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In Duluth, synthetic pot users get high and don’t hide it

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44 Comment(s)

  1. Awesome.

    sparhawk | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  2. All I know is I just paid $111.50 for a seat belt ticket. Then I see this.

    kokesie | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  3. Substitute the word “drunk” for “high” in the article, and read it as if it were about alcahol use and it sheds some light on the issue for me.

    The people featured in the article are rationalizing the fact that it is legal to mean that it is acceptable. It isn’t acceptable to get drunk in the park every day, so why would it be acceptable to get high there instead.

    What if you lined up to get a fifth of vodka every morning, and then went and got drunk in the park with your girlfriend as your toddler wandered around?

    I personally like the comment from the guy who “at least gets off his ass and panhandles.” Wow.

    As the number of users in Lake Place Park increases, it is bound to get “ugly” there eventually, be it a stabbing or a brawl. I bike through there frequently and can attest to the fact that there are ever-increasing numbers of people gathering there, usually right by the bridge to Superior Street. It is “not good.”

    Elden | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  4. Glad I’m getting up at 6 a.m. and going to work and paying taxes, so these jokers can use their gov’t handout to buy this stuff, turn into Gobs of Goo, donate their Goo plasma, and “take care” of their children “without harming” them.

    Just when did I turn into Nancy Reagan?

    emmadogs | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  5. Legalize it.

    j | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  6. How do you “feel” that something is legal? I “feel” that driving my car fast is “legal.” Who wants to race?

    jake | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  7. I remember when a dime bag used to cost a dime! Know how much a condom cost? I don’t know. We never used ‘em!

    Ravenous Pigmeat | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  8. Legalize Marijuana! Take tho power away from the pusher.

    Back in the day Sammy D used to bring that stuff to the clubhouse. Oh.. I tried it once or twice, made Dino even more of a moron and Peter Lawford would start doing his Churchill voice … har har … good times! Seriously, All that pot does is make you reflective, philosophical and want to clean meticulously .. no wonder the feds don’t want youse doin it. As far as these ass munch leeches smoking “incense” and bath salts when they’re supposed to be in charge of their toddlers, they all need a dose of reality kicked into their slacker pants behinds! That sh!t is wrong. I used to like Carlson when all he sold was dildos and numchucks but now he’s a festering parasite. Keep busting him DPD!

    Sinatra | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  9. These people are dumb or pathetic enough to smoke this crap and not the real stuff (or nothing at all…), so their stupid remarks and ignorant lifestyle seem on par for those who would use it. A stupid, dangerous drug designed to sell to stupid people with little or no money. I hope those folks with children all get a visit from Social Services this week.

    Ban any and all smoking in Lake Place Park, send an officer through there once and hour or so, start issuing tickets—that will at least force them to go somewhere else and not turn the park into an open air hash den. (And while they are at it, mayhaps the police could flush out the drunks that have made it their home as well.)

    Jim Carlson talks like he’s some kind of moral crusader for the constitution, and he’s just using it to make millions off these poor, stupid people. If he wants to preach that drug laws are hypocritical (and I believe most are) he should first take a good look in the mirror. Just because it is within your legal rights to do something does not make that something the right thing to do.

    Ban this dangerous shit and legalize real marijuana. Then, Mr. Carlson can make his millions by converting the LPOE into a medical marijuana dispensary.

    Tony D. | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  10. Could someone give Mr. Anderson the heads up that his career in elementary education is probably not going to happen? At least then he can save his tuition dollars in order to buy more.

    Also, a medical question: doesn’t that crap get in your bloodstream? And therefore wouldn’t it be in your plasma?

    jessige | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  11. Lake Park might turn in to The Wire’s Hamsterdam…

    Zacaroo | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  12. Jessige, I had the same thought about the plasma donation.

    Since this has turned somewhat into a discussion about legalization of pot, I have the following question(s).

    Alcahol is legal, but you cannot drive under the influence of alcahol. There is an easy test to determine whether someone is under the influence (brethalizer).

    I have no problem with legalized marijuana, but I would rather not have someone stoned off their butt driving a car. Is there a similar way to test for a person’s level of being stoned?

    It seems to me that a major hurdle to legalizing pot is how law enforcement can determine whether someone is above a legal limit of impairment.

    Further, could public intoxication laws be utilized to “round-up” the stoners in Lake Place in the same way they do for the drunks?

