Posted on June 19, 2013 by News Admin
Starting July 1, Florida residents won't be able to buy bongs. Instead, you'll have to purchase water pipes for tobacco use only (nudge-nudge, wink-wink).
Gov. Rick Scott signed the ban into law June 5, though it's significantly less restrictive than originally proposed by former crack-addict Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg.
Originally, the bill would have outright banned bubblers and bongs and anything else deemed to be drug paraphernalia. But after several changes, the bill now only makes selling bongs and pipes a crime if the person "knowingly and intentionally" sells it for pot use. Interestingly, pipes made of corn cob, clay, briar or meerschaum don't apply.
So, basically nothing has changed considering every head shop in the country already does that to avoid federal drug paraphernalia charges.
"If you come in referencing illegal substances, then we wouldn't sell it to you," an employee of Headquarters Tobacco & Gift Shop in Hialeah, Fla. told the Miami New Times. "But that's how we have always operated."
"It doesn't change a thing in the way we do business," the owner of four smoke shop locations in Broward and Palm Beach County told the New Times.
A first offense for head shop owners found guilty of selling paraphernalia is a criminal misdemeanor charge. Subsequent violations are considered felonies.
So basically, Florida, just be smart and don't walk in a head shop talking about how stoned you plan to get off your first rip of weed out of that shiny new bong. Play it cool.
"As a smoke shop, I only sell products for tobacco purposes," one owner says. "I'm going to kick you out if you reference drugs."
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