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Thissen sets up select committee on drug abuse and synthetic drugs

Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen has set up a Select Committee on Controlled Substances and Synthetic Drugs to look at ways to combat drug abuse.

The committee will be headed by state Rep. Erik Simonson, a DFL from Duluth, a city that has been active in the effort to regulate synthetic drugs.

The panel will hold hearings while the Legislature is out of session and make a report by Feb. 25 on recommend policies to stem the sale of synthetic drugs.

Said Thissen:

“This committee will examine the misuse of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and synthetic drugs. In the coming months, this committee will work on this issue and come back next session with recommendations to curb drug abuse and sale across the state.”

Simonson said:

“As the representative of a district at the center of the debate around the sale and use of synthetic drugs, I am honored to have the opportunity to study this issue. Synthetic drug abuse and the misuse of controlled substances are very real threats to public safety and the public’s health.”

Other members of the committee are:

  • State Rep. Kathy Lohmer, R-Stillwater)
  • State Rep. Jim Newberger, R-Becker)
  • State Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park
  • State Rep. John Ward, DFL–Baxter

The first order of business will be a public hearing June 7 in Duluth on synthetic drug abuse held  by Attorney General Lori Swanson.

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