Superior mayor: I'll do anything to stop Jim Carlson from opening bar or methadone clinic

Categories: Drugs, Duluth
jim carlson last place.jpg
Minnesota's most notorious small business owner is considering a move to Wisconsin, but officials there say they won't have him.
After a battle spanning years, Duluth officials finally succeeded earlier this summer in temporarily closing Jim Carlson's Last Place on Earth store by persuading a judge to declare it a public nuisance.

THE BACKSTORY: Last Place owner Jim Carlson arrested again, one day after posting bail

But Minnesota's most notorious purveyor of synthetic drugs isn't about to retire. Instead, he's looking for another Twin Ports-area spot to open a new business, and yesterday, he floated the idea of opening "a bar or methadone clinic" in Superior.

To give you an idea of how bad Carlson's reputation is among Twin Ports-area officials, consider that Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen held a press conference later the same day to suggest he'd go beyond the law to prevent Carlson from coming to town.

"We will take every single measure that we have available, and perhaps even harsher if necessary, to make sure that this does not happen in our community, that Mr. Carlson is not wanted in our community," Hagen said, according to reports. "What he provides to the people that he's preying on will not happen in our community."

"In fact, I'd be happy if he moved out of our community," Hagen added. "If he opened a bridal shop, I would oppose it; I don't believe he has honorable... intentions."

For his part, Carlson says that if Superior is out of the question, he'll probably just find another spot on the bus line in Duluth to reopen shop and resume selling synthetics.

"I could pull in a couple unemployed construction guys, get a counter put in and get licenses that I need in a day or two," Carlson said, according to the Duluth News Tribune. "I could literally have a spot and two days later be open. I'm not one to sit for three months trying to make it look pretty."

Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson says that if Carlson goes that route, the city will promptly try to get his new store declared a public nuisance and shut it down.

The city is hoping to shutter Last Place for a year, and a judge is expected to rule on that request sometime next month.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at

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k2yeb topcommenter

I think synthetics are horrible, but I don't think the likes of Prozac are much better. I think the govt just wants the control, they don't care about the vice/chemical. 

Elena TranquiliTea Williams
Elena TranquiliTea Williams

"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should" is what comes to mind when I think of stores like this selling synthetics. If the argument is "Well, if we legalize pot we wouldn't have to sell these synthetics, but since this is legal we're selling it." Why not just stop selling them in the first place because their just plain bad? There is no unwritten law that states "In order to operate a head shop, one must also sell unsafe synthetic drugs." Maybe Bob Marley posters and dusty, stale Nag Champa, but not synthetics. I think in this instance, the city is right. I dont think this gentleman has good intentions.

Charlie Milkey
Charlie Milkey

I get that Carlson has become the enemy du jour, but are you serious? Superior is mostly fast food and bars, and this is where he draws the line?

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

If he opened up a bridal shop though, I'd be a little suspicious too...


Legalize pot and the synthetics will go away.

People do some really insane things to themselves on that shit.  Things you wouldn't even believe.

Stoners are harmless.

CinBlueland topcommenter

Death of an institution.. LPOE has been around for around 40 years, as soon as the pro weed groups get pot legal he can run a legit business and scrap the synthetics. 

BTW there is more in there than bongs, and bath crystals..


@_Joe_ Look hard, and maybe you'll see the glaring logical inconsistency in what you wrote there. Or maybe not.

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