Sale of synthetic drugs soon to be a felony in Minn.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
Minnesota lawmakers' are upping the penalties for selling synthetic drugs in an effort to stop "designer drugs" that mimic marijuana and other controlled substances.
On Thursday, Gov. Mark Dayton, legislators and law enforcement representatives touted the move, which upgrades the criminal charge from a gross misdemeanor to a felony with a possible five-year prison term.
The law takes effect Aug. 1.
The law also grants the state Pharmacy Board the authority to devise new rules as the fast-changing formulas emerge so that drug peddlers cannot evade existing laws with new chemical designs. Officials estimate that addictive drugs with no medical use will likely be classified as illegal within a few months.
A day before the announcement was made, Duluth police and federal authorities raided a head shop known for selling synthetic drugs as part of "Operation Logjam," a widespread federal investigation aimed at halting the sale of synthetic drugs.