The Republic’s lead editorial today argues that the entire state should take a page from Yavapai County Attorney Shiela Polk and declare spice-like designer drugs a “public nuisance” as a way to ban their sales (you can read the editorial here).
Better check with Gilbert state rep Eddie Farnsworth first.
Because he deep-sixed the last attempt to stop the sales of these drugs.
On the flimsy argument that he was protecting our constitutional rights.
Here’s what happened.
In last year’s legislature, State Senator Linda Gray introduced a bill that would “give the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy power to add chemicals to its controlled-substances list without legislative approval to ban chemicals used in new bath-salts derivations without waiting for lawmakers to return to session and pass a bill banning the new versions.”
The bill also “required board members to consult with a Department of Public Safety forensic scientist, who typically would identify new drugs for legislators and ensure chemicals met certain criteria before they could be banned.”
Not good enough for Farnsworth, and enough House Republicans, however. Because when the bill reached the House floor, it got deep-sixed.
Farnsworth, who helped lead the charge against the bill, believed it gave too much power to the State Board of Pharmacy, believing it violated separation of power.
Said Farnsworth, “What we have to be very careful of is that we don’t decide that somehow the ends of trying to prevent people from committing crimes is going to justify the means of destroying the protections we have in the Constitution.”
Of course, Farnsworth didn’t expand on what “protections” he was referring to.
So if indeed some intrepid legislator introduces a bill to replicate state-wide what Polk has done in her county, that legislator might first want to check with Farnswoth, to see if the bill “destroys the protections we have in the Constitution”
Never mind the injuries, serious medical conditions and even deaths these drugs have caused, mostly to younger kids.
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Bio: Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.