    Elden | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  13. Elden: a blood test is the only method to ascertain the blood level of THC proper.

    Lojasmo | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  14. Does anyone find it funny that they claim to not be able to find a job, although the LPOE has a huge orange “Now Hiring” sign in the window?

    Bret | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  15. Bret for the win!

    Paul Lundgren | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  16. @Elden The “Doritos Test” usually works for stonies.

    Baci | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  17. Good call, Bret! And wouldn’t they get an employee discount, which would be even cooler?

    jessige | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  18. +1 for Tony.

    Is anyone else as disgusted as I am at the young couple toking up in front of their 20 month old?

    Carlson isn’t a crusader…he’s a businessman. He’s not as concerned with the legality of the shit he sells as much as the loss of dollars in his pocket. IMO, he’s the real parasite here.

    zra | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  19. Scuttlebutt on the bus (overheard) is that police are hanging around in front of LPOE, making anyone exiting empty their pockets, and taking names.

    If this is true, I’d like to know what their excuse for probable cause is. I mean, unless they see me buying the questionable substances, how can they justify search? The people on the bus were saying that they were checking for paraphernalia, but they weren’t confiscating it. (?)

    I’d be pretty pissed off if they searched me for simply being the patron of a store that is in current disfavor. If the cops searched me and pulled out my gigantic [EXAMPLE OF EMBARRASSING SEXUAL DEVICE]*…. I’d be even more pissed off. And frankly, the harassment of a business owner and their patrons, if these rumors are true, is pretty heinous.

    While I think the behavior of the people in the article is reprehensible, I do think that the very obvious slant of the article is about drumming up public outcry/selling newspapers with sensationalism. So if you’re outraged, thank the reporter for making sure of it. We should be concerned about this sort of behavior, yes, but the existence of the substance/its legality/health issues should be considered separately. I don’t see Brandon Stahl going around interviewing people who participate in public drinking while supervising their children.

    Why does the article not investigate/elaborate on the alleged harassment by the police outside the store?

    Once again, I think this is clearly falling into a class issue. Users of these substances who have decent jobs and wear suits to work aren’t going to be hanging out in the park getting interviewed. Also, most people of that class buy the real thing, illegally, and get away with it.

    Also, I believe, ounce for ounce, that this stuff is more expensive than the real thing. The advantage is the (supposed?) potency and legality.

    Until we have more than anecdotal evidence about its health effects, I would never advocate for blanket banning of synthetics and their analogs, because it falls into the banning of substances “because it gets you high,” which is obviously hypocritical.

    If this leads to the legalization of organic marijuana, then good. However, it seems to me that we’re just going down the path of “I think users are lowlifes, and BAN IT ALL!”

    * I do not possess nor do I plan to purchase a gigantic anything from LPOE or other store.

    hbh1 | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  20. It is ridiculous. They should legalize marijuana. I think that you could probably do a cognitive skills type test and record it to issue a citation for driving while baked.

    They could use Super Troopers as a training video.

    wildgoose | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  21. Dirtbags, nothing better to do? Look at the other post. What did you do today? Folks that get it enjoying what makes Duluth great. Not sitting around smoking fake pot. If your life stinks so bad that all you do is smoke fake pot you might as well put a bullet in your heads. Do us all a favor! Get a job, enjoy what makes your area wonderful and do something productive. Buy a snowboard and go to Spirit Mountain for a natural high.

    Wes Scott | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  22. I liked the story. It made me feel good about myself.

    Fukka | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  23. This makes my blood boil. I am a mother and I have used some public assistance. I can not believe the things that these people will do when they have a child to care for. I can not believe people can get cash from an EBT card. It angers me that while I greatly benefited from public assistance, people like these scumbags make those of us who do not abuse it look bad.
    I am so mad about it I am tempted to go see if those “occupy” protesters want to go down to the Last Place and Lake Place and “occupy” those spots instead. Why can’t our lawmakers ban this shit anyway? Then they couldn’t sell it, legally, at least, right? What, if anything, came about from that raid at the Last Place?

