Duluth's Last Place on Earth raided as new synthetic drug crackdown goes into effect

Categories: Drugs
last place raid.jpg
Star Tribune video screengrab
Officers storm Last Place during yesterday's raid.
SEE ALSO:
-- Adam Budge, 18, charged with murder following friend's synthetic drug overdose
-- House approves synthetic drug crackdown amid concern about prison overcrowding


Jim Carlson, owner of Duluth's Last Place on Earth, has made millions of dollars selling synthetic drugs -- in fact, he estimated his store sold $6 million worth of synthetic marijuana and stimulants last year alone.

But the good times may be nearing an end. Yesterday, Last Place was raided by federal agents, and today, Gov. Dayton held a somewhat bizarre bill-signing ceremony for a synthetic drug crackdown that was approved by the legislature... in April.

Yesterday's raid began just before noon when a city bus stopped outside Last Place's downtown storefront. Out popped about two dozen officers. They rushed into the store and placed a number of customers in plastic handcuffs. Two were arrested for outstanding warrants unrelated to the synthetic drug crackdown.

Robert Miller, a Duluth resident who saw the raid unfold, told WDIO TV that the officers -- some federal agents, others Duluth police -- "had fully automatic weapons and full body armor. It looked like they were going to war."

Carlson is apparently fishing in Alaska, but his girlfriend and business partner, Lava Haugen, told the Star Tribune that authorities, with search warrant in tow, seized at least $20,000 worth of herbal incense, as well as files, invoices, business records, and guns Carlson stores on the premises. Officers finally left after 4 p.m.

It was the second time Last Place was raided in the last year. In September, Duluth police seized more than $50,000 worth of incense, cash, electronics, and guns from Carlson's store.

In a statement, Duluth police said the yesterday's raid had been in the works for many months.

My Voice Nation Help
31 comments
mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

Just a general comment to our hosts: Suddenly I'm being notified of every comment again. This really needs to be fixed as it will kill participation in these threads.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

Kirk's back in the house! 

I have to say Aaron, I don't like the fact my unique handle had to to be cropped under this "My Voice Nation" profile.    Perhaps we could also include Disqus in the comments login section.

 

I was up in Duluth last weekend and I have to say, that is one popular store. 

Usually a dozen or more people hanging around LPE.   Should of stopped in the place to see what trouble I could get into.  Er, I mean, "to "stress my freedom."

I like how gov. Dayton is going to sign a bill making the sale of "synthetic marijuana" a felony.

Shouldn't the laws naturally duplicate the laws for real marijuana?    I mean, a small amount is a gross misdemeanor, while a small amount of weed is a petty misdemeanor.  The physical and psychological effect is the same...

 

 

Joshua Graf
Joshua Graf

Educate then legalize. Drugs exist: FACT. People like to drugs: FACT. The "War on Drugs" is a failure/idiocy of the highest order (unless you're P$R$O$F$I$T$I$N$G from it.. hmmmmmmmmm): FACT. C'mon folks... do we really need to keep this shit street level for much longer??

MikeW
MikeW

Oooh, watch out for that Incense, I hear it's a gateway to other, far more potent odors.  And we cannot have that now, can we?

Erica Anderson
Erica Anderson

Good riddance. Synthetic drugs are not safe. Time to legalize marijuana.

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

Of course the sane thing would be to legalize pot, but that's not going to happen, now is it? Obama is worse than Bush when it comes to the disgusting War on Drugs, aka War on the American People.

Microphone Skerschman
Microphone Skerschman

They should be using this type of force on all the banks, corporations, and ceo's homes that get away with far greater crimes as well. Not some small independent business.

Microphone Skerschman
Microphone Skerschman

Waste of money, legalize marijuana and you don't need to pay a bus full of douche bag cops to raid some hippie's headshop.

Chris Welton
Chris Welton

That $5million of taxable sales on fake shit. Anyone else see a nobrainer to get the state out of the red?

atrupar
atrupar moderator

 @TheConservativeJerk Welcome back, Kirk! Was wondering what happened to you.

 

We're still working out kinks with the new commenting system, and I imagine it'll remain a work in progress for a while. We also have a new web editor now -- Tatiana Crane -- and she's the person overseeing the Livefyre rollout here at CP. Please drop her a line at tcraine (at) citypages (dot) com with comment-related comments or questions.

JonnyBeGoode
JonnyBeGoode

 @mark.gisleson - why would you legalize it?  There will always be a stronger and cheaper alternative on the black market, and if you do legalize it, how are you going to deal with the societal side effects?

green23
green23

 @mark.gisleson I'm pretty disappointed in Obama's lack of advocacy on the issue, but Congress makes the laws. Obama certainly made statements that he would not prosecute medical dispensaries, and he's gone back on that. I think that there are factions in the DOJ that would ignore an Executive Order, though, even if the President would stick his neck out far enough to issue one.

 

In the Big Picture, though, legalisation really is an issue best left up to the States. We still have "dry Counties", even though alcohol is federally legal, and federal legalisation of marijuana would just mean that States would hold on to their prohibitions.

 

You're not a stupid guy. You know full well what the Right would do and say if Obama were to become a strident advocate for legalisation. You can fault him for a lack of courage, but the real and fundamental issue is the Right exacting a very heavy price for any advocacy. If the States start making progress on the issue, I would expect the President to "evolve". Yeah, he's a politician and he's not the Messiah. Is the alternative to him better on the issue?

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

@atrupar

Been busy with work, family, and political campaigns.  Oh the political campaigns!  So demanding of a person’s free time...

Ya, I'm fine with the "My Voice Nation" profile, I just don't like the limit on charters for the user name.  I started typing "Kirk the Conservativ...  and it hit the limit.    Hmmm, so now I have to change my online handle?  It just doesn't have the same humorous rhythmic flow, and I feel slightly emasculated.

