In March of 2011, several spring break revelers at a party in Blaine, Minnesota were hospitalized after overdosing on a synthetic designer drug known as 2C-E. One of them, 19-year-old Trevor Robinson, was killed.
Robinson's death lit a fire under lawmakers about synthetic drugs that, until a few months ago, were perfectly legal to purchase in Minnesota. Now, a state law prohibits the sale or possession of 2C-E and similar synthetic drugs. Moreover, led by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, a growing contingent in Congress is pushing for a nation-wide prohibition on 2C-E.
Minnesota Legislation Broadly Targets Expansive Range Of Designer Drugs
2C-E, also known as europa, is a hallucinogen that produces psychedelic effects similar to LSD or ecstasy. Certain members of the 2C-E family are federally designated as a controlled substance by the DEA. Others, however, are legally accessible in many states.
It can be difficult for lawmakers to keep up with scientific advances in the production of synthetic designer drugs. In Minnesota, some municipalities had already banned 2C-E through local ordinances before a statewide prohibition went into effect July 1. Along with 2C-E, the ban is applicable to a variety of synthetic marijuana compounds, designer psychedelics and synthetic drugs referred to as "bath salts." But, chemists have already produced substitutes that head shops and other sellers are insisting do not fall within the purview of the new statute. In addition, while the updates to the Minnesota Statutes prohibit the sale or possession of a range of synthetics, the drugs are still easy to obtain in other states or through internet sales.
The sale of any amount of synthetic cannabinoids is a gross misdemeanor under the new Minnesota law, while possession is punishable as a misdemeanor. For other synthetics, possession is designated as a controlled substance crime in the first to third degree, depending on the amount and type of drug confiscated. A Minneapolis drug charges lawyer can explain the types of potential penalties that may accompany particular unique circumstances.
Push For National Enactment
Senator Klobuchar has received backing from the U.S. Department of Justice and a number of other lawmakers for three bills that would ban 2C-E, bath salts and synthetic marijuana throughout the country.
But, not all legal experts are on board. The Minnesota ban has already been challenged on the grounds that it is too vague to be constitutional. Many users and sellers are no longer clear on what is and is not legal - and the only way to find out is to risk a serious drug charge that can result in huge fines and likely jail time.
Do not wind up behind bars thanks to confusion about the expansive new law. If you have been charged with a drug crime, contact a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer today to build a strong legal defense.