Duluth City Council Passes Synthetic Drug Ordinances

By KBJR News 1

June 10, 2013 Updated Jun 10, 2013 at 10:23 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- On Monday, the Duluth City Council overwhelmingly voted to prohibit the use and regulate the sale of synthetic drugs in the city of Duluth.
It's a move that comes just days after a large community forum on the substance hosted by Minnesota's Attorney General.

Councilors spent nearly two hours covering the topic, and all but one approved the ordinances.

The first ordinance prohibits the consumption of products labeled "not for human consumption."

This ordinance defines a synthetic drug as a substance that any reasonable person would believe is a synthetic drug.

The second passed ordinance is aimed at the sellers prohibiting the sale of within 500 feet of any park, school, or day care facility. Businesses already selling the product like Last Place on Earth will be grandfathered into the ordinance.

It's that issue which has some councilors on different sides of the table.

"I want to be clear we are not condoning the use of synthetic drugs nor are we legalizing the use of synthetic drugs, we are merely regulating synthetic drugs. I think the ordinance on regulation is very clear someone has to get a license," said councilor Linda Krug.

"I think we just continue to make it worse and worse and better for Mr. Carlson rather than actual solve anything, so I won't be supporting ordinance thirty-nine, I don't want to license synthetic drug stores, I don't want others to open them up," said councilor Jim Stauber.

Several councilors say these actions send a message that the city is doing something to address what they see as a major problem in downtown Duluth.

The ordinances will go into effect in thirty days.