ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A move to prohibit synthetic substances that mimic marijuana and other drugs is gaining traction at the Capitol.

A Senate public safety panel voted Thursday to consider incorporating the proposal into a larger drug bill.

That vote came hours after the full House added a synthetic marijuana ban to a health and welfare spending package early Thursday.

Both bills would punish the sale of the substances — often marketed as incense or bath salts — with fines of up to $3,000. Possession would be a misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to 90 days in jail, fines of up to $1,000 or both.

Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem told the Senate committee that drug users on probation are openly using synthetic substances because they’re still legal.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (9)
  1. banned 4 life says:

    no comment

  2. UpInSmoke says:

    I dont get why kids like this stuff? What ever happened to sneaking off and smoking a joint? Not that I advocate that, but at least we didnt end up in the hospital or committing suicide.

    PS…congrats to all the drug abuse resistance education going out in our schools. Obviously very effective and powerful stuff keep up the good work!!!

  3. Conegro says:

    More non-violent drug ofenders in jail. With criminal records. Unemployable due to drug arrest. More money spent on jails and punishment. Less money spent on education.

    We could significantly reduce the national debt if we just ended the senseless war on drugs and ended marijuana prohibition. Last time I checked it cost more to house and feed non-violent drug offenders than to send them to college. They say marijuana is a multi billion dollar industry. Why not tax it and treat it like alcohol?

    They will pass this bill and people will find substances that are not analogues to skirt the new laws. Or maybe people will just start huffing again.

    1. Stop the Madness says:

      Can we stop trying to legislate every little thing and focus on fixing the darn budget?? Make it illegal, they’ll just come up with something else, make that illegal, and they’ll come up with something else and so on, and so on…. Minnesota: Land of 10,000 stupid laws.

  4. Josh says:


    I think you hit the nail on the head.

  5. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

    DUMBEST WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY EVER!!!! Why does the government think that they have to tell us what is good for us or not and then make things like cigs and alcohol legal. Hypocrites and stupidity that is all I can come up with. People in this country need to take some personal accountability and make their own choices. If someone wants to use this stuff and ends up dead, without trying to sound heartless this is just natural selection and is thinning the herd. Land of the free (or more free than others) I guess.

  6. Chris K says:

    Amen! The war on drugs is a collasal failure that bleeds billions of dollars, incarcerates minorities at a disproportionate rate and creates a group of permanently unemployable citizens.

  7. Chris K says:

    Then again if you are a union jailer or law enforcement officer this is good for you but bad for liberty loving tax payers.

  8. I G says:

    The constant banning of less dangerous substances, such as marijuana, steers people toward the newest high on the market. Just legalize it and the use of these synthetics, nearly all of them, with quickly decrease as people will gravitate towards products tried and tested for centuries. People will always want to experiment. No legislation will ever change that.

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