Legislator Concedes "Ban" on "Bath Salts" Not Working, Now Wants to Give State Agencies Authority to Ban Sales of Chemicals

We'd like to point out that we were 100 percent correct about the emergency legislation last month to "ban" drugs known as "bath salts" -- it doesn't "ban" drugs being marketed as "bath salts" at all.

"Bath salts," for those joining late, is a name given to any number of synthetic drugs, often sold legally, that are meant to be a legal way to get a high similar to amphetamines.

The legislature had previously outlawed 30 chemicals that could be used to make the "bath salts"-type mixtures, and dropped another eight substances on the bill Governor Jan Brewer signed last month.

As Boca Raton Florida-based attorney Thomas Wright III told New Times shortly before Brewer signed the legislation, "To suggest they're putting a ban on bath salts is dumbing down the general public."

Republican state Senator Linda Gray is now explaining this to everyone, as she's proposed a new method to attempt banning "bath salts."

House Bill 2388 is the new hope, which would allow the state's Board of Pharmacy and the Department of Public Safety to ban the sales of chemical substances at their pleasure.

According to a Senate fact sheet, the pharmacy board "must make a formal finding that the chemical composition defined by the Board has a potential for abuse and submit the finding to DPS."

The pharmacy board then has to "consult" with DPS about its proposed rule, and that's that. The board just has to let the governor and the legislature know once a year which chemicals it's decided to ban.

The bill's currently in the Senate Rules Committee, where it was already voted down after some lawmakers decided giving a state agency the power to ban chemicals might be a bit unconstitutional. The committee's expected to discuss the bill again today, and it will probably hold another vote.

If the bill to actually become law, it may be convincing enough for stores around the state to stop selling the chemicals. That's what the Internet is for -- websites like this one not regulated by Arizona's pharmacy board.

And still, there will be legal "bath salts."

The bill can be found here.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley