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DEA Raids in Arizona Target 'Bath Salts'

There has been no shortage of news stories regarding the surge of people using bath salts. States have been passing laws that make possessing certain components of these drugs illegal, and are continually becoming more aggressive at enforcing these laws.

As discussed previously, one of the difficulties in prosecuting these drug crimes is that bath salts are continually changing. When one ingredient is made illegal, manufacturers switch up to include different materials. The law is consistently trying to catch up to ensure that the latest designer drug that hits the market is covered under the rules for controlled substances.

Recently, the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted "Operation Log Jam" in 109 cities across the United States, including five locations in Arizona. The target of these raids was chemicals that are similar to those used in bath salts. As a result of the crackdown, 90 people were arrested, along with the seizure of drugs and millions of dollars.

The DEA was enforcing the Controlled Substances Act, which gives expansive power to the agency. The law allows the agency to seize materials that are similar to those covered by the Act, even if they are not exactly the same.

However, there has been some question about the application of the Act to bath salts, especially since the drugs are always changing. New federal laws have been passed that specifically list certain compounds, but it remains to be seen how those laws will be enforced.

Those facing drug charges for bath salts need to know which laws they have been accused of violating. As these cases start entering the court system, it will be important to see how the makeup of bath salts is addressed.

Source: Phoenix News Times "DEA Carries Out Raids Nationwide, Including Five Arizona Cities, for Making and Selling Chemicals Similar to Illegal Drugs" Matthew Hendley, July 26, 2012.

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