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Synthetic drug fight advances

ST. PAUL - Minnesota senators joined the fight against synthetic drugs Wednesday, voting 53-1 for a bill that gives the state Pharmacy Board more authority to combat their spread.

The House passed a similar bill a month ago.

Bill sponsor Sen. Roger Reinert, D-Duluth, said much of the bill also was included in an overall human services bill senators passed last week. What was not in that bill, but is in his, is a requirement that existing anti-drug programs also deal with synthetic drugs.

People see synthetic drugs on store shelves and think they are safe, Reinert said. But they can be more dangerous than other illegal drugs.

"I think that some people think synthetic drugs are fluffy ... and should not merit the serious nature of their focus today," said Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, who quickly added that youths' deaths have proven the drugs are dangerous and the state needs to act.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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