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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local May 24, 2016

8/11/2012 3:22:00 PM
Yavapai synthetic "Spice' and "Bath Salts' banned immediately
Judge sets hearings for retailers
A dozen retailers, including four in the Verde Valley, plus their property owners will have hearings this week with Judge Trebesch regarding the  new ban on synthetic drugs.
A dozen retailers, including four in the Verde Valley, plus their property owners will have hearings this week with Judge Trebesch regarding the new ban on synthetic drugs.

CAMP VERDE -- Late Thursday, Yavapai Superior Court Patricia A. Trebesch issued a Temporary Restraining Order banning the sale of synthetic dangerous drugs in Yavapai County by all known retailers.

Judge Trebesch also scheduled a two-day hearing for the 12 named retailers and the property owners for Aug. 16 and 17 at the Verde Valley Superior Courthouse. The order designates the sale of synthetic drugs as a public nuisance and is effective immediately.

The retailers include Puffin' Stuff in Jerome, Hawaiian Honey Swimwear on State Route 89A in Cottonwood and Pipe Dreamz on Western in Verde Village. In Prescott, retailers include Prescott Quick Stop on Montezuma Street, Mike's Mini Mart on Gurley and The Island Store on Miller Valley Road. Others are the X-Hale Smoke Shop and Mario's PV Quick Stop, both on Spouse Drive in Prescott Valley. Finally, in Camp Verde, Wes Lance Trading Company is also identified.

The emergency injunction was sought by the Yavapai County Attorney's Office. It was supported by over 100 affidavits from community members, hospitals, mental health care professionals, law enforcement officers, schools, probation officers and DEA agents detailing the harm, devastation, effects on the users and loss of life caused by these drugs.

"Bath salts," "spice" and "novelty powders" are the street names associated with synthetic cathinones and cannabinoids, according to the complaint filed in court. These synthetic drugs are sold in small packets for $10 to $20 by the retailers. Although the drugs are marked "not for human consumption," they have no legitimate purpose and are being ingested by users.

"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," said Sheila Polk, Yavapai County Attorney. "The drugs are marketed under a variety of harmless sounding names such as "Potpourri,' "Herbal Sachets,' "Glass Cleaner,' and "Tickle Talc.' Users tell us the effects are far worse than methamphetamine. I can't emphasize enough how perilous and addictive these drugs are."

According to the affidavits from the hospital emergency room directors, Yavapai Regional Medical Center is averaging 10 patients per week under the influence of these "novelty powders." The Cottonwood and Sedona campuses of the Verde Valley Medical Center are seeing 1 to 2 patients per day. Doctors from both hospitals describe how users under the influence experience paranoia and hallucinations, and exhibit aggressive, unpredictable and often violent behavior. Medical personnel also describe how the patients are aggressive towardthe nurses and staff. In some cases, doctors have had to sedate, paralyze and intubate in order to provide medical treatment. The drugs cause dangerously high body temperatures, racing heart rates and high blood pressure, permanent organ damage, and the psychotic effects of these drugs often last for days.

According to Polk, the Arizona legislature banned the original versions of spice and bath salts in 2011 and 2012. Because these drugs are synthetic, the manufacturers are able to quickly modify the chemical compounds to circumvent the laws. Under the Temporary Restraining Order, the named retailers are banned from selling all adaptations and analogues of the synthetic drugs.

Scientists and agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) assisted the Yavapai County Attorney's Office in seeking the injunction against the retailers. Just last month, the DEA raided laboratories across the country that are manufacturing the drugs, including sites in Phoenix.

A copy of the Temporary Restraining Order, the Complaint and Affidavits and other public documents can be found at the Yavapai County Attorney's website at

The Yavapai County Attorney's Office asks that community members with information about anyone selling synthetic drugs in Yavapai County contact the office at (928) 771-3344 and ask to speak with Maggie.

Taylor Waste
Related Stories:
• Synthetic drug hearing closes after three days
• Spice overdose suspected in teen's death

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Article comment by: Joy Johnson

I lived in old town for a few years, the problem with bathsalt was so bad that my neighbors and I went through out neighborhood and picked up dozens upon dozens of empty wrappers in only a four block radius. just because it is sold over a counter does not make it safe. And as far as it being directed towards minors, and adult still has to purchase it for them. That is illegal. If I were to buy alcohol for a 16 year old I would spend the next ten years of my life in prison. If I were to buy the same kid bath salt... nothing would be done about it. We need to be arresting the people providing it to our children. Where is our law enforcement and what are they busy doing that is so much more importat than this?

