The sale of “crack pipes” will officially become a misdemeanor offense in Oklahoma starting November 2010, but will not solve or even so much as remedy the state’s longtime crack cocaine and methamphetamine epidemics.
The new law will not remedy the drug problems in Oklahoma; rather it will push the sale and gifting of outlawed paraphernalia underground, adding one more danger to using particular drugs, drug reform activists say.
HB 3251 made it through state legislatures with unanimous approval this spring and was signed into law by Gov. Brad Henry, June 5.
Authored by state Reps. Tibbs, Roan and Shelton along with state Sen. Crain, the law describes the outlawed object as a “glass tube” that is a hollow glass cylinder; open or closed at either end; between two and seven inches long; between one-eighth and three-fourths inch in diameter; that may be used to violate the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act; and sold individually or in connection with another object such as a novelty holder, flower vase or pen.
If convicted, violators could be punished with up to one year incarceration in the county jail and/or a fine of no less than $1,000.
If you ask me, this new law is total bullshit. I mean – I can’t say that I’m surprised at some of the tactics used in order to get it passed, like practically hiding it from the public view – which, by the way, I do believe is totally illegal.
As I set out in search of this bill I was optimistic that I would be able to find it relatively easily and then resume my freelancing work – boy, was I mistaken. It turned out that I would spend the entire day researching the bill, the authors, calling offices and talking to staffers, leaving messages for legislators – and finally after all of that, it took reaching Tibbs herself, the original author of the bill, to finally get a hold of the real copy of the bill. As it turned out, the bill that had been posted on the internet did not include the “glass tube” portion of the legislation – that was added later.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that make the entire thing illegal? I mean, it could be that because our Oklahoma legislators are so incompetent on so many levels that maybe they also forgot to re-vote on the legislation … or maybe they just forgot to post the new legislation … or maybe … just maybe … it was all done on purpose!? I mean, I don’t know what the real story is behind all this … but I’m just sayin’ ... personally I’m not going to waste my time and energy trying to find out because I honestly believe that it was just pure stupidity that led our representatives to crap on their civil responsibilities … and for that matter, CITIZENS, you’ve crapped on yours by not effin’ paying attention and speaking your minds!
But I digress. What really stirred up my annoyance for this issue in the first place was the lack of good, much less even decent, journalism on the part of local KOKH Fox 25 when they aired the report on Primetime News at 9, Thursday, May 27.
What drove me so incredibly nuts that I started frantically texting notes into the notepad on my phone (Yes, I’m still not a cool kid … no smart phone here … three clicks, two clicks … you get the point) was that KOKH reporters said that the bill will outlaw the sale of “drug pipes” – talk about an overbroad and generic term – but even worse, when they showed video of Shelton bringing these so called “drug pipes” into the state capitol and even when they showed close-ups of the pipes, they never once showed the “crack pipe” the representative referred to in the video, in which he specifically discussed how we make crack illegal but not crack pipes. In fact, they only showed “tobacco pipes.”
Now whose mistake it was to not discuss the same pipes as were shown, I don’t know, but I just think that someone should have double checked what they were working with. I mean honestly, it’s not like you can’t Google “crack pipe” and come up with photos more accurate than what was shown on the news.
And for my own personal amusement, I’d like to point out that Rep. Shelton, who so adamantly fought for this bill is the representative for district 97 on the East side of Oklahoma City – an area of town known for it’s sparsely populated areas and low income – translation – cheapest drugs in the city! And on that note, I’d like to congratulate Rep. Shelton on doing his best and only making things worse.