Anyways, thanks for the info

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @JonnyBeGoode Are you talking about marijuana? Nothing's cheaper than pot but thanks to our legal system, CRIMINALS get to add their hefty surcharge to the retail price.

 

It's possible legalization could cap plant strength (not hard to do -- super strong pot takes a lot of work by the grower), but if pot sold for "booze" prices, who would care?

 

The only people who want to keep marijuana illegal are criminals, the liquor industry and moral cripples hiding behind a deliberate misreading of scripture.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

 @green23   Personal Freedom  should be the #1 qualifier when judging our leaders.  Freedom to live, prosper, or die by your own accord or lack there of.

Always fear thou that saith "I will wipeith the ass for you"; somehow the ass always gets raw...

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @green23 Right, he's better than the vulture capitalist heretic he's running against, so suspend your moral judgment as yet another former pot smoker throws still more thousands of users into prison.

 

What are you going to say when Oregon, Washington and Colorado legalize pot and Obama sends in the troops?

 

I'm not saying vote for Romney, but excuse me if "vote for Obama" sticks in my throat.

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @JonnyBeGoode Pot is addictive like Ben & Jerry's ice cream is addictive. Wanting something because you enjoy it is not the same as wanting something because you HAVE to have it or you'll die (or wish you were dead).

JonnyBeGoode
JonnyBeGoode

 @mark.gisleson - you honestly think it will be cheap once it is taxed and distributed?  The fact remains that pot to some people can be addictive, and whilst I agree there is a double standard with other drugs, I do not think legalizing it is going to do this world better....

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @TheConservativeJerk And which religion is that? Mormonism? The belief that Jesus Christ flew to North America after being crucified to live with Native Americans? The belief that you can have up to four wives (unless your statehood application is at stake?). The belief that people of African descent cannot be ministers (unless federal funding is at stake and then you'll change the rules -- no big deal that).

 

Mormonism is an abomination to most Christians, which is why the right is shoveling so much manure about Obama, a man who could easily be criticized from the left, but whom the right has to lie about because he has furthered their policies from war to Wall Street.

 

Barack Obama is a better Republican than Mitt Romney is.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

 @green23 "Obama is being intimidated by the Right"

 

Really????

He did this in the first two years of his presidency. 

The democrats HAD FULL CONTROL of both houses of congress and the white house. 

 

Ya, he was bullied....

 

BTW, a comment like "If I were in Obama's position, I wouldn't stick my neck out on the issue for someone like you, because you'll find fault with whatever he does in either case."

 

I think there may be a "Bootlickers Anonymous"  meeting you should check out. 

I mean geese, can you get more obsequious?

Hey, I think you may also have some sh*t on your nose...

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

 @mark.gisleson The Bain capital forced work camp???

Attacking people based on their religion.  Such diversity and tolerance..

Or are you saying the workers at Staples (a Bain Creation) are to stupid to climb the ladder of life?  Hey, do you think your employer shops at Staples? 

How disgusting of of your employer!  You should quit today!

do you think the welfare office ever buys from there?

How about the Obama campaign?

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @green23 FYI, I am not an attorney. Technically speaking, I don't even have a B.A.

 

And I will concede that in so far as moderate Republicans go, Obama's not a bad President.

green23
green23

 @mark.gisleson "Right, he's better than the vulture capitalist heretic he's running against, so suspend your moral judgment as yet another former pot smoker throws still more thousands of users into prison."

 

Really? That's how you interpreted my comment?

Obama is being intimidated by the Right on this issue. Now, you can fault him for cowardice, as I said. But the real underlying issue is the Right salivating at the chance to destroy him for doing the right thing.

 

I'm being pragmatic about the issue. I'm not "suspending moral judgement". It sucks, but it's not the only issue in the world, and Obama didn't invent the War on Drugs.

 

"What are you going to say when Oregon, Washington and Colorado legalize pot and Obama sends in the troops?"

 

Where do you get the idea that I'm cheering on federal prosecutions for marijuana?

 

Look, you're an attorney. You must be familiar with U.S. vs. Raich, in which the "conservatives" on the SCOTUS invoked the Commerce Clause to prosecute someone who was in compliance with State law. Thanks to the conservatives' zeal for prosecuting the drug war, the DOJ can legally prosecute if those States legalise. Is that Obama's fault?

 

You want to pretend that Obama can just sign something and legalise marijuana in ten seconds, but you're smart enough to know that he really can't. If he doesn't enforce the law ,he gets heat for not doing his job. If he does enforce the law, he gets heat for being a hypocrite.

 

If I were in Obama's position, I wouldn't stick my neck out on the issue for someone like you, because you'll find fault with whatever he does in either case.

mark.gisleson
mark.gisleson

 @TheConservativeJerk How unsurprising that a Romney supporter wouldn't know what a vulture capitalist is. Just study Bain Capital and you'll learn all you need to know about unsuccessful parasites who leech the life from their victims, then leave them for dead.

 

And I think you know what the word "heretic" means. For 99% of all Christians, Mormons are heretics in every possible sense of the word.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

@mark.gisleson

“vulture capitalist”????

Not sure what that exactly is, but if sure sounds a hell of a lot better that the “parasitic capitalist” that resides within the bottom 30% of our society.   They don’t even wait for one to die to start picking the flesh from their bones.    Oh wait, the hematophagous (parasitic capitalist) has no beak to peck with, but rather their equipped with a sucking style mouth in which they find their subsistence.  Some of the highly adapted parasitic humans come equipped with a protrusible proboscis, which can be used to spear a host for which their existence wholly depends.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...