Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law HB 2167, a measure that aims to rein-in the growing popularity of a class of marijuana-like drugs sometimes called "spice" or "K2."
Prior to this legislation, "spice" and similar substances were marketed as a legal alternative to marijuana. Sold by head shops and other retailers, the product is basically a plant-like material that is sprayed with a combination of specific chemical substances and smoked. The chemical compounds can be up to 700 times more potent than the active ingredient in marijuana, and can result in seizures, stroke, anxiety, visual disturbances, racing heartbeat and elevated blood pressure.
I'm happy that the Legislature moved quickly and with bipartisan support to outlaw these dangerous substances," said Governor Brewer. "I'd especially like to thank Reps. Amanda Reeve and Matt Heinz, along with Sen. Linda Gray, for helping shepherd this important bill through the legislative process, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Maricopa County Attorney's Office for playing a key role in the development of this measure."
The bill was officially signed into law Friday, and took effect immediately. But Governor Brewer conducted a ceremonial signing Tuesday during which she and supporters of the legislation spoke out against "spice" and similar drugs.
"With Governor Brewer's signing of this legislation, users and sellers of this dangerous drug should consider themselves on notice that we will aggressively prosecute and hold them accountable for the threat they pose to the citizens of Maricopa County," said Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney.
Twenty other states are considering legislation to ban "spice." At least 11 states took action last year.