Lawmakers try to solve synthetic drug puzzle

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Members of the Minnesota state legislature spent Wednesday trying to figure out the next step in crafting a new law to fight the growth of synthetic drugs.

Several House committees met to try to come up with a way to address the problem that medical and law enforcement officials say is rapidly getting worse. Officials say the problem has grown to all areas of the state, cities and rural areas alike.

A report by the Associated Press, says an emergency room doctor at North Memorial Medical Center estimates the ER is treating one to two patients a week who have used synthetics to get high.

Doctors compare the effects of synthetic marijuana to more like the effects of LSD and other hallucinogens than to traditional marijuana.

A Minnesota Public Radio report this week, says that synthetic drugs are difficult to outlaw because sellers change the chemical composition of the drugs. DFL Rep. Michael Paymar, the chair of the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee says that he doesn't know that just trying to put copycat legislation together is going to be effective nor constitutional.

Lawmakers are also considering new prevention and education programs on the dangers of synthetic drugs as well.

The issue came to the forefront of the news again this week when the owner of a Duluth head shop, Jim Carlson, was convicted on 51 of 55 counts of selling synthetic drugs.

Next Up

Byron Buxton

Twins talking contract extension with Byron Buxton

The Twins are 88-38 over the past two seasons with Buxton in the lineup.

minneapolis police

Police arrest man in connection to deadly Minneapolis hit-and-run

The victim died the scene in north Minneapolis on Friday.

Jordan Greenway

Wild's fast start vanishes in loss to Coyotes

Arizona scored five unanswered goals in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-03-06 at 4.12.00 PM

Police seeking tips in search for road rage shooting suspect

The incident took place in Maplewood last week.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers lands on Wooden Award list for women's college basketball

The Hopkins grad is the only freshman on the 15-player ballot.

Jamal Mashburn Jr.

Gophers fall under .500 after OT loss to Rutgers

The Gophers are under .500 for the first time this season.

police tape, crime scene

Man arrested for killing of his father in Wabasha County

The 73-year-old man was found dead at a home in rural Zumbro Falls.

Related

Lawmakers consider stiffer penalties for sales of some synthetic drugs

A bill headed for the House floor would up the charges for selling certain synthetic drugs from a gross misdemeanor to a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

House approves tougher penalties on synthetic drugs

An overwhelming majority of Representatives voted on Wednesday to outlaw 250 more chemicals, slap more severe penalties on sellers and make it possible for authorities to quickly add new drugs to the list of banned substances.