Editorial: Nothing about 'spice' is tasty
With names like "Potpourri," and "Herbal Sachets," you would think products with these labels would be innocuous smell-good air fresheners. Is "Glass Cleaner" good for dirty windows? And, "Tickle Talc?" Well, that one could lead the imagination in any number of directions.
The answer is "none of the above." These are euphamistic names for synthetic drugs, dangerous substances that have prompted Yavapai County Judge Patricia A. Trebesch to issue a temporary restraining order against their sale by all known retailers in the county. The judge called these drugs - including spice, bath salts and novelty powders - a public nuisance.
More than 100 affidavits from community members, hospitals, healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers, schools, probation officers and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents detailing the dangers of the drugs were submitted in Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk's request for the emergency ban.
These affidavits describe an array of synthetic drug effects: Numbness from feet to the waistline. Twitching in the neck and involuntary head movement. Bizarre behavior. Screaming out incoherent statements to imaginary individuals. Inability to maintain train of thought and focus in a conversation. Relapsing in drug treatment programs after buying synthetic drugs. Paranoia. Hallucinations. Aggressive, unpredictable and often violent behavior. Dangerously high body temperatures. Racing heart rates. High blood pressure. Permanent organ damage. Psychotic effects that often last for days. Depression. Suicidal thoughts. One firefighter/paramedic said that he had treated a 12-year-old girl who had tampered with a synthetic drug.
Trebesch has scheduled a two-day hearing this Thursday and Friday for the 12 known retailers and property owners in Yavapai County who are included in the temporary ban on the drugs. The outcome will be one to watch.
We can expect the naysayers to come forward and rant that this is just another political ploy to trample on people's rights and to keep marijuana illegal.
That's hogwash. No good argument exists for not cracking down on these manufactured substances.
What adults do with their bodies is one thing, but when young people fall into the drug-use trap, the level of concern crescendos. The one12-year-old in this current scenario gets our attention.
For this reason, we applaud the judge's action and Polk for refusing to give up the cause to get these drugs off the streets and store shelves.
While authorities work to eradicate this lethal hazard, the rest of us need to keep looking for answers to why our kids are tempted by something that could ruin their lives.
That's the question that lies at the root of this conundrum.