A Minnesota Senate panel has advanced an effort to ban synthetic marijuana and other similar drugs.
The Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee voted Thursday to consider the measure as part of a broader drug policy bill.
Under the bill, possession of synthetic marijuana and other substances would be a misdemeanor. The sale of such products would also be illegal. Republican Sen. Carla Nelson of Rochester said it's wrong that stores can now sell synthetic marijuana as a harmless products, such as as incense or bath salts.
"According to our current laws, these substances are legal," Nelson said. "And the goal of my legislation is to get these off the shelves of our stores. These ought not be legal products. They are not harmless."
The Minnesota House passed a similar stand-alone bill earlier this session. The House also added the language to a Health and Human Services budget bill earlier this week.