Senate Passes Synthetics Bill 64-0

By KBJR News 1

April 24, 2012 Updated Apr 24, 2012 at 7:01 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter)
-- In an 64 to 0 vote, the Minnesota Senate has sent a bill to Governor Mark Dayton's Desk, strengthening the states power against synthetic drugs.

If Dayton decides to make the bill law, business owners, like those who run Duluth's Last Place on Earth will face prison time for selling synthetic drug alternatives.

Carlson said today that he will be speaking with his legal team on whether this bill is strong enough to prevent these alternative drug sales.

The reality of this bill is that dealers in synthetic drugs can face up to five years in prison, starting August 1st.

The bill makes sales of synthetic drugs a felony, re-categorizes the substance as a schedule one drug and according to State Senator Roger Reinert, most importantly, gives the board of pharmacy the power to add chemicals to the illegal list.

"So instead of waiting for the part time legislature to reconvene in another year and add more things to the statue that are illegal that are really just changes in formula that we've already outlawed, the state board of pharmacy can do that."

For Last Place owner Jim Carlson, the potential law is another over reach of big government, that won't work.

"As of August 1st, I'm going to do whatever my attorney recommends but I just talked to him today and he thinks we are just going to switch to another chemical."

Carlson says the bill isn't addressing, what he says are the real substance problems in Minnesota.

"It's just big brother telling you it's ok to drink, it's ok to smoke cigarettes that kill seven and a half million people a year. You can legally go to the doctor and get synthetic heroin but it's not ok to buy marijuana or come in and by incense from me."

If Dayton signs the bill, Carlson could face issues with Duluth Police in August, when the law becomes active.

The bill says that dealers of synthetic drugs will face a felony per count, meaning each sale after August, would be a felony.

Zach Vavricka

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