By: Don Davis

ST. PAUL - A federal bill banning synthetic substances that mimic traditional illegal drugs is now law.

President Barack Obama today signed a food and drug safety bill into law; it contains provisions outlawing synthetic drugs such 2C-E and “spice.”

“In Minnesota and across the country, we are seeing more and more tragedies where synthetic drugs are taking lives and tearing apart families,” said U.S. Sen. Klobuchar, DFL-Minn., who authored the synthetic drug provisions. “Today’s action means that this critical legislation to give law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on synthetic drugs is finally the law of the land.”

Klobuchar and other senators worked to ban the substances after drug makers continually found ways around existing federal and state laws.

The 2C-E hallucinogen and eight other similar substances are among those banned. So is K2, also known as spice, and some substances marketed as “bath salts” that affect the body much like cocaine and methamphetamine.

Minnesota communities, especially Moorhead and Duluth, have cracked down on shops selling such synthetic drugs. One young Minnesotan died after taking a synthetic drug and several others have been hospitalized.

Minnesota lawmakers have strengthened state laws on the subject, too.