SALEM, Ore. —
A bill being introduced in the Oregon Legislature would only allow licensed marijuana dispensaries to sell drug paraphernalia, like pipes.
According to a news release from Salem Republican Rep. Jodi Hack’s office, House Bill 2556 was created to deter people younger than 21 from being able to purchase drug paraphernalia.
“Marijuana paraphernalia can be bought at gas stations, mini marts and stores that sell tobacco. Kids will often purchase the paraphernalia under the premise of using it to smoke tobacco. Marijuana paraphernalia should not be accessible to our children,” Hack wrote.
If passed, the bill would carry up to a $2,000 fine for non-dispensary businesses that sell paraphernalia.
It includes water pipes, bongs, and “roach clips.”
“I think the local community would be pretty pissed off… it’s significant [and]I take this personally.” said Mark Herer who runs Third Eye, a smoke shop his father opened on Southeast Hawthorne Avenue almost 30 years ago.
He says the bill could close his doors for good.
“I don’t think this is going to solve anything, making tougher restrictions. That’s a way to go but it’s taking thousands of people’s livelihoods away,” Herer said.
Hack said she is alarmed at how easy it is for underage teens to get these items.
But Herer said: “No, it’s not going to solve the problem. Like I said, ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’, Spicoli … you can make a bong out of anything.”
Grace Cejas grew up in the Hawthorne neighborhood and the bill could change the whole neighborhood.
“I think there is a lot of people that would lose business,” Cejas said. “I think 16-year-olds are going to be able to get it no matter what.”
Herer said he won’t go down without a fight.