Select House committee to start work on curbing drug use

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Members of a recently formed legislative drug task force are set to meet with the public Friday in Duluth to begin their work examining synthetic drug abuse in Minnesota.

House Speaker Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls) announced last week the formation of the Speaker’s Select Committee on Controlled Substances and Synthetic Drugs that will study drug-related issues and develop recommended policies to combat surging synthetic drug use.

The group is scheduled to attend a public hearing on synthetic drug abuse June 7 in Duluth. Thissen said in a news release the committee will hold hearings during the interim with a goal of issuing recommendations by Feb. 25, 2014 on curtailing the sale and use of drugs.

Lawmakers serving on the committee are: Rep. Kathy Lohmer (R-Stillwater), Rep. Jim Newberger (R-Becker), Rep. Dan Schoen (DFL-St. Paul Park), Rep. Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) and Rep. John Ward (DFL-Baxter).