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House panel backs synthetic drug crackdown

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A legislative panel has approved a set of proposals intended to crack down on the sale of synthetic drugs. The House Public Safety Committee approved the bill Wednesday.

It's in response to perceptions of a growing problem with synthetic marijuana and other intoxicants produced from bath salts and other chemicals. The legislation would allow the state Board of Pharmacy to order businesses to stop selling synthetic drugs.

It also calls for a statewide educational campaign, expanded drug definitions and training for prosecutors. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Erik Simonson, says it's likely not a cure-all and may require future legislation as the synthetic drug business changes.

The bill heads next to the House Health and Human Services Committee.