Legislative panel to tackle synthetic drugs Tuesday

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The flow of synthetic drugs across the state of Minnesota has reached a point where lawmakers have created a panel to address the issue.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that the Select Committee on Controlled Substances and Synthetic Drugs, formed in May, will meet this week. House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, created the committee and picked state Rep. Erik Simonson, DFL-Duluth, as chairman.

Duluth, of course, has had struggles with synthetic drugs, most notably the protracted battle with the head shop known as The Last Place on Earth. Heck, there's even a movie about it.

Simonson tells MPR that he plans to focus on the health-care costs associated with drug use.

The first hearing is Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., according to MPR, and attorneys from St. Louis and Winona counties and representatives from the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy and Department of Public Safety are scheduled to speak.

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