Tension between Duluth and Last Place on Earth may be coming to an end

By KBJR News 1

April 17, 2014 Updated Apr 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM CDT

Duluth, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) -- The battle between the city of Duluth and the imprisoned owner of Last Place on Earth, Jim Carlson, has been going on for the last four years, but may now be coming to an end.

Duluth City Attorney, Gunnar Johnson, said he is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in this case.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has moved to dismiss an appeal by Carlson calling for the return of his store so he can re–open it to sell things other than synthetic drugs.

Last Place on Earth was shut down in July of 2013.

The district court ruling forced the store to close as Federal authorities went through it gathering evidence.

Carlson appealed saying he should be allowed to re–open.

Now the State Court of Appeals has thrown out that part of the case because Carlson sits in a federal prison and the building has been taken over by the federal goverment.

Johnson says with this ruling in hand the city hopes to work with the federal government to allow the city to acquire the building.

"The city has an interest in making sure that a property that brought so much pain and blight to the city, can be turned around, and used in a way that contributes economically and to the revitalization to that part of Duluth," said Johnson.

Duluth has passed two ordinances that ban the sale and consumption of synthetic drugs.

There is still a part of Carlson's lawsuit to be considered by the courts.
A judge must decide whether Carlson will ever be allowed to sell synthetic drugs in Duluth again.

The city will present its arguments on the question on May 15th at the St. Louis County Court House.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.