Pubdate: Fri, 18 Jul 2014
Source: Barrie Examiner (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014, Barrie Examiner
Author: Antonella Artuso
Page: A2
Bookmark: (Paraphernalia)


Ontario Safety Council Wants Crackdown on Convenience Stores Selling 
Drug Paraphernalia

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 interest."

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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