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Selling Designer Drugs Now a Felony in Minnesota

The fight against synthetic drugs has gotten tougher in Minnesota. Effective August 1st, the sale of bath salts, incense and other synthetic drugs designed to simulate the effects of marijuana is now a felony. Previously it had been only a gross misdemeanor offense.

As a felony, anyone convicted of selling synthetic drugs, sometimes referred to as designer drugs, could face up to five years in prison. The increase in the penalty was due in part to two deaths linked to bath salt use. The state hopes that by making penalties for these drug crimes more severe, they will ultimately snuff out the sale of designer drugs altogether.

New Law Set to Keep Pace With Changing Formulas

In addition to increasing the punishment for the sale of synthetic drugs, the new law is also designed to help keep updated on changes to the formulas of synthetic drugs. In the past, individuals would use a change in synthetic drug formulation to evade laws.

According to the Star Tribune, the Pharmacy Board will be able to speed through rules that will enable them to classify drugs as illegal because they are addictive and serve no legitimate medical purpose within a couple of months.

Stepped Up Enforcement

Law enforcement is welcoming the new law by making a show of force at head shops known for selling synthetic drugs. The Last Place on Earth in Duluth was just raided as part of a statewide law enforcement effort to discourage the sale of synthetic drugs.

Source:, "Sale of synthetic drugs soon to be a Minn. felony," Associated Press, 26 July 2012

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