Local Politics

Bill would restrict sales of items adapted to drug use

Posted June 18, 2009 11:07 p.m. EDT
Updated June 21, 2009 4:05 p.m. EDT

A bill that would restrict the sale of convenience-store items law enforcement official say are used as drug paraphernalia was sent to Gov. Bev Perdue Thursday.

The bill targets items including some cigars – often hollowed to insert drugs – and rosebuds, or small glass pipes sold for about $3 each. They are sold at convenience stores across the state, and law enforcement agents say that they are used in rolling and smoking marijuana.

“In such a society where we are spending the resources we are spending on drug prevention and drug rehabilitation, (it makes sense) that we shouldn't then allow, or facilitate drug usage, by having crack pipes sold retail at stores,” said Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, the bill's sponsor.

If Perdue signs the bill, stores would have to put these items behind the counter. Anyone buying them will have to show a photo ID, give their name and address and promise they won't use them for illegal purposes.

Store owners must keep a log of who buys the items for two years before destroying the records.

Convenience store owner Steve Myers said he doesn't condone the items or sell them in his store, but said he also doesn't see the need to legislate more red tape.

“To me, convenience store are exactly for that, to get in and out as quick as possible,” Myers said. "With the lottery and everything, it already clogs things up, and then we have this (House bill 722 restrictions) on top of it. And to be honest, to not have a sworn judge in front of people, they're going to sign the paper and be out of here. It's not going to do anything to control the problem."

"I don't know anyone who sent them (legislators) into office to do these type of things," continued Myers.

Rev. Melvin Whitley, a Vietnam veteran and recovering drug addict, indicated support for the bill and said it would cut down on profiting off drugs.

“I think it's a good bill. It adds another step to fighting drug addiction in our communities,” Whitley said. “It's not right to benefit off other people's misery. This is wrong,” he said.