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Being Responsible

Why can't we just educate the young people of these dangers. Maybe some responsibilty of free choice needs to be addressed. This is another sad situation where a young life is over, becasue of irresponsible behaviors. Make the choice to NOT buy these bath salts. Everyone in these young peoples lives need to take responsibilty for their actions. Protect eachother, stand up for eachother and make the choices to say NO! Responsible choices is the only answer to the sadness of loosing young lives.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: BEEN ON BOTH SIDES

I think there is MORE that needs to be done to these smoke shops that continue to THINK they are ABOVE the law. There is one in particular that thinks that just becuase they are 'outside' of the Cottonwood area that the rules dont apply to them. I have heard many times that she considers herself above the law and that they arent gonna stop her from selling. When things have gone down as far as raids or getting 'checked on', she just sells it 'under the table' or to close people she knows out of her house. She has also been know to trade spice and other products like that for medication. I really do not understand how she can continue to run a business like that and make money. I really HOPE that this time will be the time that the LAW (karma) slaps her right in the face and gives her what she has been so deserving of. It is such a dissappointment to the community to have someone like this. I have been on both sides of this and can say i am sooo glad i got out of the business. Its NOT worth it. I totally agree that there is no way of actually STOPPING drugs here or anywhere but weed is the least of all evils. there are things that no one even knows what reaction your going to have and IF its a bad one...drs and medical staff dont even KNOW what you have in your system to help you sometimes. I think they should get a ridiculous amount of fine, stripped of their business license, and have the building owners fined as well so they know what they are involved in as well. as far as phoenix, they are STARTING to take it off the shelves as well.

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012
Article comment by: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Carl Nye, Cogito Ergosumatra, and Ann Rant: These designer drugs aren't directly analogous to bathtub gin. In that era, in addition to unscrupulous bootleggers, law enforcers actually poisoned alcohol to make sure anyone who drank it died. MATForce isn't doing anything such, and the community as a whole wants to protect its nave young thrill-seekers, most of whom don't read the Verde Independent. So let's not confuse the issues. As Joy Johnson posted, cannabis users aren't likely marks for amphetamine pushers. Legalizing marijuana or enacting MM clinics won't have any effect on the meth-and-worse scourge.

What is questionable: If you do the math on the hospitalization figures, Yavapai County has from 96 to 152"salts" related emergencies a month in just three medical centers. That's both a lot of cases and a huge increase over this time last year. Have locals suddenly been attacked by a collective death wish? Or did the County Attorney's Office inflate the figures a bit for the sake of argument?

I'd also like to know--just for cost concerns--why all of these establishments weren't cited at the same time as The Don's smoke shops.

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Article comment by: Fare Play

Spice or bath salts or whatever it is called just killed a Cottonwood kid, why hasn't our govenor and prosecuters gone after that crap as hard as they go after marijuana that has never killed anyone? Our government makes no sense at all. It is illegal in Yavapi county but still available everywhere else in the state, why?

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Article comment by: Rick Brenfleck

Just what we need: create a whole new class of criminals!

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Article comment by: Sea Sick

Just means more people making trips to Phoenix, where its available every other block! they need to do this in every county not just ours. Please fight to get rid of this it is ruining lives. Now your gonna have more people messed up in the head driving the interstates endangering more innocent lives,

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Article comment by: Joy Johnson

I have to disagree silghtly. There will still be a demand for bathsalt, which is a monster cousin of meth more than marijuana. But the legalisation of marijuana would diminsish the demad for spice. Spice is not natural, it's chemical and has much harsher physical and psychological damages. We need to create a communtiy of intolerance, both for these businesses and the consumers of these dangerous products.

Posted: Monday, August 13, 2012
Article comment by: Voters Count

Long overdue. How many lifes in the Verde Valley have been affected by this legal garbage. I guess its up to each one of us to patrol our local businesses for this type of garbage. Why have the prosecutors spent so much time on blocking a plant and seed, voted for and legally pursued? End prohibition on marijuana. Decriminalize it at federal level. Case closed. And keep that bath salt stuff off the streets in the verde valley.

Posted: Monday, August 13, 2012
Article comment by: Carl Nye

I've said it before, and Cogito Ergosumatra again makes the point. It's like a tennis match, banging the issue back and forth. Underground chemists create a new drug. It gets banned and pronounced illegal. The chemists alter the formula and release a newer drug. Law enforcement has to make more laws. Back and forth. I agree with Cogito and Ann Rant - if (no, when) marijuana becomes legal, the demand for these other drugs will diminish, if not completely disappear. On the other hand, by keeping marijuana illegal, Polk and her confederates will always have something to do. No surprise why the system stays as it is.

Posted: Monday, August 13, 2012
Article comment by: Fare Play

Finally they have done something I agree with.

Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2012
Article comment by: Cogito Ergosumatra

What Ms. Polk and others who share her enforcement phiolosophy seem to miss entirely is that they themselves created "bath salts." The garage chemists of the world will always be a step ahead of the enforcers - always creating less and less predictable amateur drugs with less and less quality control. If Polk et al would just get off Marijuana's back, maybe we would have a single well-understood and relatively benign drug to deal with, rather than a mishmash of backroom poisons, created to get around the ridiculous drug laws Polk wants to keep prosecuting. If marijuana were legalized, I doubt we would have a bath salts problem at all. But at least it gives Polk something to occupy her time. Unfortunately, it drains the public treasury in the process and kills or harms so many more young people that Polk professes to be protecting.

Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2012
Article comment by: Ann Rant

Legalize marijuana. Tax it and regulate it. Bath salts and the like will go away. Prohibition never works. Look at these dangerous substitutes being whipped up by "scientists".

Gary Johnson, Libertarian for President

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