Local Ordinances Pushing Against Synthetic Drugs
Posted at: 09/04/2013 4:05 PM
| Updated at: 09/04/2013 6:38 PM
By: Travis Dill
Northland communities are feeling the effect of synthetic drug use, and more cities are turning to local ordinances to combat the problem. Proctor has banned the substances completely.
Proctor leaders have a strong stance on synthetic drug users.
“We don't want you in Proctor. If you want to pollute your brain stay at home and do it. Don't come to Proctor,” Mayor David Brenna said.
Selling the drugs in Duluth and Superior now requires a city regulated license, but Mayor Brenna said those legal hurdles weren't enough for Proctor.
“I don't think that fits well with the citizens of Proctor so we went the step farther to ban all synthetics all together,” Brenna said.
He said the ban, which passed the city council Tuesday night, encompasses the use, sale, manufacture and even possession of synthetic drugs. Brenna said the idea is catching on around the Northland.
Brenna said Carlton County asked about the new ordinance, and Virginia city officials said they are looking at the ban as well.
Residents in Ashland protested the sale of synthetic drugs in July, and Mayor Bill Whalen said the city is looking at the options to restrict synthetics there.
Brenna said putting up the local restrictions is better than waiting for a federal answer to the problem.
“I think it's best done on a local level so you can fine tune your ordinances to your local municipalities,” Brenna said.
He believes Proctor's ban on synthetics will hold up in court, and he's willing to fight if anyone tries to set up shop in town.
“I will do everything legally possible to discourage them,” Brenna said.
He hopes the Proctor ban will continue the push against synthetic drugs in the Northland.
Brenna said police have only seen a handful of synthetic users with adverse reactions, but hopes the ordinance will prevent any future incidents. The ban will go into effect on Oct. 3.