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4/8/2013 6:00:00 AM
Synthetic drugs outlawed in Arizona

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Synthetic drugs that mimic the effects of street drugs ranging from cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine are now illegal in Arizona thanks to emergency legislation passed last week.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the measure into law on Wednesday. The legislation bans chemicals used in the production of synthetic marijuana, called Spice, and so-called bath salts that mimic the effects of crystal meth.

Mohave County Sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter said she's happy with the new law.

"We have not seen a large problem in Mohave County," she said. "We know these drugs were sold in tattoo parlors and smoke shops. We're pleased with the legislation because it ensures our children will be out of harm's way and won't have easy access."

Rogue chemists got around previous state laws enacted to stop the drugs from being made and sold by altering a single molecule in the formula.

The new law, House Bill 2327 that was sponsored by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-D12, bans the basic chemical formulas.

"The production and use of these synthetic drugs is a growing epidemic in Arizona and nationwide, and poses a threat to our citizens," said Brewer in a statement.

Since the legislation contained an emergency clause, it went into effect immediately.

The Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council applauded the new law, saying there have been reports of severe psychosis, kidney problems and even death after someone has used synthetic drugs.

Persons who possess or use of the drug face a class 4 felony charge; those who possess the equipment or chemicals used to make it face a class 3 felony charge, and those who sell, transport or manufacture the drug face a class 2 felony charge.

Carter said Mohave County is making efforts to ensure the products are off the shelves and no longer sold.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: good job arizona

I am extremely glad that spice is banned in Arizona. Spice has rat poison and lots of other dangerous substances in it. thats gross. but hurray now kids will actually have a brain and not want spice 24/7. well hopefully. you cant have too much faith in kingman kids these days.

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Kman inKingman

This article would be more accurately tiltled "Illicit Synthetic Drugs Outlawed in Arizona" The title misleadingly includes all synthetic pharmaceuticals. That said, well intentioned as the legislation may be, it is sadly a losing battle because there are many ingredients that can have similar hallucinogenic effects, it is more than chemically altering the structure of the basic compounds currently used. There are labeling/marketing/distribution issues as well. The legislation needs to be reworked but at least it's a start.

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: Golden Valley

"We have not seen a large problem in Mohave County" is a statement that I totally disagree with. I know of several youth that have been taken to the emergency room due to the effects of spice. I have children and hear their friends talking about it and the hallucinations that they experienced from smoking it. Mohave County needs to wake up and admit that we do have some serious issues with these types of synthetic drugs. This is one way to curb it but the manufacturers continue to find another way around the law. I pray that this new law will prevent this from happeniing anymore.

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: A concerned parent

Having first hand knowledge of what this synthetic pot does to our children I am very thankful this legislation has passed. When I found out my son was smoking it I cried my eyes out worrying about whether he had done permanent damage to his brain from this crap.It still would have been nice for the Daily Miner to have gotten statistics from our local sheriffs and Kingman Police Department on the number of kids arrested for using these products just so that parents know that it is out there and it can cause incredible damage to a developing mind. If I could have been on the committee to oversea this legislation I would have taken my son as a prime example of the effects! And its sad that it has taken this long to get legislation in place!

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: Fail Fail

This law will only result in lawsuits against our state. This law is almost identical to the last law which could not be enforced. Something needs to be done, not copy of old legislature that fails. This law will cause law enforcement more muddled thinking than the drug does. Right now bath salts and spice are a terrible danger and can cause death. Spice which fakes pot can kill, while pot could not kill. If Arizona could not enforce the law that this is based on, why do the same thing again? All the new wording only will cause confusion amongst legal products & makes what should be illegal seem illegal but not. Yes this stuff is back on the shelves all over Arizona.

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: Paul Bearer

That is some NASTY stuff.

Never understood if it wasn't supposed to be used for human consumption why it was sold in a "smoke" shop.

My personal opinion is the smoke shop owners are skirting the laws and should be shut down as well.

If you have never seen the effects this stuff has on a kid under its influence then you wont realize just how deadly and incapacitating it can be.

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: throw it all away

Rereading the legislature, ugh. How does Arizona mess up all legal legislature? Banning possession of the equipment to manufacture this drug would shut down most labs and mine assay firms, not to mention alcohol production equipment such as at microbrew operations. On & on this law could shut down 90% of all high tech manufacturing corporations in Az. Great to get rid of this menace drug, but never saw a state that creates so much government intervention in the people's rights to standard commerce. Read the ARS, these idiot laws can be interpreted so many ways.

Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Article comment by: nnp nno

It's always "Oh my God their selling to our children!" B.S. Let's legislate parenting that way the people that have it covered in case their kids encounter something requiers a judgment call or decision that's not used on an XBOX

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
Article comment by: First Aid

This is good, but there is a great issue still unaddressed. Quite a few samples of pot sold legally under medical marijuana law have tested positive for these drugs. Who will get arrested if a person buys what they think is pot for a medical condition that has been treated with chemicals that are actually illegal?
This is happening NOW. But could be any food or medication that has had such chemicals introduced. This goes to the intent but law states possession, what are the citizens to do?

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
Article comment by: R .

Now if only they'd ban Meth...
Oh, they have? Well I didn't notice.

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
Article comment by: zz stop .....

excellent move. Anyone who has dedicated enough time online to this subject learns of the terrible flaws in overseas production of these products (much of which are produced in communist China, where identical packages contain different ingredients! Uh...ya think maybe the communist Chinese might not have the best interests of American kids in mind?)

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
Article comment by: Jack A.Lope

but i bet they would never hurt anybody .....

Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013
Article comment by: about time


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