- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has upheld the conviction against the first South Dakotan charged with selling synthetic marijuana.

Attorney General Marty Jackley says the ruling was unanimous in the case of Jason Toben, who managed the Chicago Avenue Bar in Goodwin.

He sold synthetic marijuana before and after passage of a ban on many of the chemicals used to make the product.

Toben was convicted in 2012 of possession and distribution of synthetic marijuana and sentenced to nine years in prison.

He appealed, arguing the jury was improperly told he didn’t have to know the product was illegal in order to be convicted.

The Supreme Court disagreed, saying a person can’t consciously avoid learning about a drug and later claim to know nothing about it.

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