LB - Yavapai Gaming - 0204

Home | Classifieds | Place an ad | Obituaries | Public Notices | Galleries | Opinions | Real Estate Search | 928 Media Lab | Contact Us | Subscribe | Yellow Pages
Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : latest news : regional February 26, 2015


9/20/2012 8:00:00 AM
War on synthetic drugs:
All forms of 'spice,' 'bath salts' declared a public nuisance, prohibiting sales
Much of this evidence, seized by the Prescott Area Narcotics Task Force in February raids of local stores, did not qualify as controlled substances. Now, a judge has ruled that selling “novelty powder drugs” constitutes a public nuisance.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
Much of this evidence, seized by the Prescott Area Narcotics Task Force in February raids of local stores, did not qualify as controlled substances. Now, a judge has ruled that selling “novelty powder drugs” constitutes a public nuisance.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg

Scott Orr
Special to the Tribune


PRESCOTT - A judge on Monday issued both preliminary and permanent injunctions that would stop Yavapai County stores from selling the designer drugs commonly known as "bath salts" or "spice," and in doing so handed County Attorney Sheila Polk a victory in her battle to stop the sale of so-called novelty powders that state law has been unable to abate.

The move is necessary because, as the Arizona Legislature makes the synthetic drugs illegal, the drug manufacturers simply change one compound in their product, which creates what's known as an "analog." Analogs have the same effects as the originals but are legal, because they are not the same chemical prohibited by state law.

Polk's approach, which she believes is unprecedented, was to ask a judge to rule that the sale of analogs is a public nuisance, thus allowing them to be stopped without having to create new laws for every substance.

Previously, more than 30 parties were involved in this civil action, but by the time the case went before Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff last month, all but three - Stephen Ogden, Scott "Wild Wes" Lance and The Island Store - had agreed to stipulate they would not continue to sell the products in return for Polk dropping the charges against them.

While all the stores that stipulated are covered under a permanent injunction, the three who did not join in were covered by a preliminary injunction, which stops the sales until the court can hold further hearings.

Retailers that have been banned from selling the novelty powders are Quick Stop, Mike's Mini Mart, and The Island Store in Prescott; X-Hale Smoke Shop, Mario's PV Quick Stop, the Hobby Glass, Smoke N' Thingz, Mike's Connection and Texaco on Highway 69 in Prescott Valley; Hawaiian Honey Swimwear and Pipe Dreamz Smoke Shop in Cottonwoods; and Wes Lance Trading Company in Camp Verde.

Lance, a candidate for County Supervisor in District 2, said he would fight the injunction, not because he wants to sell the products, but on general principle.

"I've never doubted how bad this stuff is," he said. "But we need the government out of our lives. What's next - are they going to tell us we can't eat chocolate pudding?

"'Analog drug' is a witch-hunt," he continued. "It means anything they decide they don't want people to have, all they have to do is say, 'That's an analog drug,' and we can't have it."

In his ruling, Bluff said there was evidence that the synthetic drugs "cause serious physical and mental harm to users." He agreed with the anecdotal evidence supplied in testimony by EMS workers, nurses, and law enforcement officers that "because of the seriousness of their medical conditions, and due to the patients' combative nature, several people are needed to restrain the patients."

The key to Polk's plan, though, was to have Bluff find that the stores could be considered a public nuisance under the law. He did, saying "there is a likelihood of irreparable injury to the people of Yavapai County should the retail defendants continue to sell these 'novelty powder drugs' to the general public."

"What is so important is that parents and their children, as well as all community members, understand how dangerous and life-threatening these synthetic drugs are," Polk said. "I knew this stuff was horrible when we started the trial, yet I was still overwhelmed with the testimony recounting the violence and self-destruction, and how these drugs are affecting everyone across the county."

Related Stories:
• 'Bath salt' raid charges dropped; synthetic drugs' ingredients altered to skirt law
• 3 face charges in 'bath salts' bust; more pending
• Raids on Prescott, Prescott Valley stores lead to 'bath salt' seizures, arrests


    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Schools announce second quarter Honor Rolls and Principal's List (234 views)

•   Prescott Valley teens honored: Credited with saving home (157 views)

•   Mine tour set for Saturday (127 views)

•   Hiking: How to be a good neighbor in the Agua Fria National Monument (98 views)

•   New non-profit makes it easier to donate to school district (82 views)





Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Prescott Valley, AZ
Click for weather forecast





Find It Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Local Listings
Classifieds | Place an ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Opinions | Real Estate Search | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map
LB - Yavapai Gaming - 0204

© Copyright 2015 Prescott Newspapers, Inc. The Prescott Valley Tribune is the information source for Prescott Valley area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Prescott Newspapers Online is a service of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. By using the Site, pvtrib.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Prescott Newspapers Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved