing up all over their neighborhood. Especially troubling was the fact that they were littered all around the Cottonwood Boys and Girls Club.

It was determined the drugs were being sold at an Old Town cigar shop and at other locations in the Verde Valley. That’s when our real education on bath salts, spice, and the other synthetic drugs began. Police raided the establishments and made arrests, but the charges never stuck.

That’s because the manufacturers of these drugs had found a loophole in the law. Once a chemical compound was outlawed, the makers would simply change an ingredient and it was no longer on the list of illegal substances.

Locally, Yavapai County is one step ahead of the rest of the state in curbing the flow of synthetic drugs into our community. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk successfully fought for a permanent injunction against the sale of synthetics in the county in December.

In granting the injunction, Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff said synthetic drugs “cause serious physical and mental harm to users.”

The new law awaiting the governor’s signature now bans the “molecular backbone” of the compounds, which is expected to stop a much wider variety of these synthetic drugs.

Folks in the Verde Valley were among the first in Arizona to publicly voice concerns about bath salts.

Their voice was obviously heard.

Related Stories:
• Synthetic drug ban poised to become law

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@ Itsy Bitsy Spider
I see what you mean. It's not a new bill. It's not a new approach. Just some more names of chemical compounds. Let's hope the for-profit chemists don't come up with something even more lethal.

Posted: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Article comment by: 'Their voice was obviously heard.

What happened to Prop 203? For the 3rd time, medical marijuana was voted to be legal yet our voice STILL has not been heard. Esp. by Shelia Polk!

Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

The bill is HB 2367, sponsored by Representative Eddie Farnsworth

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