    Jane | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  24. For the sake of clarification: The thing about getting cash from the EBT card — this is how they disburse welfare now. So if you qualify, the money, however much it is, gets deposited into your account, and you can draw it out using the EBT card like a bank card. They also load your EBT “food stamps” money onto the card, and it can only be used for food, at places that accept EBT payments (and cannot be used for prepared foods). The “food stamp” allotment cannot be converted to into cash. However, people who receive welfare money have always been trusted to use it at their discretion. We are all aware that some people don’t. I went through a very rough patch personally and financially about five years ago, and I took advantage (did not misuse, but used for its intended purpose) of food stamps and public assistance (welfare money) as well as free health care. I’m grateful that it was there to use. I was only on it for a period of four months, but it did indeed help me to get my life back in order when a number of things were falling apart.

    I was not proud of needing assistance, but I swallowed my pride and followed the regulations in what I believe was a moral and ethical way. I used the food stamps to keep myself fed and healthy, used the public assistance money to get around town and pay bills while looking for a job (and found one), and used the free health care to make sure I stayed healthy and could afford my prescription medication. After I no longer needed this assistance, I did what I believe the able-bodied should do -- I continued to work hard, paid my taxes (which in turn go into funding and repaying the programs I used), and I attempted to better myself. Not everyone stumbles or comes upon troubling times. And among those that do, not everyone of us manages to find their way out. I don’t blame people for accepting help in the form of government provisions, but I do blame them for wasting what provisions they do receive. I could have wasted my food stamps on soda and potato chips. I could have wasted the public assistance money on beer and weed. But I didn’t. Sometimes you’re left with very few choices in life, but if you approach them with some sort of dignity and honesty and personal accountability, you’ve got a chance. If you squander your opportunities, how are things ever going to change?

    Ravenous Pigmeat | Oct 24, 2011 | New Comment
  25. Oh my, my previous patients are all making the front page of the paper. I’m so glad the free health care they received is being put to good use as they continue to turn into “gobs of goo” and do the hard work of panhandling. What a waste.

    Michele | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  26. I drove by there yesterday at 5pm. There were uniformed police standing on the sidewalk and plainclothes outside in a car at LPOE.

    c-freak | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  27. I just wrote this paragraph for a different project -- but it applies here:
    Going back to Sartre and De Beauvoir – essentially what they were talking about was how we are all affected by each other’s appraisals. Moreover, in constructing societies, humans codify and institutionalize those appraisals to create classes and groups. By being a member of those groups, an individual gains or loses credibility in a rhetorical setting. As a result certain groups are methodically silenced – or made invisible.
    This is bad because it causes big populations to become disconnected from society. It makes everyman an island.

    carla | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  28. If the police are staking out LPOE, how come they can’t bust all the illegal parking directly in front of Tycoons that completely F’s up traffic at Superior and 2nd Avenue East?

    adam | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  29. Michele; if these people were actually your patients, you just violated your oath of confidentiality. I hope you lose your license.


    Lojasmo | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  30. I am a island. No fake pot on my island either.

    Wes Scott | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  31. By the way, I saw a movie filmed in Glasgow and they call the kids wasters there. Not because they are wasted but because they are wasting their entire lives away. You get to a point of no return I’m afraid. Then what? You’re a waster at age 30 with no resume and a record of smoking away your life. The Pink Floyd song says it well, ten years gets behind you … no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

    Wes Scott | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  32. Michele:

    How dare you go on a community blog and even speak of the fact that you may have served any of these people….not to mention the blatant disrespect. I am appalled and that is absolutely unacceptable.

    As for this issue, this was a newspaper article. The public does not know what these people have been through. Maybe the community should look at these people with compassion and do something to help. People in poverty are people. No one chooses homelessness and poverty. It is sad, horrendous and ugly.

    Maybe there should be some responsibility taken among all Duluthians to work to help all of its members rather than shame them.

    Holly | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  33. I’d say that these people are choosing to be poor and/or homeless. When you choose to spend all your cash on drugs and/or alcohol, and you talk about getting a job but all you do is find a way to get high or drunk, you are actively throwing your life away. I feel only compassion for the poor children suffering because of their parents ignorance.

    I do agree M. was totally out of line saying these are individuals she has had as patients. As has been stated this is a blatant violation of privacy laws.

    To say her opinion about those individuals wasting what was given them was disrespectful, (which is what I drew from your comment, H. so if I’m wrong disregard this part), I must disagree. It is a perfectly understandable opinion and one shared by more than M. from the other comments posted.

    Jadiaz | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  34. I’ve recently lost a toof, but I am worthy, in/de-spite of what community health says. I deserved to get proper dental care, as fully qualified, with non-labor-intensive costs. YET, I was being denied of other basics.

