Jim Carlson, owner of Duluth's Last Place on Earth, running for president
|Jim Carlson and a big sack of "incense."|
Jim Carlson is known for making millions selling synthetic marijuana. Now, as the Grassroots Party's official presidential candidate, he wants to push for the real thing's legalization.
Carlson is named as the party's 2012 candidate in petitions submitted to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's office, according to the Star Tribune.
The St. Paul-based Grassroots Party was founded in 1986. Its platform, historically, has emphasized opposition to drug prohibition, especially when it comes to the sticky icky.
From a statement released by the party: "The historic role of minor parties is to 'test drive' controversial reforms, in order to show fearful or skeptical professional politicians that popular support for such reform really exist."
Carlson reportedly agreed to run as the Grassroots Party's candidate before his Duluth head shop was raided by federal agents late last month. The feds seized tens of thousands of dollars of "incense," cash, electronics, and guns from the downtown Duluth business.
Just last weekend, the city of Duluth served a "Notice of Public Nuisance" on Last Place, citing the store's alleged ongoing sales of synthetic drugs, along with numerous police calls allegation patrons were blocking sidewalks and roads nearby the store.
But Carlson remains defiant. From the Duluth News Tribune:
|Star Tribune video screengrab|
|Authorities storm Last Place during last month's raid.|
[Said Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson:] "This is an action that this office has taken as an attempt to deal with the nuisance problem. Obviously, there's some legislation that criminalizes some of the sales of certain synthetic drugs. This is a different approach to the problem. Anybody who has walked through that neighborhood during the times in which these sales are going on and when these people are spilling out on the street and running around, I think understands the nuisance I'm describing."Winning the presidency and somehow convincing Congress to legalize ganja would be one way for Carlson to get the city of Duluth off his back. After all, if the real thing was legal, who'd need to bother with selling the fake stuff?
The notice states that failure to abate the conduct creating the public nuisance or failure to resolve the matter with the city attorney's office within 30 days of the notice may result in the filing of a complaint for relief in district court that could result in prohibiting the Last Place on Earth from using the building for any purpose for one year.
Carlson said Thursday night that he's willing to meet with the city, all officials have to do is call him. "All they have to do is pick a time and they can come in and get together," he said. "A lot of wars can be avoided. I always go for talking first."
Carlson didn't seem too concerned by the nuisance notice. He said his attorney told him the nuisance statute refers only to "illegal drugs and hookers."
"We're not selling illegal drugs and we're not selling hookers out the door, so he told me we are good to go," Carlson said.