SIOUX FALLS, SD -
South Dakota is looking to crack down even more on synthetic drugs.
A bill in the legislature would make anything that is similar to a controlled substance illegal.
Following last year’s synthetic drug ban and the subsequent raids in Sioux Falls last summer, police say they essentially shut down the supply of the substances in the city.
"We continued to see a rise until July when a couple of local businesses were served search warrants by the federal government and after that point, we pretty much went down to zero," Lt. Terry Mixell with the Sioux Falls Police narcotics unit said.
Mixell says the combination of new state and federal laws banning the substances was the beginning of the end for synthetic drugs.
"Yes, we've seen a dramatic decrease in the contacts we've had with this, with these products," Mixell said.
But South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says synthetic drugs can still be purchased online and under the radar. That's why the South Dakota legislature is now considering a measure that's similar to federal analogue drug laws.
"It basically makes it so that any time there is a drug with similar properties and characteristics of a scheduled controlled substance, it would allow us to come in and make that drug an unlawful drug," Jackley said.
Last year, the legislature only banned specific synthetic drugs, leaving a loophole for chemists to change the make up of synthetic substances.
Jackley hopes an analogue law will give local law enforcement even more options when it comes to stopping the use of dangerous drugs.
"That really takes the final step and it's what we call a drug analogue statute that will say that drugs with similar properties or characteristics to already controlled substances will be unlawful here in South Dakota," Jackley said.
The analogue law is up for final passage in the South Dakota House of Representatives.
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