A new bill introduced in the Florida House of Representatives seeks to ban pipes and bongs from retail shops. House Bill 49 would prohibit “retail sale of certain drug paraphernalia.”
Back in 2010, Florida made it illegal for most businesses to sell bongs or pipes – only shops that make 75% or more of their income from tobacco sales are currently allowed to sell the paraphernalia. That bill passed the House by a unanimous vote (115-0).
This time around, all businesses would be barred from selling bongs.
The Sunshine State is difficult to pin down when it comes to pot. Just last month a poll revealed that 70% of Floridians support a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana.
State Rep Darryl Rouson, the man behind the bong ban legislation, had this to say:
“Rather than just regulating them, let's just ban them. If we can make people drive to Georgia and Alabama and South Carolina to get fireworks, they can drive to get these utensils of death.”
Yup. You read that correctly. Rep Rouson called bongs “utensils of death.”
When Rouson was pushing the initial paraphernalia ban in 2010 he said it was because “it is all a part of the drug trade and the criminal enterprise that we know exists and destroys neighborhoods, families, and order in our society.”
But perhaps Rouson’s personal history is coloring his view of pot paraphernalia. Rouson is a former crack cocaine addict who admits his addiction cost him his law practice and his first marriage.