A St. Louis County judge has ordered the controversial Duluth headshop Last Place on Earth to pay for police presence outside its downtown storefront.
Duluth police estimate it costs about $1,200 a day for two police officers outside the store.The shop is the only retailer in the area that sells synthetic drugs. In the past year and a half the number of law enforcement calls in the area has increase 81 percent.
At a November hearing the city of Duluth asked for the temporary injunction on what it views as a "public nuisance" at Last Place on Earth. On most days, throngs of customers congregate outside the store.
Randall Tigue, who represents Jim Carlson, owner of Last Place on Earth, said the judge cannot hold his client responsible for the behavior of customers gathered outside the store.
"He's not saying that my client is doing anything unlawful. He's not enjoining him from engaging in any conduct he's engaging in now," Tigue said. "He's making my client responsible for what a patron of his a block away may be doing. And that's nonsense."
Tigue said Carlson will appeal the court order.
However, Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson said it is a thoughtful order.
"The court has found it's a public nuisance, if the court maintains that position at a permanent injunction hearing, Last Place on Earth will shut down for a period of one year," Johnson said.
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