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Move To Ban Synthetic Marijuana Advances In Minn.

ST. PAUL (AP) – A move to prohibit synthetic substances that mimic marijuana and other drugs is gaining traction at the Capitol.

A Senate public safety panel voted Thursday to consider incorporating the proposal into a larger drug bill.

That vote came hours after the full House added a synthetic marijuana ban to a health and welfare spending package early Thursday.

Both bills would punish the sale of the substances – often marketed as incense or bath salts – with fines of up to $3,000. Possession would be a misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to 90 days in jail, fines of up to $1,000 or both.

Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem told the Senate committee that drug users on probation are openly using synthetic substances because they’re still legal.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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