Florida Bong Ban Approved By Rick Scott

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Pipes are displayed at Private Organic Therapy (P.O.T.), a non-profit co-operative medical mar
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19: Pipes are displayed at Private Organic Therapy (P.O.T.), a non-profit co-operative medical marijuana dispensary, on October 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Attorney General Eric Holder announced new guidelines today for federal prosecutors in states where the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is allowed under state law. Federal prosecutors will no longer trump the state with raids on the southern California dispensaries as they had been doing, but Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley recently began a crackdown campaign that will include raids against the facilities. Cooley maintains that virtually all marijuana dispensaries are in violation of the law because they profit from their product. The city of LA has been slow to come to agreement on how to regulate its 800 to 1,000 dispensaries. Californians voted to allow sick people with referrals from doctors to consume cannabis with the passage of state ballot Proposition 215 in 1996 and a total of 14 states now allow the medicinal use of marijuana. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Rick Scott's popularity is somehow on the upswing, according to a recent poll, despite a series of controversial laws he approved this month.

The bill makes 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."

That means that starting July 1, Florida head shop proprietors found selling pipes, bongs, and bowls, etc. will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor; any subsequent violation will result in a third-degree felony charge, in which they lose the right to vote.

But the key wording is "knowingly and willfully," meaning as long as everyone doesn't make illicit drug use reference, sales of pipes, bongs, and bowls can continue in shops that make at least 75 percent of their revenue from tobacco products.

"If you come in referencing illegal substances, then we wouldn't sell it to you," an employee at Hialeah's Headquarters Tobacco & Gift Shop told the Miami New Times. "But that's how we have always operated."

Although the ban will be tricky to enforce, a Criminal Justice Impact Conference determined that a similar bill would have put more heads in beds at state and local prisons.

Meanwhile 70 percent of Floridians support more progressive marijuana laws such as legalizing medical cannabis, although one such bill didn't even get a committee hearing this legislative session.



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