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Lawmaker Writing Bill To Outlaw Synthetic Drugs

January 8, 2012, 9:55 PM by Derek Olson

Lawmaker Writing Bill To Outlaw Synthetic Drugs
DEADWOOD, SD - The growing popularity of semi-legal, synthetic drugs is prompting one state legislator to write a bill that would make the substances more difficult to obtain.

But this isn't the first time such a bill has been drafted.

They go by names like K2, spice and Night Lights, and can give off a similar high as some illegal drugs.

While they're illegal to consume, in South Dakota it is legal to buy and sell them. But that may not be the case for long.

"I plan on continuing to work with the attorney general's office to see if we can get this situation taken care of," State Representative Chuck Turbiville said. 

Turbiville is in the process of writing a bill that would outlaw the chemicals in the synthetic drugs. He did the same thing in the last legislative session.

"As soon as we did that, the makers of these products just changed one ingredient. So we have to do the same thing over again," Turbiville said.

This time around, Turbiville is modeling his legislation after a new North Carolina law, which encompasses more ingredients.

"What I'm going to try and do is see if we can't find what will blanket control all of this," Turbiville said.

Because, as it's currently written, the law can do little to stop the widespread sale of these synthetic drugs.

"We could have the police go in and bust these places based on perception. But then you spend a tremendous amount of time and effort in court. So I want something that just says, if this ingredient exists then it's illegal," Turbiville said.

Turbiville will be in Pierre on Monday, a day before the legislative session begins, to begin meeting with the state attorney general's office. He hopes to have the bill written in the next few weeks.

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