Pubdate: Tue, 24 Aug 2010
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2010 The London Free Press
Author: Patrick Maloney
Bookmark: (Paraphernalia)


A city councillor's push to have increasingly prevalent drug 
paraphernalia removed from London variety stores failed at city hall Monday.

Coun. Stephen Orser urged council's community and protective services 
committee to have staff report back on a bylaw that would ban, or at 
least force shop owners to hide, pipes used for marijuana and crack cocaine.

The pipes, often at eye-level for children and prominently placed in 
many London stores, promote drug use, Orser said. "My six-year-old 
daughter thought it was a pipe for blowing bubbles," Orser said.

His call, though, went largely unheeded, with the committee voting to 
take no action.

Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell was particularly unimpressed with the idea, 
saying he would support it "if I thought this might do some good."

Gosnell, echoing comments made by police Deputy Chief Ian Peer, noted 
there's a criminal code charge for selling drug paraphernalia.

But the challenge, as Peer pointed out, is proving a store owner is 
selling a glass pipe for drug use.

"If you come in and say 'I'll have one of those,' nothing illegal has 
taken place," Peer said. "Now you have to prove it's for that illegal purpose."

Gosnell was uneasy with the idea of a bylaw forcing store owners to 
move such items out of sight. "It's sending the wrong message out," 
Gosnell said, noting it essentially says "we know it's there, we just 
want you to hide it.

"I don't see how a bylaw in any way helps that at all."

Coun. Harold Usher wondered whether such a bylaw would be culturally 
insensitive. Some people, he said, may use the pipes to smoke legal 
material common in their home countries.

A slightly frustrated Orser said his goal was simple: "I just want to 
make it so children under 19 can't get at them."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom