Huffpost Miami

Florida 'Bong Ban' Passes, Doesn't Really Ban Bongs All That Much

Posted: Updated:
Print
Getty Images
Getty Images

Florida is on the verge of sort-of-banning some types of bongs -- er, "utensils of death," according to a lawmaker -- after a House-approved drug paraphernalia ban passed in the Senate on Friday.

The bill originally listed drug paraphernalia as metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic smoking pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, or punctured metal bowls; water pipes; carburetion tubes and devices; chamber pipes; carburetor pipes; electric pipes; air-driven pipes; chillums; bongs; and ice pipes or chillers. ("This is a comprehensive list of mellows that will be harshed," joked Stephen Colbert.)

But before passing, the bill was watered down to make it "unlawful for a person to knowingly and willfully sell or offer for sale at retail any drug paraphernalia... other than a pipe that is primarily made of briar, meerschaum, clay or corn cob."

Retailers, however, can still sell the devices for use with tobacco -- so if signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott as expected, the bill won't have much effect.

Previously, head shop inventory was regulated so that it could only be sold in shops that earn 75 percent or more of their income from tobacco sales.

"Rather than just regulating them, let's just ban them," Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), who sponsored the House bill, told the Broward New Times. "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."

Now any head shop proprietor found in violation of the bill will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor; subsequent violations will result in a third-degree felony charge.

Tallahassee lawmakers, who haven't even given a medical marijuana bill a committee hearing, appear out of step with Florida voters. A recent People United for Medical Marijuana study found that 70 percent of Floridians support legalizing weed for medical use.

Despite public sentiment, the bong ban passed the Senate 31-2 and the House 112-3. According to the Orlando Sentinel, "no" votes came from Sen. Gwen Margolis (D-Miami), Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), Rep. Mark Pafford (D-West Palm Beach), Rep. Halsey Beshears (R-Monticello), and Rep. John Tobia (R-Melbourne Beach).

Clemens, the Miami Herald reports, is the sponsor of the twice-ignored medical marijuana bill.

Also on The Huffington Post

Close
People Killed By The War On Drugs
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Bong Ban Bill Passes Florida House in a 112-3 Vote - Fort ...

Friday Funnies: Florida's Bong Ban Won't Stop Stoners

Florida's Bong Bill - The Colbert Report - 2013-02-04 - Video Clip ...

Florida Bans Sale Of Bongs While Medical Marijuana Bill Stalls | The ...

Florida: Medical Marijuana Bill Stalls; Bong Ban Moves Forward ...

Florida marijuana bong ban takes step forward - WPTV.com

Bong Ban Bill Passes Senate 31-2 But Now Doesn't Actually Ban Bongs

Florida Bong Ban: Can You Buy Pieces Online If Bill Passes?

Medical marijuana? Nah. Florida Legislature opts for bong-ban instead

Anti-Bong Bill Passes Florida House