Nogales PD Wants Greater Discretion When Dealing With Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic marijuana, also known as spice, and bath salts, a chemical cocktail that mimics the effect of methamphetamines, is causing a situation which has been described as "plaguing local youth." Local police want to see a city ordinance passed which would give officers more options when they arrest residents caught with these substances, which were made illegal under state law earlier this year.

If the ordinance is passed, city police officers would have the discretion to issue a misdemeanor citation, as opposed to making felony arrests, for possession of synthetic drugs. A young person who is picked up by police may be steered toward getting treatment at a drug rehab in Arizona instead of a lengthy jail sentence. NPD Chief Derek Amson made this point at a meeting of the Nogales City Council in early September.

According to the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, (ACJC) 7 percent of 8th grade students, 11 percent of 10th grade students, and 14 percent of 12th grade students had tried synthetic drugs. And the ACJC's Arizona Youth Survey (2012) revealed that in Santa Cruz County 3.8 percent of 8th grade students, 8.7 percent of 10th grade students, and 18.6 percent of 12th grade students said they had tried synthetic drugs.

Synthetic Drugs Illegal In Arizona

Synthetic drugs were made officially illegal in Arizona on April 3. (Before that time, spice was being sold in smoke shops as incense.) On that date, Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law a state ban that included a large number of chemicals. The new law prohibited "any material, compound, mixture or preparation which contains any quantity of cannabimimetic substances." This language covers substances like spice that mimic the effects of marijuana.

Signs Of Spice Drug Use

People who are under the influence of synthetic marijuana have been described as "looking like zombies." This drug can cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • Agitation
  • Inability to speak
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Reduced blood supply to the heart

Find Help For Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a serious matter and requires treatment from caring, competent professionals. Decision Point Center Rehab in Prescott, AZ takes a holistic approach to addiction treatment. It offers programs that are tailored to meet the individual needs of each client who walks through the Center's door.

Treatment plans focus on spirituality and include alternative treatment approaches to get to the underlying causes of addiction. Clients are encouraged to move toward healing by tapping into their inner strength and Higher Power and developing an understanding of their disease. From that point, they can move forward into a life that does not include synthetic marijuana, bath salts, or other substances. Decision Point Center is ready to help people who have a problem with these new drugs, as well as alcohol, opiates, and prescription medications.