Selling illegal drugs will have harsher penalites in MinnesotaMoorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- As of this week, selling illegal synthetic drugs in Minnesota is a felony offense.
By: Becky Parker, WDAY
Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- As of this week, selling illegal synthetic drugs in Minnesota is a felony offense.
A new law that went into effect Wednesday strengthens the penalties and makes more varieties of synthetic drugs illegal. Months ago, many head shops carried drugs marketed to mimic marijuana and other illegal drugs.
But deaths and overdoses have since prompted laws against the sale of those products.
Beau Jones/Dilworth resident: "There's been a lot of young people who've gone to the hospital and had a lot of health issues. It's not just here, it's all around the country."
Now, Minnesota has implemented a new law that makes the once misdemeanor offense of selling synthetic drugs a felony.
This comes after state and federal bans on so-called "designer drugs."
Moorhead Police say the stricter penalty will help them keep these drugs out of people's hands.
Lt. Brad Penas/Moorhead Police Dept.: "This stuff has been openly sold in businesses and I think this new law will help us to stop that from continuing in the future."
Not only is the sale of synthetic drugs now a felony, there are also now more types that are illegal. This year, legislators added 250 new chemical mixtures to the illegal list.
It will still take the state Pharmacy Board up to four months to make a newly-designed drug illegal.
Joni Lordeman/Moorhead resident: "It takes more than a law, I think it takes everybody. You know, people really have the power, it's not just the lawmakers in Minnesota. It's all of us, we're all responsible."
The owner of one local head shop told us they have stopped carrying any synthetic drugs because it is too confusing to keep up with the changing laws.