'Last Place on Earth' federal trial set to begin

Last Place on Earth
The sidewalk outside The Last Place on Earth is packed with people hanging around Tuesday, October 9, 2012 in Duluth, Minn.
Derek Montgomery for MPR

The federal trial of a Duluth head shop owner and two workers begins Monday in Minneapolis.

Jim Carlson, owner of Last Place on Earth, faces 54 counts of violating federal drug and regulatory laws.

Carlson has long alleged that the synthetic drugs he has sold are legal. The federal indictment relies on a law designed to prohibit the sale of drugs that mimic illegal substances. Carlson accuses the government of singling him out.

"They're not bothering anybody else," Carlson said.

Carlson also faces state felony drug charges as well as a city nuisance lawsuit that's closed his downtown shop since July 19th.

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