Maricopa County launches new offensive vs. 'bath salts'
Frustrated by chemists who concoct legal versions of designer drugs as soon as key ingredients are banned, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Tuesday that he wanted to shut down or seize the businesses that sell the potentially lethal drugs.
"While we are waiting (to pass bans), chemists are making changes that would render the drugs legal," Montgomery told the East Valley Synthetic Drug Task Force on Tuesday. "By the time we act, they have already redesigned (the drugs)."
The task force, meeting for the fourth time, gathered at Skysong, the Arizona State University Scottsdale Innovation Center, to hear Montgomery's ideas and to discuss emerging drugs in Arizona, including kratom,salvia and 2c-1.
The public must be educated about synthetic drugs, task-force members say. Users can buy the drugs online or at smoke shops for as little as $10.
It remains crucial to enact laws that render illegal the components of "bath salts," which mimic cocaine and methamphetamine, Montgomery said.
But because of the swift ability of suppliers to skirt bans by changing chemical components, more must be done, Montgomery said.
ASU police don't always confiscate suspected synthetic drugs because they can't always be certain that the drugs contain banned ingredients, said ASU police Officer Laura Gill.
The Arizona Legislature recently banned seven components of bath salts, but police can't be sure the potion in a suspect's pocket is illegal, said Stephanie Siete of Community Bridges, an Arizona drug-treatment organization.
A July raid of designer-drug distributors probably won't make a dent in local distribution because those arrested will be replaced, Montgomery said.
Montgomery has directed his office's civil attorneys to study a Yavapai County practice of getting injunctions against businesses that sell "a known public health threat."
Another option is using federal racketeering laws to seize businesses, he said.
Jerry Cobb, Montgomery's spokesman, said it was unclear how long civil attorneys would need to study Yavapai's practice.
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 12th 2012
This is a story from last year but it was never covered here and would be a good inclusion in the thread on where kratom is banned under the section on proposed bans.
There has been no recent news on it so it is all still in the air at the moment.
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