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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local June 27, 2016

1/5/2012 1:53:00 PM
Cottonwood bans bath salts
Barbara Donahue defends
Barbara Donahue defends "window cleaner" as Prosecutor Terry Sutton and Chief Jody Fanning listen. VVN/Jon Hutchinson
Jerome Town Council also going after ‘bath salts’
By Philip Wright

Staff Reporter

JEROME - When the Town Council meets in regular session at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, one of the first items taken up will be a proposed ordinance to prohibit any form of bath salts from being used or sold in town.

"We're following Cottonwood's lead," Mayor Jay Kinsella said. "We don't want any issues with this stuff in Jerome."

This stuff, is described in proposed Ordinance 393 as: "... certain federally controlled dangerous substances and their chemical analogues. These substances are marketed under labels that include "bath salts," "incense," "window cleaner," "potpourri," "plant fertilizer," and "insect repellant," among other names, and have been linked to serious physical effects resulting in hospitalization and death when ingested, inhaled, or otherwise introduced into the human body."

The proposed ordinance would "Prohibit the possession, use, sale and display of certain federally controlled dangerous substances and their chemical analogues, and declaring an emergency."

"We're going to follow procedure on this," Kinsella said, "but it will be a priority."

Kinsella said there isn't anything good about bath salts. He said the town intends to get ahead of this thing.

"I don't know if anyone in Jerome is selling bath salts," Kinsella said. "Jerome is a pretty open-minded town, and we'll have open discussions on this. But we want to take the fast track on this."

The Cottonwood City Council passed a similar ordinance Tuesday night as an emergency measure banning bath salts.

Also on the meeting agenda is a public hearing to receive ideas from residents on how a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant should be used to benefit low-income persons and areas in town. The CDBG funds also may be used to alleviate slum and blight or for some urgent need the town has.

The council also will take up the matter of adopting a notice of intent to increase water rates and hookup fees for vineyards. An increase would not affect other water users.

The council meets in chambers in the Jerome Civic Center at 600 Clark St.

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD -- Councilman Terence Pratt is usually the first on the city council to define a vote as an easy decision. Pratt was not on hand Tuesday but Ruben Jauregui used the now-familiar Pratt expression "no-brainer" to describe Ordinance 583.

The new law to control the sale of bath salts and similar products in the City of Cottonwood was passed by an "emergency" basis.


The council had few questions about the danger and harm of the synthetic drugs, but they did wonder about enforcement of the law and of "chemical analogues."

Council members heard from City Manager Doug Bartosh, co-chairman of the Yavapai substance abuse coalition MATForce and from Police Chief Jody Fanning, describing bath salts as worse than methamphetamine, causing agitation, insomnia, irritability, dizziness, depression, paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts, seizures and panic attacks. They say there are increasing cases of domestic violence.

Cottonwood Oak Creek School Superintendent Barbara U'Ren talked about the five 11-year-old students who were hospitalized after using a powdery bath salts-like powder on campus in early November. Four were released, but one student was re-admitted.

Mingus Principal Tamara Addis read letters from Mingus students who spoke against bath salts-type products. "This drug is a monster," said one. "It is bad or even worse than banned drugs," another wrote.

Merilee Fowler, director of MATForce, said Cottonwood is always on the leading edge and that bath salts have become "a significant problem in Yavapai County."

The council also heard from the Bob and Barbara Donahue, the corporate officers for The Don's Smoke Shop. The Old Town shop has been identified as the main Old Town supplier of "Window Cleaner." They objected to rumor, innuendo and unfounded accusations.

They cited a Colorado case in which the Analogue Act was determined to be too vague. Instead, Barbara Donahue suggested Cottonwood spend its time and money on other projects, like playground equipment and community cleanup projects.

The shop had already posted a notice on its store window that it would discontinue the sale of Window Cleaner effective Jan. 3, the day the council banned the product.

The Donahues say they have always sold products that are legal, but are not necessarily healthy, including tobacco and craft beers. Their attorney told them that the Cottonwood action was "probably a witch hunt."

Window Cleaner is the product that prompted an outcry from merchants and other organizers in Old Town. But officials say bath salts and similar synthetic drugs have been marketed under many colorful brands, including "incense," "window cleaner," "potpourri," "plant fertilizer," and "insect repellant."

Jet Tennant, operator of the Red Rooster Café in Old Town, said the people who appear to be users pass through her restaurant on their way to the smoke shop.

While the Drug Enforcement Administration has already included three chemicals [chemicals 4-methyl-N-methylcathinone (mephedrone), 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone (methylone), and 3,4- ethylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)] in the list of Schedule-1 drugs, on its "Drugs and Chemicals of Concern" list the difficulty has been in the local enforcement.

