Are Synthetic Drugs Legal in Arizona?

Are Synthetic Drugs Legal in Arizona?

Many states are beginning to ban synthetic or "designer" drugs such as K2, spice and bath salts. As of April 2013, Arizona is one of those states. The state of Arizona passed House Bill 2327 which is a ban on synthetic drugs. Not only are synthetic drugs illegal in the state of Arizona; they are being aggressively targeted by state and federal law enforcement. The bill was reportedly passed in order to protect young children from the potentially harmful effects of these drugs. In 2012 the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission found that nearly 7 percent of eighth-graders, more than 11 percent of 10th-graders and almost 14 percent of 12th-graders had tried synthetic drugs in Arizona (

Businesses that refer to themselves as "head shops" or "smoke shops" are now often under attack by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as well as local law enforcement. Up until April of this year, shops like these were legally selling synthetic drug substances that are now included on the list of banned substances per HB2327. These substances were reportedly banned because when used, they give off a similar effect to their narcotic counterparts. It may prove difficult to ban every synthetic drug in the state of Arizona, since synthetic drug ingredients are so often changing to avoid being deemed "illegal."

Recently, the largest global synthetic drug takedown came to a close. The takedown was named "Project Synergy" and it resulted in more than 227 arrests in 35 states. "Shutting down businesses that traffic in these drugs and attacking their operations worldwide is a priority for DEA and our law enforcement partners," according to DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.

Residents of Arizona should be made aware of this heightened focus on arresting and prosecuting individuals for designer and synthetic drugs. If you have been arrested for this type of drug crime, be sure to contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer at Knowles Law Firm, PLC today.


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