Head shops sue Minnesota over synthetic pot ban

Categories: Drugs

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Is Minnesota's ban on synthetic pot unconstitutional?
The war on synthetic drugs is far from over.

A lawyer representing several head shops filed a lawsuit today against the state of Minnesota, alleging that a statewide ban on synthetic pot is unconstitutional and not supported by scientific evidence.

A hearing is scheduled in Hennepin County Wednesday morning where a judge will rule on a temporary restraining order, which would postpone the ban from going into effect this Friday.

"Their determination is based on anecdotal evidence," says Mark Kurzman, the attorney representing three companies that collectively own seven head shops. "It's just based on stories that have no scientific backup."

Kurzman filed a federal suit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency last December, alleging the federal ban on five of the most commonly used synthetic drugs violated the U.S. Constitution.

The DEA said Kurzman and his clients "jumped the gun" -- the ban wasn't even in effect yet.

Kurzman quickly shot back: "They're the ones jumping the gun," he told City Pages in January. "They're trying to make it a felony to sell these substances, but they have no evidence that they're dangerous, other than a collection of random press reports."

A judge dismissed the suit later that month.

The lawsuit filed today says the Minnesota Legislature didn't take scientific evidence into account when considering the ban, and instead relied on unverifiable stories told by law enforcement agents. Kurzman says the law is also phrased in a way that is far too confusing for the average Minnesotan to comprehend.

"They wrote the law in the way that was overly broad and prevents a regular person from figuring out what is legal and what is illegal," says Kurzman.

Though he hasn't seen the complaint yet and couldn't comment on the specifics, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says the lawsuit's timing is strange.

"It's highly unusual to enjoin any law before the date of its implementation or until there are cases resulting from that law," says Freeman in a statement. "And finally, this would not meet even the broadest interpretation of the courts' ruling on standing and justiciability as set forth in Griswold vs. Connecticut and Roe vs. Wade."

A message left with Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson's office was not immediately returned.

The hearing will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Hennepin County government center.

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Sick of these guys
Sick of these guys

These people are the most money hungry pricks I've ever seen. They don't want it to be banned because they're making so much money selling it to idiots that don't mind smoking house hold cleaners. Seriously, their arguement is "they sell so much of this stuff that it's too crucial to the government because it generates over $250,000 in tax revenue". They aren't doing this to help their customers. Only for thier greedy souless selves.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Alcohol is far more destructive than these drugs ever could ever be.

I'm still wondering why the Democrats sponsored this bill and they presented it as an "emergency".  And to watch them do it with fear mongering.  They did it with "If's and buts", and nothing else.

Ban it first, then legalize it with taxes?Nonsense is hard to explain...


sounds like the alcohol and tobacco industry and its proven every day these products kill..where in the constitution does it say these products should be allowed..the government is way out of control kind of like 'mad dictators'....when will the bans stop?

Read a book, moron.
Read a book, moron.

Anything that violates the constitution, especially with so little information, and so little EFFORT to collect that information, should never be passed into law. End of story. It doesn't matter what motives drive them to fight against the law to ban these substances, the bottom line is: IT'S WRONG, YOU IDIOT.


They were probably trying to appeal to anti-drug social conservatives to hang onto their seats.

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