Paul Thissen wants to crack down on synthetic drugs

Categories: Drugs, Legislature

Synthetic drugs are a perennial target in the Legislature.
Synthetic drugs are already illegal in Minnesota, but lawmakers believe there's more work to be done to "combat the spread of the sale" of these and other controlled substances across the state.

House Speaker Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, announced this week he's starting a committee to study the issue and recommend policies next legislative session.

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"Drug abuse is a serious public health issue facing Minnesota and it is rapidly evolving," says Thissen in a statement. "This committee will examine the misuse of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and synthetic drugs."

Synthetic drugs have been a perennial target of the Legislature in recent years, beginning with Rep. Joe Atkins's campaign against Salvia in 2008 (a campaign that inspired City Pages' Matt Snyders to volunteer himself as a guinea pig). Then it was K2, bath salts, and other designer psychedelics.

Earlier this year, Rep. Erik Simonson, D-Duluth, introduced a bill to broaden the ban on synthetics to products that could mirror the effects of drugs and appear to be marketed toward human consumption. The bill didn't get much traction, but Simonson is chairing Thissen's committee, so he'll help craft whatever bills come up in the next legislative session.

Minnesota Attornery General Lori Swanson will also hold a public hearing in Duluth on June 7 on synthetic drug abuse.

"Synthetic drug abuse and the misuse of controlled substances are very real threats to public safety and the public's health," says Simonson in the committee announcement. "I look forward to working together in a bipartisan manner to explore these issues and propose policy solutions."

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Mike Hess
Mike Hess

They may back off if they can find a way to tax it instead.

TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

My favorite tobacco shop stopped selling this as they passed new laws last year banning the substances.  I tried to tell them there are hundreds of formulations so they couldn't stop the new lab creations as they do not have the chemical makeup. 

Can I find a place that still sells this stuff?

Noah Hanson
Noah Hanson

Build another prison that'll completely stop all drug use. What idiots. Democrats are just as stupid as "just say no" mandatory minimum Republicans. Bitch slaps needed all around.

Jim McFarlane
Jim McFarlane

The art confuses me. Are most synthetics rolled up and smoked?

Chris Pederson
Chris Pederson

let's not do anything to tackle the cause of drug use.. let's just toss them all in jail after

TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

@Noah Hansonwhile I agree with this statement, I take position on the assertion that it was the Republicans who put into place the mandatory laws.    This link provides you with all mandatory minimum laws in Minnesota -

If you wish you can look at each statute and find the author(s) and year it became law.  I guarantee you 70+% of these laws were enacted by democrats.   We're in Minnesota man!  Conservatives have had very little opportunity to craft this state.  Most of what you see is the doing of the moderate to liberal mindset.  Besides, name me the democrat that preaches "individual liberty".   

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