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Prosecutor Thankful For Fake Pot Law

February 24, 2012, 6:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Prosecutor Thankful For Fake Pot Law
ABERDEEN, SD - A Brown County prosecutor is thankful for the new state law banning synthetic drugs.

She says it makes it easier for the state to prosecute users and it recognizes the dangerous chemicals.

Brown County Chief Deputy State's Attorney Lori Ehlers has been eyeing a few bills in the legislature this session that she says will help prosecutors do their job and this was definitely one of them.

Brown County has been seeing more people using synthetic marijuana. And this bill, she says, will help put a stop to it.

"It puts it right to the level where it should be. It puts it with cocaine, methamphetamine.  You know, all those other drugs," Ehlers said.

And that's where Ehlers wants it to be. She says law enforcement and prosecutors almost had to rely on a confession from a person caught with fake pot before because it was only illegal if you ingested it or had it for the purpose of ingesting it.

"Essentially, you had to prove the intent in people's minds. And if they don't tell you that that was very difficult to do," Ehlers said.

There was other evidence prosecutors could present in court such as finding fake pot on a person along with a pipe suggesting it would be smoked. But that wasn't cut and dry like a case prosecuted under the new law will be.

"I think just the market where it's being sold is going to dry up to an extent because just possessing it is going to be illegal now," Ehlers said.

Ehlers says the county was also running into people on probation using fake pot, thinking they could get away with it. She's hoping the effects of the new law will put a damper on that as well.

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