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Synthetic Drugs Illegal In South Dakota

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Governor Dennis Daugaard signed a bill Thursday that made bans selling, consuming or possessing synthetic drugs illegal is South Dakota.

According to police, these items, which include synthetic marijuana and bath salts, are very dangerous.
"It seems harmless enough but people have to realize that anytime youre messing with these chemicals you could be endangering your life,"> said Officer Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Officer Clemens said that although these substances are considered illegal, testing these products will be the next hard step to conquer.

“Well it presents some unique challenges, at this point we don't have any field tests for this synthetic marijuana that's available so what were planning on doing is using the current ingesting laws,” said Officer Clemens.

The ingesting law states that if you’re consuming anything with the intent to get high, it’s illegal.

"We'll seize that product and then were going to have to test that through the lab to confirm if these chemicals are present,” said Officer Clemens.

Officer Clemens said that the abuse of these products have been a recent problem in Sioux Falls.

"Really it's been the last 4-5 months and we've seen a huge increase in that and we've seen a lot of problems caused by both juveniles and adults using it,” said Officer Clemens.

The bill also made having synthetic drugs in your possession illegal, whether or not you’ve ingested any and stores that carried the synthetic drugs are required to take the items off their shelves.

Consequences vary case-by-case, but if you posess any of the newly banned substances, you could face felony charges.

"If you're talking a felony, your maximum is going to be penitentiary time," said Officer Clemens.

These products are said to be conceiving and could have some hidden ingredients such as household cleaning products which are not made to be consumed by humans.

The police department said they have already been warning students and parents about synthetic drugs and said they will continue to educate the public now that the items are illegal.
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