Use of illegal, synthetic drugs on the rise in Twin Cities

Synthetic drug use is on the rise in the Twin Cities. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, synthetic drugs are designed to mimic the psychoactive effects of traditional, illegal drugs like marijuana and various amphetamines. Even though synthetic drugs are sold online, many synthetic drugs are illegal like N-benzylpiperazine (BZP). Because of the rising popularity of synthetic drugs, seizures of BZP and related drug crimes are on the rise.

Minnesotans obtain synthetic drugs online and through headshops that label the synthetic drugs as incense, bath salts or research chemicals. Usually synthetic marijuana is sold as incense and mephedrone is referred to as bath salts. The exact numbers of synthetic drug use is hard to establish but synthetic drug use in the Twin Cities metropolitan area is no longer comprised of isolated incidents and is on the rise according to a drug abuse strategy officer for the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The phenomenon of synthetic drug use is partly centered on younger people who are drawn to the drugs because of their effects and because the drugs can be purchased online. Many are under the impression that because the drugs are available for purchase online they are therefore safe. According to the drug abuse strategy officer with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Various statistics from the Department of Human Services report demonstrate an uptick in synthetic drug use over the last year. The synthetic drug BZP jumped into the top 10 list of most often seized drug by law enforcement in the Twin Cities area. Two high-schoolers were taken to the emergency room by ambulance after they ingested cookies made with synthetic THC.

The effects of synthetic drug use have also been felt this year. Eleven people who used 2C-E in March 2011 were hospitalized and one person died from the use of the drug. The number of calls concerning bath salt drug poisoning has gone up in the first three months of this year as well.

Source: Alexandria Echo Press, “Use of synthetic drugs on the rise in Minnesota,” Aug. 6, 2011

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Getting falsely accused of domestic violence in Minnesota may put you at risk of losing your job, custody of your children, or even your home. You may face criminal charges and the accusation may damage your reputation in the community, as people will now view you as an abuser. False domestic violence accusations often happen when couples are in a contentious relationship with a risk of divorce.
The top reasons for license suspension in Minnesota include driving under the influence of alcohol, repeated traffic violations, and failure to appear in court or pay fines. Failure to pay child support, criminal convictions and felonies, medical conditions/disabilities, and drag racing can also lead to license suspension. The suspension takes away your driving privileges, preventing you from driving legally.
Motorists arrested for allegedly driving while impaired might wonder, “Can you refuse a breathalyzer?” In Minnesota, the implied consent law requires a person licensed to drive, control, or operate a vehicle to agree to a chemical test to check for alcohol or other intoxicants in that person’s body. Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or another chemical test is a crime, often charged as a gross misdemeanor.