DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and a committee of state lawmakers will be talking about synthetic drugs in Duluth.

Swanson and the newly formed Committee on Controlled Substances and Synthetic Drugs will hold a public hearing Friday to discuss public policy relating to synthetics. The group is planning to take testimony in hopes of getting a better understanding of what some officials have called a growing public health epidemic.

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State Rep. Erik Simonson, DFL-Duluth, is the chairman of the committee, which is tasked with recommending policies to combat the sale of synthetic drugs.

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A Duluth head shop called Last Place on Earth sells synthetics, and its business has prompted numerous complaints by city leaders, residents and neighboring businesses. The owner of the shop maintains his products are not illegal.

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