Pubdate: Fri, 18 Jul 2014
Source: Packet & Times (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 Orillia Packet and Times
Author: Antonella Artuso
Page: D4


Toronto - The provincial government should crack down on convenience
stores that sell bongs, drug pipes, pill grinders and similar items,
the Ontario Safety League (OSL) says.

Brian Patterson, president and CEO for the OSL, said an undercover
operation this spring in convenience stores in Toronto and Barrie that
carried drug paraphernalia found staff were routinely willing to sell
to 17-year-old mystery shoppers.

The bongs and pipes can be used to smoke pot and crack, while the pill
grinders allow people to abuse prescription narcotics.

"We need action to stop neighbourhood stores from selling drug
paraphernalia, particularly to our children," Patterson said.

The OSL is calling on the province to ban the sale of lottery tickets
from convenience stores that carry illicit drug paraphernalia. that we
have in place, but we've got mechanisms there to protect the public

Marc Paris, executive director for Partnership for a Drug Free Canada,
said convenience store owners often agree to sell these items because
they don't have to put any money into them up front as they're sold on
a consignment basis.

Many corner store workers are putting in 90-hour work weeks to get by,
he said.

"There's probably a five-fold profit margin on some of the items,"
Paris said. "When you consider what they have to sell in other items
to gain $20 or $30 in profit, that's one of the reasons we think
they've bought in."

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association supports the prohibition on
the sale of illegal drug paraphernalia, but argues that federal law
already deals with these items so new provincial penalties would
likely be ineffective.
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