Wed, Feb. 19

The Don's might not qualify for permit, anyway

COTTONWOOD-- The Cottonwood Council, last week, recommended that the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control reject the Don's application for a sampling permit, but the state agency must make the final decision.

The beer or wine permit for the Old Town Cottonwood smoke shop would be an extension of an existing retail beer and wine permit. The council, by a 6-to-1 vote, refused to endorse the permit, believing that the Don's management has not been forthright in terms of its sales of bath salts and spice, two designer drug combinations now illegal in both Cottonwood and Arizona. Operators had promised not to sell the drugs when the state made them illegal. But county drug enforcement personnel seized spice and bath salts from two shops while arresting four people.

The four, including operator Christopher Donahue, were arrested for the sale of dangerous drugs at both the Don's in Cottonwood and the Black Pearl smoke shop in Cornville. Others were Alexander Boston, Mercedes Walsh and Mickey Larm.

In terms of the sampling permit, City Attorney Steve Horton says the request may be moot anyway. According to the Arizona Statute the shop would have to be much larger by state statute: "A beer and wine store premises shall contain at least five thousand square feet in order to be eligible for sampling privilege" (ARS 4-206.01(J)).

Horton says the current shop is only about 1,200 square feet, according to city records.

The state commission has asked Cottonwood to return the form stating the city's reasons for its lack of recommendation and minutes from the meeting.

There is no word yet on how the four will be prosecuted for the drug sales.

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