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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials May 29, 2016


1/8/2013 1:07:00 PM
Editorial: Another victory for Yavapai County in war on drugs

Once again, Yavapai County and the Verde Valley is setting the standard for Arizona in the never-ending war on drugs.

In August 2005, The Verde Independent/Camp Verde Bugle launched an in-depth investigation into the proliferation of methamphetamine use in the Verde Valley. We called the series “Methedemic.” Our research showed that the escalating use of meth had reached epidemic proportions throughout the Verde Valley.

Four months later, Cottonwood and Camp Verde became the first municipal governments in Arizona to enact laws to track the purchase of pseudoephedrine. The actions of Cottonwood and Camp Verde attracted the attention of former Gov. Janet Napolitano, who urged other Arizona municipalities to follow the lead of the Verde Valley. She also chided the Arizona Legislature for not creating a state law with the teeth that existed in the new municipal ordinances in Cottonwood and Camp Verde.

That grassroots movement evolved into the formation of Yavapai County’s MATForce organization, which has been on the front lines in the battle against methamphetamine as well as the abuse of prescription drugs, which has claimed the lives of numerous young people throughout the Verde Valley in recent years.

The latest battle to be waged has been against the synthetic drugs best known as bath salts and spice. This one was tricky, because the creeps who make this stuff always seemed to stay a step ahead of law enforcement by modifying the chemical formula to make the synthetics. Lawmakers never were able to write laws that clearly defined exactly what was illegal because the recipes changed every other week.

It took the dogged persistence of Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk to find a way around the problem. Through some innovative legal maneuvering, Polk gave the retail and online distributors of bath salts and spice the choice of either discontinuing the sale of such, or face prosecution.

Late last week, Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff rewarded Polk’s perseverance by issuing a permanent injunction against spice and bath salts in Yavapai County. The order bans all identified retailers and property landlords named in the lawsuit, and all persons acting in concert with them, from possessing, acquiring, selling or transferring synthetic drugs.

Whether its meth, prescription drugs or the new synthetic designer drugs, Yavapai County has been on the cutting edge of creating laws that more often that not become the standard for the rest of Arizona.

Yavapai County has always been on the front line, leading the charge.

Related Stories:
• Sale of Spice and Bath Salts now permanently banned In Yavapai County


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Article comment by: nutso fasst

If not for the "never-ending war on drugs," methamphetamine use would not have become epidemic and "designer drugs" would not exist. This is a 'war' that creates its own enemies.


Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Article comment by: Vince Broud

"Once again, Yavapai County and the Verde Valley is setting the standard for Arizona in the never-ending war on drugs." ...."never-ending war on drugs." ...."never-ending war on drugs."...."never-ending war on drugs." ...."never-ending war on drugs." ...."never-ending war on drugs." ...."never-ending war on drugs."




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