The appeals court stated:
"[W]e have previously ruled in other contexts, such as cases involving drug-related offenses, that “the identity of a controlled substance may be proved by circumstantial evidence” taken from the testimony of someone experienced in identifying the substance. Thompson v. United States, 678 A.2d 24, 28 n. 7 (D.C.1996); see also Duvall v. United States, 975 A.2d 839, 844 (D.C.2009) (“We recognize that in a prosecution for possession of a controlled substance, the government may establish that the substance is an illegal drug by means of circumstantial evidence.”); Bernard v. United States, 575 A.2d 1191, 1195 n. 5 (D.C.1990) (stating that the court has “no quarrel” with relying on circumstantial evidence based upon expertise acquired through education or experience in identifying illegal substances). While we have accepted the use of circumstantial evidence in certain drug cases, we have also emphasized that we do not “countenance any attempt to prove guilt by speculative means. A lay person's impression, for example, is insufficient to establish the identity of a suspected drug.” Bernard, supra, 575 A.2d at 1195. To withstand a sufficiency challenge, the circumstantial evidence must be compelling enough to persuade a reasonable fact-finder beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance in question was an illegal narcotic."
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