Lawmakers try for handle on synthetic drugs

Lawmakers try for handle on synthetic drugs Click to Enlarge Photo:

Oct 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm

ST. PAUL (AP) - Minnesota state legislators are struggling with how to craft new laws that would effectively combat the growing use of synthetic drugs.

Several state House committees met Wednesday to strategize how to address problem that medical and law enforcement officials say is rapidly getting worse.

Minnesota emergency rooms are reporting more cases of patients who have used synthetic marijuana, bath salts or other non-herbal narcotics that doctors say have drastically worse effects than traditional marijuana.

Experts say a major problem in regulating such drugs is an ever-shifting set of ingredients that go into them. Many of those components are sold online, making it more difficult for Minnesota law enforcement to monitor.

Lawmakers are aiming for legislation to regulate sales as much as possible. They're also considering new prevention and education programs.

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