The headline of a press release from Governor Jan Brewer's office issued almost exactly two years ago read, "Governor Jan Brewer outlaws sale and use of synthetic drugs known as 'spice.'"
Then, last year, Brewer touted the "ban" of the synthetic drugs known as "bath salts." Sure enough, legislators concede that they're still trying to make the drugs illegal.
As we've insisted all this time, there wasn't a true ban on "bath salts" or "spice" signed by the governor.
Let's use an analogy -- say Brewer signed a ban on the possession or sales of apples, oranges, and bananas in Arizona. It would be unfair to say Brewer banned the sale and possession of all fruit, right?
What the anti-"bath salts" and "spice" bills did was ban certain chemicals that have been marketed and used as "bath salts" and "spice," but certainly not all of them.
Cops have been confirming this around the state in news stories that pop up every-so-often.
Now, the Associated Press has pointed out that legislators are actually addressing the fact that there was no true "ban" on the substances.
Two Senate bills, SB 1345, and SB 1346 try to go further to limit the sales of the drugs.
SB 1345 bans the sale of "synthetic cannabinoids" by anyone with a liquor license, meaning that a business would lose its license if it's caught selling a substance like "spice," but "regardless of whether or not the synthetic cannabinoids contain any substances" that aren't actually illegal.
The other bill's similar, but makes it illegal statewide to sell or possess substances "substantially similar" to the banned "bath salts" and "spice" substances.
This is what's called an "analog" law.
"This proposal identifies the 'root' of the chemical composition which is changed to develop a mind-altering drug that is different from the formula that is outlawed," notes meeting minutes from the House judiciary committee.
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And, already, there's a concession that this wouldn't ban the substances outright.
"[Representative Eddie Farnsworth] opined that this will not stop the problem but it takes a big step in the right direction," the minutes say.
The committee also noted that both state and federal "analog" laws are the subject of pending lawsuits.
Still, this "analog" bill has passed the judiciary committees in both chambers.