Duluth's Last Place on Earth raided as new synthetic drug crackdown goes into effect
"For the last 16 months, problems with synthetic drugs and the behaviors around the Last Place of Earth downtown have been a major concern for our citizens, business community and the police department," the statement says. No charges have yet been filed in connection with yesterday's raid, which included officers from the Duluth PD, Lake Superior Drug and Gang Task Force, and DEA.
UPI reports that the commotion at Last Place was part of a nationwide crackdown -- between yesterday and today, authorities conducted raids in more than 100 cities.
Meanwhile, earlier today, Gov. Dayton held a signing ceremony for the aforementioned April-approved bill.
From a press release distributed by Dayton's office:
|Star Tribune video screengrab|
|Cynthia Peterson's boyfriend was arrested during yesterday's raid. She told the Duluth News Tribune he "was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."|
This important public safety law expands the definition of illicit "synthetic" substances and grants the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy expedited rulemaking authority to handle the ever-changing chemical formulae used by drug producers. The law increases the penalty for sale of synthetic cannabinoids from a gross misdemeanor to a felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a $10,000 fine, or both. It will take effect August 1, 2012.In addition to the state's efforts, a new federal synthetic drug crackdown criminalizing more chemicals goes into effect October 1.
Following yesterday's raid, the Northland's NewsCenter reported that Carlson remained defiant and promised to continue selling synthetics when Last Place opened today. A call to the store this morning seeking clarification wasn't returned, though an employee said the store is open for business as usual.