Local leaders tackle synthetic marijuana rumorsConcerns about Duluth’s well-documented problems with synthetic marijuana have prompted concerns for officials in Superior.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Concerns about Duluth’s well-documented problems with synthetic marijuana have prompted concerns for officials in Superior.
Now, state Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range, are joining forces with community leaders to discuss problems caused by synthetic marijuana in northwestern Wisconsin. They are hosting a roundtable discussion at 2:30 p.m. today in Room 270 of the Government Center.
Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen and Douglas County Administrator Andy Lisak, among other local, law enforcement and health officials plan to attend to discuss rumors that Duluth’s problems could spill over to Superior’s shore.
The rumors prompted the mayor to contact Jauch and Milroy to look into the enforceability of state law should the rumors that a shop like the Last Place on Earth open in Superior.
The issue at hand is manufacturers manipulate synthetic drugs to manipulate existing legislation to stay in business, Hagen stated in an email to Milroy and Jauch last month. Hagen asked the legislators to look at state laws in place to determine if that could be a problem in keeping synthetic marijuana out of Superior.
Jauch wrote legislation signed into law in 2011 banning the possession, distribution and delivery of synthetic marijuana after being contacted by local government and law enforcement officials in northern Wisconsin who are concerned about the dangers of using unregulated synthetic drugs.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice has alerted the Legislature to problems that have occurred with enforcement of the law, the legislators said.
Jauch and Milroy are working with Department of Justice and lead authors of the law, Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, and Rep. Gary Bies, R-Sister Bay, on language to improve enforceability of the law.
Anyone interested in learning more about the state’s efforts to fight the spread of synthetic marijuana is invited to the community discussion.
“Rumor has it that the owner of Last Place on Earth has been eyeballing this place because of his problems across the bridge,” Hagen said. “We don’t want that to happen.”
The mayor said expediting the better legislation is in Superior’s best interest.
“Across the nation, as soon as legislation is passed there is reformulation going on to skirt, sideline and get around legislation,” Hagen said.