Bill to Ban Synthetic Drugs Making Way To Governor's Desk

By KBJR News 1

May 19, 2011 Updated May 19, 2011 at 10:09 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The Minnesota House has passed a bill banning the sale and possession of potentially dangerous synthetic drugs like K2 and Bath Salts.

This is the second time the House has passed this legislation.

Both the House and Senate have already passed it once but the bill had to go back to a conference committee.

Now it's the Senate's turn and Governor Mark Dayton says he will sign it into law.

The bill to outlaw, possession and sale of synthetic drugs has seen bi-partisan support.

A number of Minnesota cities have already approved bans on just synthetic marijuana, including Duluth, and the state bill originally only addressed that substance, but as more designer drugs hit the shelves and residents report dangerous side-effects, legislators expanded the ban to cover more drugs such as bath salts.

Duluth city councilors agree with the move, while a local seller of the products does not.

"The issue of bath salts has come up recently and quite aggressively because there's so many people that are being impacted by it," said Duluth city councilor Todd Fedora.

"A person should have the right to do what they want to do. If they want to go home and smoke a bowl, or roll one up instead of having a drink, that should be their option," said Jim Carlson of Last Place on Earth.

Legislators believe the bill could be on the governor's desk by next week.

Once signed, the ban would go into effect July 1.

Councilor Todd Fedora write up a resolution to make banning bath salts a legislative priority for the city.

It was on the agenda, but he took it off at Thursday's meeting, after learning the legislature is already addressing the issue.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike
jpike@northlandsnewscenter.com