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Fargo woman faces up to 30 years in prison for bong water

When Jessica Beske was pulled over for speeding in Polk County, she didn’t think she'd end up facing 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. 

A bong found in her car had leftover water in it that contained meth. The bong water is treated as a controlled substance thanks to a gap in a 2023 state law decriminalizing drug paraphernalia.

“This law was set up specifically to capture drug traffickers, think of ‘El Chapo’ types,” said Christopher Ingraham, reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. 

“What we’re seeing in this case is somebody who’s just a regular drug user being charged with this huge sentence,” Ingraham said.

“If it’s more than 4 ounces of bong water [and] police are able to detect some level of substance in it, they basically treat the water as the exact same thing as pure, uncut version of whatever that substance was.”

Ingraham spoke with MPR News host Cathy Wurzer. Listen to the full conversation by clicking play on the audio player above.

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