Crime Trackers

Jul 4, 2013 4:00 AM by Lupita Murillo

Tucson's crime labs work leads to ban on synthetic drugs

TUCSON- Synthetic drugs are against the law thanks in part to the crime lab here in Tucson.

House Bill 2327 makes it against the law to sell synthetic drugs including bath salts, spice, and k-2. Vince Figarelli, head of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Labs says, "It's going to take dangerous drugs off the streets."

It was the language and research in House Bill 2327 that came from the Tucson Crime Lab according to Figarelli, "This covered a large group of drugs and by putting the structure in one fell swoop it kind of covered several hundred potential drugs that could be made."

In the past, drug manufacturers would make slight changes that weren't mentioned in that statute so now that loophole is closed. "You never know what you are getting when you purchase these drugs and ingest them and that's a huge potential danger there. And dozens of people wound up in the Emergency Room and even died. "

One man, says he's fortunate he didn't die. He didn't want to be identified, but he wanted to tell his story about his harrowing ordeal with Bath Salts. "All the drugs that I've seen and I've experimented with, this blows the rest out the water by a long shot. It's absolutely horrifying."

It was also horrifying to law enforcement who saw firsthand what the effects were. Officer Carrick Cook says, "It does cause crashes it does cause severe impairment, and now that this statute is in effect we can actually prosecute and arrest people under impairment for these drugs."

Law enforcement says House Bill 2327 validates the dangers they've been seeing and talking about for years, and now the public is aware as well.

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