I am mortified by the big paraphernalia bust – I didn’t even know this was federal law. In this time of terror and rampant white collar crime, does the Justice Department really have nothing better to do? Three years in federal prison for selling bongs??? There goes another one of my money making schemes down the drain. Let me know if you’re interested in my design.
- Federal law enforcement officials announced a major crackdown on purveyors of drug paraphernalia yesterday, indicting 55 people and 10 national distribution companies that have become multimillion-dollar businesses allegedly by using the Internet to sell items such as marijuana pipes and bongs.
Many of those indicted were arrested in simultaneous raids across the country, from Pennsylvania, where the investigation began, to California, where one raid involved a bong manufacturing firm associated with Tommy Chong, who lampooned the drug culture as part of the comedy team Cheech and Chong. The firm, Chong Glass, was not indicted.
In addition to raiding warehouses and head shops, federal agents led by the Drug Enforcement Administration disabled a dozen Web sites that allegedly marketed drug paraphernalia. Officials said yesterday’s action shut down more than half the distribution of drug paraphernalia in the United States.
“With the advent of the Internet, the illegal drug paraphernalia industry has exploded,” said Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, who announced the indictments. He and other officials said the products, which include marijuana pipes hidden in lipstick tubes and markers, have in some cases been specifically marketed to young people.
“Quite simply, the illegal drug paraphernalia industry has invaded the homes of families across the country without their knowledge,” Ashcroft said. “This illegal billion-dollar industry will no longer be ignored by law enforcement.” [Washington Post]
Ashcroft, you constipated freak, what are you hoping to achieve? We can only hope that this kind of mass arrest will lead to a court challenge of the law.
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance has this to say:
- On Marijuana: “These new arrests indicate an increasing politicalization in the war on drugs, and especially the war on marijuana. It’s remarkable at a time when more than 1/3 of Americans think marijuana should be legal to target those involved with marijuana. It’s an absurd waste of resources. Their drug war is really a culture war that has nothing to do with creating a safer society. Referring to marijuana as a poison, when no one has ever died of a marijuana overdose, is absurd. It would be more logical — although I’m not suggesting this — to prosecute people who sell beer mugs because of the poison consumed in them.”
On Money: “The government is spending millions of dollars in taxpayer money to incarcerate people who pose absolutely no threat to the health or well being of our society.”
On America’s unique stance on drugs: “These paraphernalia laws exist in no other advanced democracy. They’re uniquely American. There is no evidence that these laws have any impact on reducing drug use whatsoever.”
Our own Oliver Willis calls “bullshit” as well:
- The “Tijuana” model bong certainly represents a clear and present danger to our national security.
Damn, this pisses me off. Does ANY sane person think this is a good idea?