Magistrate Recommends Denial of 'Last Place' Lawsuit

By KBJR News 1

July 15, 2013 Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 6:14 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- A federal magistrate is recommending the denial of a preliminary injunction intending to block a city ordinance requiring a license to sell synthetic drugs.

In a report and recommendation filed on Monday, Magistrate Leo Brisbois says that the legal team for Last Place on Earth--who filed the lawsuit--did not demonstrate that they are likely to prevail on the merits of the lawsuit.

Defense Attorney David Malban argued in federal court Friday that the city ordinance is unconstitutional and 'Last Place' owner Jim Carlson would be incriminating himself by applying for a license to sell synthetic drugs.

The magistrate said the court, at this time, doesn't believe the ordinance requires an applicant to make self-incriminating statements.

While the city of Duluth is celebrating the decision, Carlson says it's not stopping people from buying synthetic drugs.

"A lot of our community partners worked hard on this to make sure everyone is on the same page," said Community Relations Officer for the city of Duluth Daniel Fanning. "It's a victory for the entire community."

"All the other places selling it just love it when we stop for a few days because their business triples," said 'Last Place' owner Jim Carlson, at this shop on Monday.

A federal judge still has to sign off on the final decision to uphold or drop the lawsuit.

Carlson says his attorneys have advised him not to sell synthetic drugs until there is a final decision from the federal judge. He faces a city fine for ordinance violation if he sells without a license.

Zach Vavricka

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