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Published April 07, 2011, 02:33 PM

Move to Ban Synthetic Marijuana Advances in MN Legislature

A move to prohibit synthetic substances that mimic marijuana and other drugs is gaining traction at the Capitol.

By: Associated Press,

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.

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