Drug Paraphernalia Conviction is Reversed! 

Drug Paraphernalia Conviction is Reversed! 
Posted by FoM on February 09, 1999 at 11:16:57 PT

BOWLING GREEN The Sixth District Court of Appeals in Toledo has reversed the conviction of a businessman found guilty in September, 1997, of selling drug paraphernalia from his East Wooster Street shop.
In a nine-page ruling, the appeals court said David Glowacki of Waterville, who owns The Shed near Bowling Green State University, was prejudiced when he was convicted in Bowling Green Municipal Court after a two-hour trial before Judge Mark Reddin.Appellate Judges Melvin Resnick, James Sherck, and Richard Knepper said there was no evidence that Mr. Glowacki knew that customers of The Shed would use items they bought at the store as drug paraphernalia, and that the guilty verdict was ``against the manifest weight of the evidence.''Mr. Glowacki went on trial about a year after city police raided The Shed, taking more than 700 pipes, packs of rolling papers, bongs, and other smoking related material from its shelves.``Based on a review of the evidence presented at trial, ... we find that the trier of fact clearly lost its way and created a manifest miscarriage of justice,'' the judges said.About five weeks after he was convicted, Mr. Glowacki, 51, was given a suspended 90-day jail sentence and warned by Judge Reddin that the sentence could be reinstated if the businessman is found guilty of a similar crime during his five years of probation. Judge Reddin fined Mr. Glowacki $750, suspended his driver's license for six months with work privileges, ordered him to perform 80 hours of supervised community service, and to publish apologies in two local newspapers, the Sentinel Tribune and BG News.Judge Reddin stayed Mr. Glowacki's sentence while the case was appealed.Mr. Glowacki, who owns three other Shed stores and a novelty/tobacco paraphernalia distributorship in Toledo, said yesterday that he was happy with the ruling. Mr. Glowacki said despite the appeals court decision, he has no intention of restocking the Bowling Green Shed shelves with the kind of items that were seized by police.``We thought it should have been this way the first time through,'' Mr. Glowacki said. ``We never tried to ruffle anyone's feathers in Bowling Green. It's a good community to do business in. I'm not going to carry a grudge.''Mark Tolles, the city prosecutor who tried the case, declined to comment on the specifics of the appeals court decision.``I've only had a chance to read it once. I'm still considering whether it's something to take to the Ohio Supreme Court,'' Mr. Tolles said.In convicting Mr. Glowacki, Judge Reddin said it was ``especially compelling'' that the items confiscated from The Shed were being sold near books, stickers, and other items ``tending to promote the drug culture.'' ``This court is not required to ignore its common sense,'' Judge Reddin said in his ruling. ``This court has never seen a case where these types of items were used with anything other than contraband.''The appeals court said even if Mr. Tolles had proved the items seized were drug paraphernalia, ``we would still have to reverse [Mr. Glowacki's conviction].``The trial court stated in its judgment entry that it was not required to ignore its common sense. `Common sense,' however, is not a sufficient basis upon which to find a person guilty of committing a crime.''The appeals court noted that Mr. Tolles called only two witnesses to testify during the trial - two police officers, including a lieutenant who directed the raid before retiring from the force - who said they have never seen pipes and other smoking-related material like those taken from The Shed used for anything but drug use.A Shed employee testified that all Shed workers sign rules and regulations prohibiting them from selling products for drug use; that Shed products are exclusively for smoking tobacco and other herbal smoking blends; that the Shed has signs posted that tell customers its smoking products are for tobacco use, and that customers who inquire about drug-smoking devices are turned away.A pipe expert from Illinois testified that all the items seized from the Shed, including ``one-hit'' pipes, easily could be used for smoking tobacco.
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Comment #2 posted by shakedwn11 on September 06, 2001 at 21:26:13 PT:
Does anyone have a copy of this court ruling in favor of mr. glowacki? also is there any way to get hold of this expert from illinois. i too am in a similar situation. any help is appreciated.
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Comment #1 posted by PDK on September 08, 1999 at 07:58:10 PT:
I am looking for information regarding whether there is a court case has ever determined that possession of a pipe does not constitute drug paraphernalia. In this case the pipe has never been used except for smoking tobacco. I am especially interested in cases that have been heard in the state of Illinois. Please any information would be helpful.
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