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Updated Apr 3, 2013 - 6:56 pm

Gov. Jan Brewer signs anti-synthetic marijuana law

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Wednesday another ban on
synthetic marijuana, touting it as a new tool for law enforcement officials
struggling to go after the evolving chemical configurations that make up
synthetic drugs.

Brewer said the state’s previous ban on synthetic drugs was “frequently
thwarted” by drug-makers who modify the composition of their products to avoid
breaking the law.

“The production and use of these synthetic drugs is a growing epidemic in
Arizona and nationwide, and poses a threat to our citizens,” Brewer said in a

The new law expands the state’s definition of dangerous drugs to include
chemical configurations that make up “spice,” “K2,” “bath salts,” and
other synthetic drugs. It took effect immediately.

It bans “any material, compound, mixture or preparation which contains any
quantity of cannabimimetic substances and their salts, isomers… and salts of

The white-powder drug gives users a high similar to those consuming cocaine or
methamphetamine. Doctors and police say bath salts can cause paranoia,
hallucinations, violent behavior, kidney failure, cardiac arrest and death.

Last year, doctors from the Yavapai Regional Medical Center and the Verde
Valley Medical Center said the county’s emergency rooms were averaging 20
admissions per week of people under the influence of the drugs.

Roughly 41 states have banned spice, including Arizona.

Last year, President Barack Obama signed a federal law banning synthetic
marijuana and other such drugs. The ban placed 26 substances in the federal list
of Schedule 1 controlled dangerous substances.


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