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DULUTH - Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill to ban synthetic drugs.
First, a bill passed in the house, now another bill passed in the senate.
"This is a victory and I hope that we can make some positive progress," Lake Superior Drug and Violent crimes Task Force and Duluth Police Special Investigations Unit Sgt. Andy Mickus said.
Senator Amy Klobuchar passed a bill in the senate to ban synthetic drugs.
"These new designer drugs can kill,” U.S. Senator (D) Minnesota Amy Klobuchar said. If we don’t take action, they are going to become more and more prevalent.”
If passed, the legislation would ban synthetics like 2C-E and eight similar substances.
"This will definitely make more substances illegal themselves than we currently have," said Mickus.
Law officials say it has been tough to crack down on synthetics with it being a new drug and not a lot of laws ruling it illegal.
"We need the ability to step up the enforcement of this very real problem in the community," said Mickus.
Officials say this new bill could give them more enforcement.
"This new legislation will bring out enforcement options up to par with the other controlled substances,” said Mickus. Make it a felony to sell."
This begs the question of what will happen to the synthetic drug mecca, Last Place on Earth, if the ban is passed.
“If the ownership there decides to continue to sell than they'll obviously be some legal action taken,” said Mickus. We'll have to see where that plays out."
Some are comparing this latest band of synthetics to the prohibitions of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana.
"The fact that you prohibit it, it's kind of an oxymoron,” Minnesota NORML Executive Director Randy Quast said. "They put it in the schedule one controlled substance and it becomes a thing you have least control of of all because it just goes to the black market."
"There's already a black market and niche for all this stuff legal or illegal so I don't think that argument holds a lot of water," said Mickus.
We reached out the Last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson for his thoughts on this latest ban and how it would affect his business.
He had no comment.
Now the bill will go to the conference committee.
Once that happens, President Obama could sign it into law.
Last year, Duluth Police Department raided Last Place on Earth taking dozens of firearms, designer drugs, cash and nearly $50,000 dollars worth of synthetic marijuana.
Officials say they do not know if those items will or will not be returned.