Head Shops on Thin Ice

Head Shops on Thin Ice
Posted by CN Staff on February 25, 2003 at 16:13:58 PT
By John Flink, Staff Writer 
Source: North County Times 
Oceanside ---- Members of the Oceanside Planning Commission unanimously approved a proposal Monday night to recommend regulating businesses that sell drug paraphernalia. If approved by the City Council, the resulting amendment to the zoning ordinance would allow the city to determine where such businesses can and can't operate.
Commissioners went a step further than the draft amendment prepared by city staff, adding a recommendation that the City Council pass an ordinance prohibiting minors from entering shops that sell paraphernalia. State law requires only that minors not be allowed into rooms or other parts of a store in which drug paraphernalia is displayed for sale. "It's illegal to consume drugs, but it's not illegal to sell drug paraphernalia," explained Gerald Gilbert, Oceanside's planning director. "That seems to be the Catch-22. But we can regulate these uses." Commissioners also suggested that the City Council look into the possibility of limiting the number of stores that can sell drug paraphernalia in the city. At least two businesses would run afoul of the amendment: Inner World Gifts, 211 N. Coast Hwy., and Outer Limits Smoke Shop, 2027 S. Coast Hwy. Both would be allowed to stay in business even if the amendment is approved. The proposed amendment defines drug paraphernalia as any device designed primarily for use by individuals for the smoking or ingestion of marijuana, hashish, hashish oil, cocaine or any other controlled substance, as defined by state law. The amendment says that such devices are to be identified by virtue of a distinctive feature or features associated with drug paraphernalia, notwithstanding that it might be possible to use the devices for some other purpose. Among the devices listed in the amendment are conventional pipes, water pipes, electric pipes, nitrous oxide devices, clips for holding cigarettes, spoons, straws and tubes. The amendment would not seek to regulate devices "traditionally" used to smoke tobacco, Gilbert said. Businesses seeking to sell other smoking devices would need a conditional use permit, which requires a case-by-case evaluation by the Planning Commission and the City Council. City attorney Pam Walls advised commissioners that head shops could be regulated but not snuffed out because the paraphernalia addressed in the amendment isn't illegal until it has been put to an illegal use. The Los Angeles City Council in August adopted a similar zoning amendment after a store selling drug paraphernalia, colloquially known as a head shop, opened near a high school. The move caught the attention of the Tri-City Prevention Collaborative, a publicly funded anti-drug agency serving Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista. Representatives form the group contacted City Councilman Jack Feller, explained Erica Leary and John Byrom, Tri-City Prevention Collaborative personnel who spoke at Monday's public hearing. "Just like a drug treatment program would come into the city under a conditional use permit, a head shop would have to come in under a conditional use permit," Byrom said. Franklin Korn, owner of Inner World Gifts, attended Monday's hearing. "It was interesting," he said of the discussion. Source: North County Times (CA)Author: John Flink, Staff Writer Published: February 25, 2003Copyright: 2003 North County TimesContact: editor nctimes.comWebsite: http://www.nctimes.comRelated Articles:U.S. Hauls in Dealers of Bongs, Roach Clips Traffickers Out of Business Targets Purveyors Of Gear for Illicit Drugs
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Comment #3 posted by BigDawg on February 26, 2003 at 07:06:15 PT
Now THAT's interesting
Tommy Chong was raided as part of the big DEA move, but neither he nor his business was listed in the paper work. Hmmmmmm, are they afraid that Mr. Chong would have public support like Ed does? Did they raid him with no intention of bringing charges?I despise the harm that Ashcroft and Company are causing, but the more rediculous they get the better we look.
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Comment #2 posted by pokesmotter on February 25, 2003 at 16:52:17 PT:
whoa flashbacks
I dont know if the head shop in Springfield, IL had a web site. Penny Lane was raided by local DEA and they took all the glass pipes. There was at least a thousand bowls, spoons, sherlocks, bongs, bats, and other various pipes. I think i knew the feds would eventually have to regulate the internet. The other day i saw a website where i could look at different types of weed to order. I didnt know if it was real but i thought to myself, "This CAN"T be real."
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 25, 2003 at 16:21:35 PT
Related Article About Raids
Ashcroft Cracks Down On Dirty Bongs, Raids ChongTue, Feb 25, 2003 05:53 PM PDT LOS ANGELES ( - On Monday, federal authorities charged 55 people with trafficking in illegal drug paraphernalia. Shooting fish in a barrel, one of those investigated was actor, director, comedian and bong designer Tommy Chong. Chong's company, Chong Glass, was raided, as was the actor's home. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the search of the "Up In Smoke" star's home turned up a small amount of marijuana.The sweep, which the Drug Enforcement Agency coyly dubbed "Operation Headhunter" (targeting head shops in Iowa) and "Operation Pipe Dreams" (which snared suspects in Pennsylvania and California), were aimed at blunting the force of the chronic problem of internet-based sales of drug paraphernalia. Attorney General John Ashcroft described it as an "illegal billion dollar industry." Online head shops (and their brick and mortar relatives) offer hookahs, hand pipes and water bongs, long hiding behind the assertion that they're not responsible for whether buyers use their products for smoking traditional tobacco or for illicit substances.Chong was shocked by the raids. His publicist, Brandie Knight told the SFC, "It's awful. They're talking about war and everything else, and I can't believe they can't spend their time better." In 2002, Tommy Chong showed many of his company's nicest pieces at an art show in Los Angeles in 2002. The Los Angeles Times described the show, at Ghettogloss, as "suspiciously rehearsed," but noted the installation's displays of colorful pipes, wooden sculptures, and graffiti art. While the theme of the even clearly encompassed marijuana culture, Ghettogloss owner Fiora observed at the time, "This is a legitimate art opening." On the Chong Glass web site, every page is adorned with the warning: "ALL PRODUCTS FOUND ON WWW.CHONGGLASS.COM ARE FOR LEGAL BLEND AND TOBACCO USE ONLY." A cybertour of the tubes, handpipes, hammers, sidecars and sherlocks available for purchase confirms the artistic aspirations. The high prices also suggest that garden variety stoners may not be Chong's target clientele. The "Big Bamboo w/Percolator" costs $280, but comes with the promise that it's "what Tommy Chong's son uses." The 64-year old Chong is best known for his partnership with Cheech Marin, during which the pair made seminal films including "Up In Smoke" and "Still Smokin.'" Chong also appeared in a more recent head classic, "Half-Baked." Most recently, the actor played generally blitzed photomatte owner Leo on FOX's "That '70s Show." --'s possible the feds may have been tipped off to Chong by the titles of his films and his on-and-off-screen persona of blissful oblivion. As neither Chong nor Chong Glass were specifically named on any of Operation Headhunter or Operation Pipe Dreams' indictments, it's unclear what kind of repercussions the actor will face.
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