    I did not, however, receive the most basic of treatment (cleanings, fillings, replacement/preventive/reconstructive, and to expect that the obviously practiced would be at a reduced cost -- student/qualification/need-wise, and/or inclusive of other basic random benefits, without any dept. or extreme burden of proof, understanding or just cuz of the horn factor…

    (through the hoops, hoops, hoops…)

    ruby2sd4y | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  35. “Toof”? “in/de-spite of what community health says”? Maybe replying to the wrong post? Well, ruby2sd4y is obviously high or drunk.

    Fukka | Oct 25, 2011 | New Comment
  36. Jadiaz:
    Just for clarification, I was saying that it was disrespectful to her clients to shame or treat them with the same disrespect that she showed in her post. Those who receive services deserve respect as human beings.

    I know that I won’t necessarily change anyone’s mind, but I must say that there is always more to a person’s story than a journalist has to say. Yes, the people in the article aren’t making good choices, but the barriers that they may be encountering could be more than anyone knows. People break. And it’s not a matter of choice. A lot of times it’s a matter of feeling very hopeless, and not having the skills to bring yourself out of a situation. We’ve all made mistakes. And these individuals had theirs broadcast for all to see.

    Holly | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment
  37. Holly, you’re not doing them any favors by patting them on the head and saying “poor, misunderstood people, let’s feel sorry for them” Sure, let’s do that, but let’s also expect able-bodied people to use others’ tax dollars for food, not synthetic drugs; and let’s not make excuses for people abusing any substance in front of their kids; and let’s not make any excuses for able-bodied youngsters not going out and looking for employment, rather than hanging out and smoking taxpayer handouts away.

    I work with people like this too. You can seek to help, seek to empathize, while also not letting them off the hook for abusing tax handouts and their children and themselves.

    emmadogs | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment
  38. emmadogs: You are completely right. And I understand how what I wrote could be construed the way that you took it. They should be held accountable for their actions and be taught skills to make different choices. If you work with this population, you should know that the first step to some kind of improvement of this issue is understanding and compassion by those who do not work with this population. You should understand the barriers that they run into and it appears that you have lost your passion for this work.

    Holly | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment
  39. Not lost the passion, but have lost the desire to withhold responsibility where it is due. All of us have to take responsibility for what we do: and when someone else is using my tax dollars for drugs, not food/medicine/clothes/etc., I can call them on it without being dissed about it.

    emmadogs | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment
  40. The LPOE now has a Todd Fedora campaign sign in the window. I found that amusing.

    Bret | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment
  41. Holly, good to hear I misconstrued the disrespect part, as I agree with you that it is disrespectful to broach patient rights like that. I also have to say that Emma is right, at a certain point, people like this need to be held accountable, not given more.

    Jadiaz | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment
  42. How can cigarettes be legal when they caused over 5000 deaths in this state alone last year when synthetic pot killed 2? The whole situation is FUBAR and the victims are always at the bottom of the foodchain. We live in a society where we have had to outsmart God in order to get around our drug laws. Way to go humanity!

    Legalize the real stuff and sell it with liquor at the liquor store. Kids can get pot easier than liquor and then they are high, texting, and driving. Look out!

    I still don’t understand why the tobacco companies don’t just get into the marajuana business and sick their thousands of lobbiests onto congress. The excuses are a joke and the prohibition level is reaching an all time high… pun intended.

    In the end no one should be intoxicating themselves in public. Can’t the police bust them for that?

    Endion | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment
  43. “How can cigarettes be legal when they caused over 5000 deaths in this state alone last year when synthetic pot killed 2?”

    The answer, Endion, is simple: Money … and lots of it.

    The tobacco lobby spends MMMMMMMillions every year to influence “our” politicians (and I use “our” liberally because, once they were elected and the corporate lobby got their hooks into them they became “their” politicians … but I digress) to keep their industry free of pesky regulations that would otherwise make their product illegal.

    zra | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment
  44. That is why I see this entire thing as a HUGE joke. We fight about how these people are lowlifes or if someone broke a code of conduct, but we miss the giant elephant in the room.

    5000 vs 2. Is there that large of a segment of the population that is really that uneducated and stupid still?

    Cigarettes place poison in them and the FDA doesn’t even test them. Our government is become one big fat joke.

    It is a scary time when we are just ruled by a few people who manipulate us to get what they want.

    Endion | Oct 26, 2011 | New Comment

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