Emergency ban on synthetic drugs known as 'bath salts'Posted: Updated:
CHANDLER, Ariz. -- In July, at a home in Chandler, Johnny Salazar was arrested for burning his son with a cigarette lighter.
He told police it was because the boy touched his Bible, and he thought his son might be possessed. With a story like that, it didn't take officers long to find drugs.
"We believe he may have been under the influence of some sort of mind altering substance. We're not exactly sure what," said Sgt. Joe Favazzo with the Chandler Police Department. "We know officers left the scene with a small vial or a bottle of some powdery or crystallized type substance."
They later learned that substance was synthetic drugs known as 'bath salts,' though they're anything but.
The ingredients mimic cocaine and methamphetamine, but come with instructions not to be ingested.
The people that do are behind dozens of calls to Valley poison centers and several deaths nationwide.
On Wednesday the Drug Enforcement Administration used its power to announce an emergency ban on the drugs, calling them "dangerous chemicals that pose a significant and growing threat to our nation."
In 30 days it will be illegal to have or sell products like the synthetic brand 'Eight Ballz' that can easily be bought Phoenix.
State Senator Linda Gray applauded the DEA's ban. She has pushed for Arizona to ban bath salts the same way it banned 'spice', that mimicked marijuana in February. She says the state still needs its own law on the books.
"I will still continue to work to introduce this in January when we go back into session and to work it and trade it out with the House and get it up to the Governor as soon as possible," Gray said.