Newborn bans sale of drug-related items

NEWBORN -- Drug paraphernalia cannot be sold in the town of Newborn following the final approval of an ordinance by the Town Council at its March 5 meeting.

The ordinance was passed in reaction to a local convenience store that has been selling glass pipes that are typically used for smoking marijuana.

"We just don't feel like they should be selling these things out in the open where young kids can buy them. There's no age limit on it. There's only one use for them that we know of," said Mayor Roger Sheridan.

The ordinance mirrors state law and prohibits the sale of instruments, devices and objects designed or marketed to be used to inject, ingest or inhale or otherwise introduce marijuana and other controlled substances into the body. The ordinance also prohibits the sale of objects that test the strength, effectiveness or purity of a controlled substance and are used to process or prepare, conceal the quantity of or hold a controlled substance.

Those objects may include pipes with or without screens; hashhish heads; punctured metal bowls; water pipes; carburetor tubes and devices; smoking and carburetor masks, roach clips; miniature cocaine spoons and cocaine vials; chamber, carburetor, electric and air-driven pipes; chillums; bongs; and ice pipes or chillers.

Business with those items currently in stock will have 90 days to sell or remove them. Business owners that violate the ordinance will be guilty of a misdemeanor upon first offense. For subsequent offenses, violators will be guilty of a felony and if convicted may be punished by imprisonment for one to five years and/or with a fine of $1,000 to $5,000.

Porterdale passed a similar ordinance earlier this year, with violators subject to having their business licenses revoked. However, "Newborn does not do business licenses (in an) effort to be business-friendly," said Town Attorney Joe Reitman. "This ordinance is mostly to educate businesses on state law."