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Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It

Image by Dorian Hargrove

During the past year, city officials in Imperial Beach have tried to pass an ordinance banning the sale of tobacco paraphernalia commonly used to smoke illegal substances.

Last October, deputies raided two “smoke shops” for selling drug-related paraphernalia; that same month, the city implemented a temporary moratorium in order to prevent any such businesses from opening.

On Wednesday, January 21, the Imperial Beach City Council made the temporary moratorium permanent. However, the ban does not apply to any established businesses.

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City attorney James Lough read the ordinance to councilmembers:

“What you have in front of you is a long and tortuous effort; surprising, considering how short the [language of the] ordinance is. It’s a prospective ban on tobacco paraphernalia, not tobacco — it’s not a ban on tobacco. The purpose of this ordinance is to work on the ill effects of over concentration of certain types of products that can be used for legal and illegal purposes.

“The ban here is not related to, um, items that are banned by the health and safety code related to drug paraphernalia. And while there are some common definitions, what we are targeting here is the sale of tobacco paraphernalia, which we can regulate. The definition of tobacco paraphernalia includes water pipes, bongs, chillums…I didn’t even know what some of these were…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

“Um, what is a ‘chillum’?” asked councilmember Fred McLean.

“Uh, I believe,” said Lough, “it is a device that chills, like, with ice or something, the smoke that goes through it.”

The city council voted 4-0 in favor of the ordinance, with councilmember Jim King absent. The law goes into effect after official adoption during a February 4 council meeting.

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Image by Dorian Hargrove

During the past year, city officials in Imperial Beach have tried to pass an ordinance banning the sale of tobacco paraphernalia commonly used to smoke illegal substances.

Last October, deputies raided two “smoke shops” for selling drug-related paraphernalia; that same month, the city implemented a temporary moratorium in order to prevent any such businesses from opening.

On Wednesday, January 21, the Imperial Beach City Council made the temporary moratorium permanent. However, the ban does not apply to any established businesses.

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City attorney James Lough read the ordinance to councilmembers:

“What you have in front of you is a long and tortuous effort; surprising, considering how short the [language of the] ordinance is. It’s a prospective ban on tobacco paraphernalia, not tobacco — it’s not a ban on tobacco. The purpose of this ordinance is to work on the ill effects of over concentration of certain types of products that can be used for legal and illegal purposes.

“The ban here is not related to, um, items that are banned by the health and safety code related to drug paraphernalia. And while there are some common definitions, what we are targeting here is the sale of tobacco paraphernalia, which we can regulate. The definition of tobacco paraphernalia includes water pipes, bongs, chillums…I didn’t even know what some of these were…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

“Um, what is a ‘chillum’?” asked councilmember Fred McLean.

“Uh, I believe,” said Lough, “it is a device that chills, like, with ice or something, the smoke that goes through it.”

The city council voted 4-0 in favor of the ordinance, with councilmember Jim King absent. The law goes into effect after official adoption during a February 4 council meeting.

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The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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