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Legislature's synthetic drug committee to hold hearing Thursday in Brainerd

The Select Committee on Controlled Substances and Synthetic Drugs will hold a hearing at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, in the Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

Reps. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, and Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, will attend the meeting.

The committee is studying the issue of the growing synthetic drug problem. Members of the committee were appointed by House Speaker Paul Thissen.

Synthetic drugs are chemicals designed to mimic the effects of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines. However, they are completely different substances with completely different – and very dangerous – side effects.

There has been difficulty banning these drugs because the manufacturers change the chemical compounds just enough to evade the law and so quickly that the law cannot keep up. This has posed a serious threat to the health of individuals who use and safety of the community.

Public testimony is welcomed. Anyone interested in testifying in front of the committee should contact the committee administrator, Laura Taken-Holtze, at 651-296-8826 or at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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