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Panel Passes Expanded Controlled Drugs List

January 25, 2012, 12:58 PM

Panel Passes Expanded Controlled Drugs List
PIERRE, SD - A bill that boosts the list of controlled substances in South Dakota has been passed by a Senate committee.

Lawmakers voted 6 to 1 on the bill, which goes next to the Senate floor.

If the bill becomes law, anyone caught possessing or selling synthetic marijuana or bath salt drugs could face a felony charge.

The bill includes an emergency clause, meaning it would become effective immediately upon being signed into law.

Panel members say South Dakota has an epidemic on its hands given soaring numbers of emergency room admissions.

Some Health committee members say the drugs' effects are more severe than regular marijuana and should come off the shelves.

Defense lawyer Bob Pesall says a felony conviction is too extreme because it permanently impacts a person's life.

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