Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem asked lawmakers this afternoon to make synthetic marijuana illegal. He said all too often, his office sees people on parole for drug-related offenses who are using these substances that are marketed as bath salts and incense.
"We've had people come into probation offices and when they are asked to empty their pockets this spills onto the counter," he said.
Rochester GOP Sen. Carla Nelson is sponsoring a bill that would make it a grossmisdemeanor to sell fake pot and a misdemenator to possess it. So why all of the concern? Dr. Cody Wiberg, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, said the chemicals in these products can cause serious health problems.
"They are far more dangerous (than marijuana)," he said. "These drugs compared to the active ingredients in marijuana — THC — are much more potent."
He said use of these drugs can cause severe hallucinations, rapid heart rate, severe high blood pressure and seizures.
Members of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee agreed on a voice vote to consider including Nelson's bill as part of a larger drug bill.