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Synthetic Drugs Outlawed By SD Legislature

February 15, 2012, 9:55 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Synthetic Drugs Outlawed By SD Legislature
PIERRE, SD - The Legislature has spoken and now it's up to South Dakota's governor.

A Senate bill that would ban synthetic substances people use to get high, passed the House Wednesday.
The bill contains more than 50 substances that would be banned. It also has an "emergency clause," which means that if Governor Daugaard puts his signature on the bill the law will take effect immediately. And businesses profiting from the current law are paring down their inventories.

Two smoke shops on separate sides of the street in Sioux Falls have been seeing plenty of traffic. All it takes is a few minutes outside to watch the cars come and go.

But at least one of them says it knows the steady stream of customers could stop if the law is signed.

“It's usually like right here. Different labels on display,” Cody Whitener, from 'Smoke It' store, said.

But right now just one kind of potpourri is left. Whitener says the store has been selling down inventory because it knew the law was coming.

“We always put a label on there whether it has the name or not,” Whitener said.

And that label has the information it seems people are not paying attention too.

“This isn't for human consumption, not to be ingested in any way. If they keep digging further I either ask them to leave or tell them it's for an aroma in your house,” Whitener said.

“This is a problem in South Dakota and it's a problem affecting, often times, young school-age children that has to be addressed,” Attorney General Marty Jackley said.

That's why Jackley says his office worked with health and human services and the department of health to get synthetic substances, including potpourri, known also as fake pot.

“I have heard about people using it and getting into accidents, which I think is stupid,” Whitener said.

It is already illegal to ingest fake pot. But the law would go one step further, sending anyone even holding the drug to jail because it would be considered a felony. And if it is passed, Jackley says law enforcement will take action.

“To put out the word, to make necessary arrests, and I would envision we will be moving forward with compliance checks,” Jackley said.

The bill passed the house Wednesday by a vote of 63-1. A spokesman in Governor Daugaard's office says he will review the bill just as he does with others. That should be complete by the end of the week.

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