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Klobuchar bill fights synthetic drugs

ST. PAUL - Sen. Amy Klobuchar is among sponsors of a bill written to make it easier to prosecute cases involving the sale of synthetic drugs.

The Minnesota Democrat said that synthetic drug ingredients change slightly whenever a synthetic drug becomes illegal, and the process to make the new one illegal must begin from scratch.

The bill would apply to drugs similar to those that already are illegal. Current law forbids federal officials from prosecuting if a substance is "not intended for human consumption." However, law enforcement officials say many of the drugs are labeled that way, but everyone knows they are meant for people to use.

The bill would establish several factors to consider when determining if a substance is designed to mimic an illegal drug, making it easier to prove a drug is meant for human consumption.

"This bill will make it easier to crack down on new synthetic drugs by closing a loophole that allows drug dealers to flout the law by pretending that these dangerous drugs are not intended for human consumption, when really they're endangering the lives of teenagers and families every day," Klobuchar said.

Joining her on the bill are Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Diane Feinstein. D-Calif.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.