State leaders, law enforcement officials tout new law restricting synthetic drugsMinnesota's fight to combat designer drugs meant to mimic marijuana and other controlled substances is stepping up a notch with a new law making their sale a felony.
By: Associated Press report, Duluth News Tribune
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's fight to combat designer drugs meant to mimic marijuana and other controlled substances is stepping up a notch with a new law making their sale a felony.
State leaders and law enforcement officials highlighted the tougher penalties today as Gov. Mark Dayton ceremonially signed the bill creating the law, which takes effect Aug. 1. The bill originally was signed in April.
It stiffens penalties for selling so-called synthetic drugs by making it a penalty that could carry a five-year prison term. Current law limits prosecutors from charging more than a gross misdemeanor.
The law also gives the state Pharmacy Board power to speed through new rules to keep up with the fast-changing formulas that the drug peddlers often use to evade existing laws.
Just this week, Duluth police and federal authorities raided the downtown head shop Last Place on Earth, which is known for selling synthetic drugs.
Dayton was joined at today's ceremony by officials including Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, and Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsey.