Duluth head shop saga: Owner assaulted, synthetic drug ruling expected


The ongoing drama starring a downtown Duluth head shop continues to get trippier.

At the center of the saga is Jim Carlson, owner of The Last Place on Earth, who has been locked in a battle with city officials and police over his sale of synthetic drugs.

Now the Duluth News Tribune reports that Carlson was assaulted Wednesday night by a 34-year-old woman. Carlson says he had a restraining order against the woman, who he says has tried to break into his store in the past. Court records said he has purchased Carlson’s synthetic drugs.

On Wednesday night, Carlson stood in front of his shop, woozy, his shirt ripped open and blood dripping down his chest, but he declined medical treatment, the News Tribune reports. The woman was arrested on an assault charge, the newspaper reports.

Carlson told WDIO that he broke a collarbone in the incident. There were several others involved in the altercation, Carlson told WDIO, which shows surveillance video of the scuffle.

Meanwhile, Carlson's shop was quiet Thursday because it was the first day a new city ordinance had taken effect that regulates the sale of synthetic drugs, the newspaper reported.

Carlson hopes that on Friday a U.S. magistrate judge will issue a temporary injunction against the city's new law, which is aimed at Carlson's business. It would be the latest development in the long-burning controversy.

City officials say Carlson's shop is a nuisance business. City attorneys cite 2,800 police calls at the store from September of 2011 to August of 2012, Northland Newscenter noted.

The flow of synthetic drugs across the state of Minnesota has generated so much controversy that lawmakers have created a panel to seek new state regulations.

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