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Published October 11, 2012, 04:00 PM

ND Attorney General Says Law Not Keeping Pace with Synthetic Drugs

BISMARCK — Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says North Dakota law isn't keeping up with what he calls an "epidemic" of synthetic drug use.

BISMARCK — Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says North Dakota law isn't keeping up with what he calls an "epidemic" of synthetic drug use.

Stenehjem says the problem is the drugs have changing chemical makeups, and some aren't covered by the state's laws against using and selling illegal drugs.

He outlined plans for dealing with the problem at a legislative committee hearing Thursday.

Stenehjem says a bill's being drafted to make substances illegal if they have a "core chemical" that's common to synthetic marijuana and hallucinogens.

He says another approach is to outlaw the sale of any substance when the seller knows the customer is going to use it to get high.

Synthetic drugs are often marketed as bath salts or incense. Users often smoke them, and Stenehjem says bad reactions are common.

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