Attorney Steve Horton said a legislator has proposed to introduce legislation that would make the ban a state law like the ban on k2 or Spice.

But, the local law will include prohibitions as a Class-1 misdemeanor in the city.

The local ban, with the emergency provision, goes into effect immediately.

Taylor Waste
Related Stories:
• Editorial: Cottonwood again leads the charge in drug war battle
• Jerome holds off on 'bath salts' ordinance

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Article comment by: Concerned Tax Payer

To: Finally We've won!
Whats your suggestion, make everything legal and have no laws?

Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Article comment by: Former User

As a recovering addict of stimulant drugs and as someone who used mephedrone a few years back, I can tell you Mr. Donahue that these are hard drugs, with very potent side effects, and largely untested. I'm sure you have observed the side effects first hand. I consider these new wave of 'research chemicals' to be more dangerous than meth or cocaine. So you can close your eyes and bury your head in the sand, and pretend there is no harm, but are you really that naive? I don't think you are.

For the benefit of others reading, the term "bath salts" is simply how these are marketed. Its very wink wink, if you know what I mean. They were never intended to be used in an actual bath, or to clean windows. The target market of these substances is people who are otherwise restricted or tested for other drugs, and yes, children.

Of course this is all a direct result of the war on drugs, but that is not the point. The point here is don't play into it and cause even more harm.

Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012
Article comment by: Finally We've won!

Finally, we've won the drug war! Or have we? Laws like this have led to more synthetics in a move/counter-move game of staying ahead of these laws. Relatively benign drugs, like marijuana, have been made illegal and that has produced all the weird, new synthetics we're dealing with today. There will be more, reformulated to meet this new law, and there will be more laws, and that can go on forever. But until we as a society tackle the real issues that make drugs attractive and useful, laws will never solve the issue.

Why would anyone use "bath salts" or "window cleaner?" Answer that question and work on those issues if you truly want to solve this problem. Laws might make you feel good, and give the illusion of safety, but is that what you have observed with the 40+ year old drug war?

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012
Article comment by: MZ MAMAZ

Chris Donahue would it really hurt your business to not sell this product anymore. I mean I'm sure you make enough money selling glass pipes and marijuana pipes ext. Think about our community. Also I would like you to prove that the bath salts the KIDS got into were not from your store.

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012
Article comment by: David Gordon

Many thanks to the City of Cottonwood, for its proactive approach to protecting our community.

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012
Article comment by: ROGER ALLAN

wow-im soaking in my jacuzzi of bath salts smoking my medical maryjane-getting my welfare check-waiting for the dominos special-love you usa.....

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012
Article comment by: chris donahue

I'm the owner and operator of the dons smoke shop. You want a real article here's things you don't know. Also a real reporter would dig deeper acknowledgeing that the dons donates large sums of money to cancer foundations, as well as the narcotics enforcement department of the local police station, and makes HUGE contributions to the elderly community locally. There's a much bigger story surrounding all of this, but my shop is not the bad guy here. Alcohol and cigarettes kill so many people a year but those aren't band and as a shop we don't tell adults what's morally right or wrong. It's the peoples personal freedoms that are being taken away. I don't smoke, do drugs or synthetic drugs but I do believe in peoples choice and personal freedom. Further more the bath salts the children got into were not from our store, I can prove that. There's adults out there who used and the kids got into it or someone of age got it for them online which is just sick. Probably the very man who started this issue.

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012
Article comment by: Concerned Tax Payer

My question to the smoke shop? Why would you sell glass cleaner anyway. Is this glass cleaner great to clean out the bongs and pipes you sell people to smoke their illegal substances in?

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012
Article comment by: ARE YOU JOKING???

"The Donahues say they have always sold products that are legal, but are not necessarily healthy, including tobacco and craft beers."

Are you seriously comparing tobacco and beer to drug that causes agitation, insomnia, irritability, dizziness, depression, paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts, seizures and panic attacks??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? How is that even comparable?? Quit trying to justify your actions by saying it's legal. Alcohol is legal and kills people everyday, but it doesn't mean its right. How can you as an owner of a store in such a small community not care about the effects your "trash" has caused????? There are cases reported all the time in the valley about someones kid is strung out on bath salts or someone being hospitalized and freaking out on hospital staff because they are so strung out. Can you sleep with the fact that you have created this??? Parents are to blame to an extent, but parents are not around 24/7 to know what they kids are doing. Kids are going to do what they want with or without their parents permission. Is your money really worth the health of the community????? And as far as your lawyer.....what a joke, a witch hunt...not even close, more like a DRUG BUST. How about you sell your lawyer's kids this stuff and lets see how much he likes its. He is only on your side because your writing his checks.

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