Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

New state panel will study how to combat synthetic drugs

Author:

A committee selected by Minnesota's Speaker of the House will suggest ways the state can fight the spread of synthetic drugs.

Speaker Paul Thissen named State Rep. Erik Simonson, a Duluth DFLer, to lead the Select Committee on Controlled Substances and Synthetic Drugs. Thissen says the panel will report back to the next session of the Legislature on how the state can rein in drug abuse, with an eye on synthetic drugs in particular.

In accepting the post, Simonson noted his district is at the center of the debate over the sale and use of synthetic drugs. A Duluth head shop called the Last Place on Earth has long been under fire for selling the drugs, which are made with chemical combinations that mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine, or other drugs.

Lawmakers at the state and federal levels have tried banning some synthetic drugs. But drug makers have been able to skirt the laws by changing the formulas used to make the drugs.

As WDIO reports, Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson claims the products he's been selling since 2009 are legal.

Duluth's city council heard testimony this week on a pair of ordinances aimed at limiting the consumption and sale of the drugs.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is holding a public hearing in Duluth next week on synthetic drug abuse. That comes after Mayor Don Ness called for more state help in fighting what he calls a drug epidemic in the city.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant puts on a show to help Timberwolves beat Pacers

A third-quarter surge gave the Timberwolves their seventh win in their past eight games.

Mikko Koivu

Wild to retire Mikko Koivu's No. 9 jersey

Koivu will be the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

Boebert-Omar - Flickr Gage Skidmore

Rep. Boebert refuses to apologize for Islamophobic comment toward Rep. Omar

A phone call Monday between the two lawmakers ended abruptly.

Patrick Peterson

Vikings place Patrick Peterson on COVID-19/reserve list

The Vikings cornerback said he was vaccinated in August.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

'Numerous' reports of eager anglers falling through ice

Conditions are still unpredictable, and can vary even across a single body of water.

covid

Minnesota health officials watching closely for omicron variant

Health leaders do not yet know how transmissible or severe the new variant is.

school bus stop pixabay

School bus driver charged in fatal hit-and-run will plead guilty

Another motorist told the driver to call 911, but he instead got on the bus and drove off, charges say.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Mixed reports on Dalvin Cook's injury status

The Vikings running back could miss two games...or he could play Sunday.

Tanner Morgan

Tanner Morgan returning to Gophers for 6th season

Two Gopher QBs have already entered the transfer portal.

Allina Health Richfield - 407 W 66th St, Richfield, Minnesota - June 2019 - CROP

Charges: Clinic locked down after man tried to enter, threatened passersby

Staff at the clinic suspected he was intoxicated, according to the complaint.

Related