Bath Salts: Our Told-Ya-So Moments on "Ban" Continue

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

See also: "Bath Salts" Bill Still Leaves Concept of "Bath Salts" Legal

The Arizona Republic announced in its Thursday edition that its reporters have discovered, "Despite new Arizona law, dangerous bath salts flourish."

Back on February 16, that's exactly what we told you would happen, a thought corroborated by a lawyer who specializes in synthetic drug laws -- which gives us another told-ya-so moment on the bath-salts front.

The "bath salts" name is given to any number of synthetic drugs sold semi-legally (the feds essentially declared them all illegal recently, under their interpretation of federal law), so the state the Legislature's passage of what it called a "ban on bath salts" did slightly more than jack shit.

The Legislature previously identified 30 chemicals that could be used to make the "bath salts"-type mixtures, and dropped another eight substances on the new bill signed by the governor.

The problem with that -- there are perhaps thousands of substances that can be created with similar effects to the original chemical that was used in bath salts, MDPV.

Thus, the Republic reports -- as expected -- that "...police say the law has done little to curb the growing number of incidents involving people high on bath salts because drugmakers are constantly tweaking their formulas to stay ahead of bans."

The Associated Press also showed up to confirm the obvious.

As Boca Raton, Florida-based attorney Thomas Wright III told New Times several months ago, "To suggest [the Legislature put] a ban on bath salts is dumbing down the general public."

The other legislative plan was to give the state's Board of Pharmacy the ability to ban the sale of chemicals at its pleasure, with little oversight. That bill didn't work out either, and as we explained at that time, it wouldn't have banned bath salts either.

Between the Republic and Associated Press, they actually managed to confirm all of the points we brought up in February as to why the legislation was garbage.

How do street cops identify something like naphthylpyrovalerone? They don't.

That helps explain the number of bath salts cases in Maricopa County -- which the county doesn't keep track of, but someone gave a guess to the Republic that it's "far fewer" than 100.

In the cases that do exist, the chemicals are sent to a lab for testing. According to the Republic, "Pinal County had two cases in 2011. One still is awaiting lab results to determine whether the substance was illegal."

On that note, we told ya so, and better luck next time, Leg'.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.