South Dakota Outlaws Synthetic Marijuana
K2, Spice, buzz, Earthquake, syn. These are all trade names that stand for the very same thing. Synthetic Marijuana.
"These are herbal substances usually with some sort of chemical sprayed on to them or added to them," says Sioux City police officer, Jeremy McClare.
Following the lead of many states, including Iowa, South Dakota just passed a law making it illegal to possess or sell K2 - effective immediately. In Sioux Falls, the police chief worries users made a "run" on the drug before the governor signed the law.
"When you have something so readily available and being in a store, and its legal why wouldn't you use it? They seem to think its okay because you can buy it in a store," he said.
And for officers like Sioux City's Jeremy McClure, catching stores that sell synthetic marijuana is tricky -- they don't have a precise way to test for the illegal compounds on site. They must first send the suspected substance to a certified lab for analysis.
"Just this summer, we conducted a search warrant on a local business that was selling these synthetic cannabinoids and we had to wait to file charges until we could get the state lab to certify that it was in fact the illegal substances that were specifically stated by the law," McClure said.
Although K2 or synthetic marijuana is illegal to buy or sell in the state of Iowa and South Dakota, you can buy it online pretty easily. The site we found claims none of their products contain anything illegal and are lab certified.
"They create a psychosis in some people, where they are extremely paranoid, very agitated and they get to a point where they require medical attention at times. These are dangerous substances for especially teens to be using," McClure said.