The long pipes commonly associated with marijuana smoking may soon take a hit in Florida.
Legislation aimed at prohibiting the sale of glass and other pipes, commonly called "bongs," sailed through the House Business and Professional Regulation subcommittee on Wednesday.
The measure is sponsored by Rep. Darryl Rouson, a self-described former drug addict who says the accessibility of the pipes at hundreds of stores across Florida help perpetuate drug addictions.
He said the pipes can be used to inhale crack cocaine, hash and meth as well as marijuana. After the hearing, the St. Petersburg Democrat said he wants to "take away the convenience of addicts being able to go to the local corner store and buy utensils that can be used for illegal ingestion of drugs. And we want to help law enforcement."
State law now allows only certain retailers to sell the pipes if at least 75 percent of their sales come from tobacco products or they have no more than 25 percent of "certain drug paraphernalia" sales.
The bill (HB 49) would eliminate that exception and make any sale a first-degree misdemeanor. Second and subsequent violations would jump to a third-degree felony.