PHOENIX - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Wednesday another ban on synthetic drugs, 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 statement.
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 isomers."
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.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Click on the region names in the map below to see news from that region.
Things To Do
RIGHT NOW: Top Stories
So much for that sore right elbow. Carson Palmer didn't throw a pass in practice all last week, then completed practically every one he tried Sunday.
The Peoria Police Department is using volunteers to help cut back on holiday crime by handing out report cards in busy parking lots.
The weather forecast is looking nice and cool as we start the work week. Warmer afternoon highs on the way by Wednesday.
The Newlyweds are accused of luring the man through a "companionship" ad on Craigslist, and stabbing and strangling him to death.
Dozens of entries with hundreds of thousands of lights brightened the streets of Phoenix Saturday when the APS Fiesta of Light Electric Light Parade returned for the 27th straight year.