S. Illinois U. Town Puts Rapid End Paraphernalia

S. Illinois U. Town Puts Rapid End Paraphernalia
Posted by FoM on November 26, 1999 at 07:41:56 PT
By Tim Chamberlain & Nathaniel Park 
Source: U-WIRE
Carbondale businesses selling smoking accessories were notified by the Carbondale Police Department Friday afternoon that they would have to remove all items described as "drug paraphernalia" within 48 hours or face felony charges. 
Puff n' Stuff, Discount Den, Mischief's and Plaza Records, all of Carbondale, received notice Friday from Police Chief R. T. Finney that the businesses are "possibly in violation" of an Illinois statute concerning the sale of drug paraphernalia. In accordance with Finney's statement, the stores, which have been selling these products for several years, are required to empty their shelves of all smoking products by Sunday afternoon. Representatives of the Carbondale Police Department could not be reached for comment Saturday. The motive of police may stem from comments made at Tuesday's City Council meeting, where Discount Den, 819 S. Illinois Ave., was denied a package liquor license. Paul Bartlett, a partner in Discount Den, was questioned about the sale of paraphernalia at his store, and stated the store sold pipes that he did not believe were used for legal substances. The business most drastically affected by the action is Puff n' Stuff, 811 S. Illinois Ave., because the biggest portion of the store's income comes from the sale of smoking accessories. Lori Walls, owner of Puff n' Stuff, said she was shocked by the notification she received Friday. "We've always done everything to obey the law," Walls said. "There has been no indication before that there has been any problem." The biggest difficulty for Walls was the timing of the notice. She said notification was distributed too late to contact an attorney on the matter before the 48 hour limit expires, or to substitute other products for the items in question. She also said her business and others around the state have been operating for years without any problems. "I want to know why," Walls said. "If this is such an issue, why here and why now? [Paraphernalia stores] are all over the state. They are in Chicago, Champaign, Bloomington-Normal-everywhere." The action by the Carbondale Police Department is in enforcement of the Drug Paraphernalia Control Act, a part of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. The act states that any items specifically marketed for the use of introducing cannabis, cocaine, hashish or hashish oil into the body are in violation of the act. The act also states that items marketed for use with tobacco or other legal substances, which Walls said her products are intended for, are exempt from the act. It is not clear how the legal interpretation of the act will affect Carbondale businesses. Walls said she was concerned with the precedence set by this type of action in Carbondale. "It's not that I'm not willing to comply, but this kind of just coming in and saying 'You have to do this' seems more like Russia or Germany during the second World War," Walls said. "Are we going to burn books next because they have something in them that we don't like? Where does something like this end?" Though the items sold by retailers like Walls may not necessarily be used for legal purposes, she said that what people do with products once they leave the store is something she has no control over. "I think people should have the right to make their own choices," Walls said. "And I think you have to pay for the consequences of bad choices." Imogene Pennington, bookkeeper for Puff n' Stuff, questioned the suddenness of the city's move. "First of all, why did they ever let this place open in the first place if this stuff was illegal," Pennington said. "Secondly, why have the police let us operate for five years if it's illegal?" Walls said the consequences of the immediate enforcement of the Illinois statute will hurt not only her, but the six to eight people employed by Puff n' Stuff. "This is not just affecting me, it is affecting all these people that work here," Walls said. "We have got all these employees that work here that are depending on this job for their livelihood." Scott Uzzle, a manager at Discount Den, said he thought the move clearly stemmed from comments made by Paul Bartlett at Tuesday's City Council meeting. "We wanted to get a liquor license, but they thought because we sell paraphernalia with the arcade next door and the child care center across the street, that all of this is bad" Uzzle said. "That is where Paul [Bartlett] asked them to show where it says it is illegal to sell these items for tobacco purposes-prove that it is not a pipe intended for tobacco." Though the notice was served by the Carbondale Police Department, Uzzle said he thought the police were simply doing their jobs. "It is not totally the police in this matter," Uzzle said. "It gives them something to do while the students are gone, but it is your city government. If you want to change things you have to go to the city government." Plaza Records, 825 S. Illinois Ave., was also served with the notice Friday afternoon because they had a small case of items considered paraphernalia for sale in the back of the store. John Sands, assistant manager, said the city action would not have much effect on his business, which is mainly the sale of compact discs and records. He said he could see that other small businesses may have to shut down. "This is a direct attack on certain small businesses," Sands said. "The city should have looked at the situation more before doing this." Cindy Alexander, owner of Mischief's, 611 S. Illinois Ave., said her store would not be seriously affected because smoking accessories were only a small part of her business. Alexander also said she had expected such a move might be made by the city at some point, which is why she did not make the smoking accessories a major part of her business. "Look at it," Alexander said. "With common sense you can see what is going on. I knew this would happen when I started, that is why I didn't carry that much [paraphernalia]." Alexander said the point is that businesses cannot expect to circumvent the law. "I'm just being honest," Alexander said. "Look at it and you can see what is right and what is wrong-laws are laws." (C) 1999 Daily Egyptian via U-WIRE Published: November 22, 1999Copyright  1995-1999 Excite Inc. Cannabis News Related Articles:
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on November 26, 1999 at 08:36:27 PT
Here we go again
Drug Parphenalia. Let's see, now.Nicotine is a drug. A highly addictive one, and quite deadly in it's purest form, or as nicotine sulphate, an equally deadly substance. That is why nicotine sulphate used to be used in crop-dusting operations, and why some people use a nicotine based spray on their gardens, to kill any insect infestations. Nicotine, if introduced into the body in sufficient dosages, can cause death within seconds.Eating it is out of the question, as any fool who has ever swallowed the slightest bit of saliva while chewing tobacco will attest.So, a delivery system has to be used to convey a small amount of the poison to the blood stream in measured doses. The first such delivery systems were pipes.Which makes tobacco pipes nothing more than drug paraphenalia. Which makes *all* stores selling such devices 'paraphenalia stores'.But this simple bit of deductive reasoning always seem to elude the equally simple minds of those proposing such regulations. Why? Because the guy who has to duck out of the town meeting proposing this nonsense to have a smoke doesn't want to admit he's an nicotine addict to begin with. In his or her mind, tobacco is not a drug, and he's not a drug addict. And so the nonsense of the double standard regarding tobacco vs. MJ will continue.Until these hypocrites have their noses rubbed in their cognitive dissonance enough and admit, just like the denizens of an AA meeting, that they are addicts.
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