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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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8/31/2012 3:33:00 PM
Polk aims to criminalize 'bath salts' vendors
Mother of naked Lynx Lake Jeep thief testifies
District 2 County Supervisor Candidate Scott “Wild Wes” Lance: “I need an attorney. I don’t know what’s going on here. I am running for a county office and this is a bash on me. I am not a college person. I object to everything ... I feel like this is a witch hunt.”
District 2 County Supervisor Candidate Scott “Wild Wes” Lance: “I need an attorney. I don’t know what’s going on here. I am running for a county office and this is a bash on me. I am not a college person. I object to everything ... I feel like this is a witch hunt.”
Sheila Polk
Sheila Polk
By Scott Orr
Contributing Reporter

CAMP VERDE - Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk is taking a unique - and unprecedented - angle in the fight to stop the synthetic drugs known as bath salts and spice: She wants stores that sell them declared a public nuisance.

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 and are legal, because they are not the same chemical prohibited by state law.

Polk believes she's found a way to get around that limitation. On Thursday, Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff held the first day of a two-day hearing on her request that he issue a preliminary injunction against stores selling synthetic cannabinoids, purported to simulate the effects on marijuana, and synthetic cathinones, which act like cocaine and other stimulants, because the vendors are a public nuisance.

Previously, more than 30 parties were involved in this civil action, but by Thursday 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.

Just one appeared for Thursday's hearing: Lance, who is a candidate for Yavapai County Supervisor in District 2. Without an attorney, he was, by his own admission, in over his head.

As Polk methodically laid out her case, beginning with several DPS and Drug Enforcement Agency scientists explaining how synthetic drugs are made and how they're different from other drugs, Lance objected numerous times, once saying, "I need an attorney. I don't know what's going on here. I am running for a county office and this is a bash on me. I am not a college person. I object to everything."

Later, he said, "My constitutional right is that I have a lawyer. I don't have a lawyer. It's going to cost me many dollars to get one."

As this is a civil case, not a criminal trial, parties are not entitled to representation provided by the state.

Asked later why he didn't have an attorney, he said, "I'm trying, but $10,000 - I can't come up with that overnight. They've been bothering me for three weeks with all this."

When asked why he didn't simply sign the county attorney's stipulation, Lance said, "I don't sign anything that says I'm guilty if I'm not guilty."

He added that the civil case was affecting his campaign "very badly, on one hand. On the other hand, I have a whole new group of people coming to me that are appreciating me standing up here fighting.

"I feel like this is a witch hunt," he added.

As the court broke for lunch, Lance told Bluff that, "I asked for a continuance (to get a lawyer)."

"I granted you a continuance, Mr. Lance," Bluff said.

"Two weeks?" he replied bitterly.

Much of the testimony centered on the effects of these synthetic drugs, from users to the emergency workers and law enforcement that respond to treat them.

Tearful testimony came from the mother of Calvin Forrey, who died in June after what she claimed was a bath salt-fueled encounter with sheriff's deputies near Lynx Lake.

Catherine Forrey described her son as a "very loving, warm," 27-year-old with a "gentle sense of humor," until he began to use bath salts.

After that, she said, his behavior became erratic. "He became isolated, locking himself away," she said. "He began hearing voices all the time. (He imagined) people were digging under the house, in the crawlspace, to get him."

She said she found bath salts and he admitted he'd been smoking them.

The situation escalated until, on June 29, a deputy responded to a call at Lynx Lake about a naked man who'd stolen a Jeep and crashed it.

Deputy Michal Dannison, on the stand, recounted what happened.

"I drew my Taser and I yelled, "Hey, what's going on?" He jumped up and squared off against me.

He started throwing rocks and (tried) to hit me with a stick."

Dannison fired the Taser, but "as soon as the Taser cycle ended - about five seconds - he was right back up again. Usually, if I tase somebody I can move right in and get him handcuffed right away."

He described a prolonged fight in which the Taser wires broke at the same time Calvin's dog attacked him. He drew his weapon and shot the dog twice, killing him, then reholstered his gun and went back after Calvin.

Help arrived and they got Calvin on the ground, at which point he stopped breathing. By the time his mother got to him at the hospital, his organs were failing. He died a short time later.

Catherine said the official cause of death hadn't been released, but given his admissions to her and what she had seen, she was certain that the bath salts had been the reason her son acted as he did and why he ultimately died.

Related Stories:
• Ban on 'Spice' and 'Bath Salts' extended in Yavapai County pending trial
• Synthetic drug hearing closes after three days

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2012
Article comment by: Fare Play

Getting rid of bath salts and chemical concoctions that kill people after making them go crazy is a good thing. Getting rid of " analog" stimulants that act like cocaine or speed would almost legally have to include caffeine and other concentrated 'energy' drinks to be fair. As far as synthetic cannibinoids, that opens a whole new can of worms open to interpretation. It sounds like they are trying to control and declare illegal anything that isn't tobacco or alcohol.
This is just another attempt by government to control every facet of our everday lives. While it sounds good at first read, when you read it again, especially between the lines, you can see 'big brother' and the influence of tobacco and big pharma lobbyists written all over this.l

Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Article comment by: Mary Jane

Mr. Lance has the appearance of someone who is maybe his own best customer! My brother-in-law says he remembers 'Wild Wes' from high school. My brother-in-law is 32 yrs old!

Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Article comment by: Slater Slater

By the looks of it, he's looks like a poster boy
for the reasons not to do bath salts.

Posted: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Article comment by: Glenn Martin

What a loser this Lance puke is! He wants to continue to sell these kinds of products and be a Yavapai County Supervisor in District 2, I wonder what he's been smoking because it seems he doesn't have the brains he was born with!

Posted: Monday, September 3, 2012
Article comment by: Not A Fan

A true Dumbocant...................I need a free lawyer.. Five weeks and he can't find an attorney.......What a DUH!!!!!!

Posted: Sunday, September 2, 2012
Article comment by: C J

After all of these stories, and knowing what effect this stuff has on our Human Population, I can't figure out why anyone would want to continue selling these Chemicals. Legal or not, this should be decided by simply having some Ethics.

Posted: Sunday, September 2, 2012
Article comment by: duh duh duh

does this guy realize his "whole new batch of people that appreciate him standing up for them" and I assume by this he means people who buy/use these drugs, are most likely idiot people who no longer have the right to vote, and even if they do they will probably be too busy running around naked or being dead when the time comes to get out there and elect him?

Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2012
Article comment by: The Goatherder

Giving these sleazeballs a free get out of jail card is wrong. They should have all had to pay and pay big. Poor Mr. Lance feels like he's being picked on by the powers that be. Boo hoo Mr. Lance, I am quite sure the only people coming to your defense are the dopers you peddle your poison to. Do you really believe anyone who ISN'T using bath salts will vote for you?

Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012
Article comment by: David Alan

"Lance, who is a candidate for Yavapai County Supervisor in District 2. Without an attorney, he was, by his own admission, in over his head."

Thank you, Verde Independent, for this info.
Because, after reading it, and after hearing he wants to continue to sell these kinds of products, I'm thinking the position of County Supervisor is way "over his head" as well.

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