• July 5th, 2013
  • Bruce Denson

rick_scott_rips_bong_into_law_blogOn June 5th, 2013, Governor Rick Scott of Florida approved a bill known as House Bill 49 – Drug Paraphernalia Bill (aka “Bong Bill) making it illegal to posses certain drug paraphernalia that’s intended or designed for drug use.

Pipe Nightmare

Initially proposed and approved by the House of Representatives; HB 49 was created with the intent to eliminate “head shops” that sell pipes intended for drug-use and other such contraband.

This bill was designed to inhibit the retail sale of drug paraphernalia by instituting and implementing criminal penalties to businesses and individuals found guilty of illegal distribution.

The HB 49 bill states that a person found in possession of certain paraphernalia will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor for a first offense. Subsequent violations will then result in a third-degree felony and a possible felony conviction.

Banned & Illegal Paraphernalia:

  • Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls
  • Water pipes
  • Carburetion tubes and devices
  • Smoking and carburetion masks
  • Roach clips: meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a cannabis cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand
  • Miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials
  • Chamber pipes
  • Carburetor pipes
  • Electric pipes
  • Air-driven pipes
  • Chillums
  • Bongs
  • Ice pipes or chillers
  • A cartridge or canister, which means a small metal device used to contain nitrous oxide
  • A charger, sometimes referred to as a “cracker,” which means a small metal or plastic device that contains an interior pin that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or container
  • A charging bottle, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide from a cartridge or canister
  • A whip-it, which means a device that may be used to expel nitrous oxide
  • A tank
  • A balloon
  • A hose or tube
  • A 2-liter-type soda bottle
  • Duct tape

Another Hit to Paraphernalia:
Also outlined in the bill are the following 5 drug paraphernalia related crimes designed to penalize those found with such banned objects:

  • 1. Use or possession of drug paraphernalia
  • 2. Manufacture or delivery of drug paraphernalia
  • 3. Delivery of drug paraphernalia to a minor
  • 4. Transportation of drug paraphernalia
  • 5. Advertisement of drug paraphernalia

The Companion Bill to HB 49, SB 1140, has determined that the possible impact to the state and local government is an increase in the prison population.

Although, it has also established that there will be no effect on state and local revenue (possibly junk food), the obvious impact will also be on those businesses that dispense such items for resale and to their consumers. With this bill signed into law, many of these businesses will find themselves losing revenue and many of their consumers will find themselves behind bars.

If you or someone you know owns a “head shop” and has been affected by this bill, contact The Denson Firm.