Florida: Lawmakers Unanimously Pass Law Restricting 'Paraphernalia' Sales

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Tallahassee, FL: Members of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives have unanimously passed legislation, Senate Bill 366, prohibiting the sale of so-called 'marijuana paraphernalia' – including "water pipes," "chillums," "bongs," or "glass or ceramic smoking pipes" – in stores that receive fewer than 75% of their annual revenue from the sale of tobacco products.

The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Charlie Crist for final approval.

Once signed, the new law will take effect on July 1. Violators of the law will be guilty of a misdemeanor and could face up to one year in jail.

Democrat Rep. Darryl Rouson, who sponsored the measure, said, "[T]he pipe industry ... is ... a part of the drug trade and the criminal enterprise that we know exists and destroys neighborhoods, families and order in our society."

Commenting on the bill's passage, NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre said: "It is notable, though regrettable, that Florida's lawmakers are further criminalizing marijuana and marijuana-related activities at a time when most other state lawmakers are considering measures to legalize and regulate cannabis and responsible cannabis consumers."

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500.