Pubdate: Wed, 03 Mar 2004
Source: Star-News (NC)
Contact:  2004 Wilmington Morning Star
Bookmark: (Paraphernalia)
Bookmark: (Operation Pipecleaner)


To confiscate marijuana-smoking gadgets sold openly in two Wilmington 
stores apparently required law-enforcement officers from the federal, state 
and local levels.

Led by John Ashcroft's U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney Frank 
D. Whitney, intrepid officers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement 
Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the State Bureau of 
Investigation, the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department and the 
Wilmington Police Department somehow managed to detect the presence of 
dopey paraphernalia and seize it, from stores here and in Raleigh.

It was as if the massed forces of Eliot Ness had busted one of Al Capone's 
speakeasies and confiscated the little umbrellas that went in the tropical 

Of course, photos and video footage of cheesy smoke dispensers would look 
good in campaign commercials, and probably will.

Americans are threatened by terrorists trying to murder us and destroy our 
free institutions. We're threatened by killer drugs such as 
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. And to be sure, it's said that the 
marijuana on sale these days is much more powerful than the weed some 
adults remember (or think they do) from their hippy-dippy days.

But terrorists and drug dealers are hard to find and convict. Retail clerks 
whose dubious wares are on brazen display don't present quite so difficult 
a challenge.

Fortunately, no officers were harmed in the making of this media event.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom