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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Fight against illegal substance continues

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Scott County Dep. Darrin Sides holds some packets of synthetic marijuana that were being sold at a Scott County convenience store.
(Michelle Felter, Staff)
SIKESTON -- For awhile now, law enforcement officials have been aware of the skyrocketing trend of synthetic marijuana use.

And last month, Scott County made its first arrest for a distributor of the substances, after learning synthetic marijuana -- marketed under product names that include "Spice," "K2," "Genie," "Yucatan Fire," "Sence," "Smoke," "Skunk" and "Zohai" was being sold at a Scott County business. It's packaged to look like incense.

"After receiving the tip, I went to talk to the business about the information I had," said Dep. Darrin Sides of the Scott County Sheriff's Department. "They were under the impression that since it wasn't K2, it wasn't illegal, even though it's a similar synthetic."

Sides noted that the illegal chemicals on the herb material used to make synthetic marijuana are a member of the cannabinoid family.

"There are about 30 total of those, but only a handful are on the list as illegal," Sides said, referring to the state statute passed last year. "But just because these other chemicals aren't illegal, they are analogs of the primary chemical, and can be used in a similar way to achieve a similar effect."

That, according to Sides, is what makes the substances illegal, even though those specific chemicals aren't included in the statute.

Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd agreed. "Even if the ingredients aren't listed as one of the illegal substances in the statutes, it will be considered to be an imitation controlled substance."

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