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Lawmaker considers bill to regulate sales of herb with marijuana-like effects

Spice is a mixture of herbs varying by the brand and sprayed with a chemical, JWH 018, that mimics the effect of tetrahydrocannibol, or THC, in marijuana. It is sold under brands including K2, Black Mamba, Wicked X. Rep. Matt Heinz said he is considering legislation that would have Arizona take steps to regulate spice once federal and state health officials offer guidance.

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A push from the right: More conservatives joining fight to change sentencing guidelines

Since the late 1970s, rising crime has led lawmakers to require prison time for many non-violent offenses.

But some say eliminating the options of fines, work release, substance-abuse treatment and house arrest in favor of prison time can turn non-violent offenders into career criminals.

Now, as states face large budget deficits, calls for reforming sentencing for non-violent offenders also are coming increasingly from conservatives who call prison costs unsustainable.

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