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The Anderson County Fiscal Court ignored a group lobbying to keep synthetic marijuana legal and voted in January to make possessing or selling the controversial substance illegal.
In what turned out to the year’s most outrageous quotes, one person arguing in favor of the substance during a public hearing said the fiscal court doesn’t have the right to tell users what they can and cannot do.
“If someone wants to sit in their living room and have sex with chickens, they should be able to do that,” he said.
Craig Vaughn, owner of a store called Herbal Awakenings, vigorously argued in favor of keeping the substance legal. He said the substance, which is marketed as potpourri, includes a label that warns against human consumption and that he doesn’t encourage those who buy it to smoke it.
That didn’t sit well with police officers who packed the public hearing, including Det. Bryan Taylor of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.
Toward the end of the public hearing, Taylor recalled entering Vaughn’s store while working undercover.
“I visited Mr. Vaughn’s store last year and asked if he had synthetic marijuana,” Taylor said.
“He gave me a package, and I also purchased a pipe.
“I asked him if it would get me high, and he said, ‘Yes, it will.’
“I asked him if it is better than [a similar substance] I purchased up the street, and he said the high lasts about 15 minutes longer.
“I’ve heard about enough of his falsehoods.”
The substance was banned by a unanimous vote, but Vaughn apparently kept selling it and was arrested a couple of months later for violating the ordinance.
His case remains open and he is scheduled to go to trial this month in Anderson District Court.