STAFF BLOG CAPITOL CHATTER Lawmakers begin effort to stem synthetic drugs in state
By Don Davis
Trying to control dangerous synthetic drugs is a lot like playing the old carnival game whack-a-mole.
In the game, every time a player uses a mallet to whack a mole sticking its head out... Posted on 7/9/13 at 4:59 PM
STAFF BLOG NIE ROCKS! What are the synthetic drugs in our area?
There has been a lot of talk about synthetic drug use in our area recently. Two teen-aged males died apparently from overdosing on synthetic drugs in the month of June. These were two separate cases.
... Posted on 6/28/12 at 2:24 PM
A lawyer for Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson said authorities raided the Superior Street shop last week because they didn’t find anything illegal while executing what he called an unlawful search warrant there last September.
Duluth police said $2.8 million was seized from Jim Carlson’s bank accounts and two of his vehicles were taken on warrants after federal and local authorities executed search warrants Wednesday at the Last Place on Earth on Superior Street, which Carlson owns.
The man facing murder charges in Minnesota in the drug overdose death of a teenage boy did not appear at his hearing in Grand Forks on unrelated drug charges because Minnesota officials won’t release him, his attorney said Thursday.
The Grand Forks man being looked at by local, state and federal law enforcement authorities as the center of a drug-making operation they say has killed two teens and hospitalized several more says he’s not guilty of any of the charges he’s facing, said his attorney Wednesday in the man’s first public comments.
When Andrew Spofford was arrested by Grand Forks police last month, he told them he is a “hobby chemist.” Police say the end result of his chemistry was a synthetic drug that appeared to have killed two teens in the area and sent several others to the hospital with overdoses. It’s a growing problem for law enforcement as investigators struggle to identify a myriad of new synthetic drugs.
Teen deaths are horrific for everyone involved, including family, friends and the first responders who try everything possible to help and feel helpless when the young people do not respond to our resuscitative efforts.
Although banned in states like North Dakota and Minnesota, synthetic marijuana and similar substances are increasingly falling into the hands of young people, sometimes with deadly consequences, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said Sunday at a panel discussion in Moorhead.
High school seniors in Midwest had 13.5% rate of use, highest in nation The study, released Wednesday by the National Institutes of Health, is believed to be the first government attempt to survey the popularity of synthetic substances often marketed as "herbal incense" and sold under brands such as "Spice" and "K2." Senior students with the highest rate of use -- 13.5 percent -- were from the Midwest.
Of all the new synthetic drugs alarming health and law enforcement officials in Minnesota and across the country, none has exploded into the culture over the past year as quickly - or as dangerously - as the human-made substance known as "plant food."
As of midnight, it will be illegal in Minnesota to have or sell synthetic drugs, including fake marijuana, bath salts and other chemicals, like the one blamed in a mass overdose that killed a 19-year-old last spring.
His friends told him the high was like cocaine. "They said it gave you energy, just makes you want to go," said Justin, a student at Harmony Learning Center, an alternative high school in the north metro area. The 18-year-old wanted to see for himself.
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