Rick Scott

Florida Just Made It a Crime to Sell Bongs, Glass Pipes, Etc.



Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott just signed the so-called "bong ban" that was introduced in the Florida legislature by drug addict-turned-drug warrior Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg. While the legislation carries stiff penalties for people who "knowingly and intentionally" sell marijuana devices, the Miami New Times reports that the legislation probably won't have much of an impact on head shops:

"It doesn't change a thing in the way we do business," says Jay Work, owner of Grateful J's, with four smoke shop locations in Broward and Palm Beach County. Work along with the owners of 75 stores around the state joined forces to effectively neuter the pipe ban bill—championed by state Rep. Darryl Rouson from St. Petersburg, who believes getting rid of pipes is going to stop pot heads from smoking their cheeba.

Work says the Florida Smoke Shop Association raised more than $100,000 and hired a lobbyist to make sure their livelihood wasn't destroyed. "If you don't like the way the people who get elected are governing then you have to get involved," Work says. "We beat them at their own game. Unfortunately to play their game, you need to raise money."

The law says that a person has to "knowingly and intentionally" sell a pipe for illegal drug use to get arrested for a criminal misdemeanor. A second offense will lead to a third degree felony. That means a smoke shop owner or employee has to know without a doubt that you intend to buy a pipe for drug use. They can still sell pipes for tobacco purposes only.

"If you come in referencing illegal substances, then we wouldn't sell it to you," says John, an employee of Headquarters Tobacco & Gift Shop in Hialeah. "But that's how we have always operated."

Indeed, the shop has a sign warning customers that any reference to illegal substances will get them kicked out. The same goes for Midtown Smokeshop at 3503 NE Second Ave. "As a smoke shop, I only sell products for tobacco purposes," says owner Victor. "I'm going to kick you out if you reference drugs."

The bill is nevertheless incredibly stupid, and as PNVP.org points out, the legislative impact assessment predicts that the bill will "increase the state prison bed population." 

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  1. the bill will “increase the state prison bed population.”

    Mission accomplished.

    1. On Topic? Off-topic? You decide:

      I just heard M. Riggsy on the NPR radio (“The Takeaway”). Needless to say, my pants are a warm, sticky mess.

      Riggs was talking about the normalization of incarceration as depicted by the Sesame Street puppet who addresses the issue by playing a child with an imprisoned parent. Riggs’s point, which was not misappropriated, was that this has been normalized in the United States. To his vast credit, Riggs was not driven off-point to talk about Sesame Street but instead talked about the overincarceration that comes from the War on Drugs. I’m not sure if the non-libertarians in the audience got this, but Riggs did a pretty great job arguing that there are just too damn many non-violent people getting caught up in the criminal justice system. We are recklessly ruining individual lives and families en masse

      I don’t know if I’m reading too much into the sound of his answer, but I could swear I heard real pain in his voice. It was moving.

      Great job, Mike Riggs.

  2. Can’t think of any response beyond derp.

    1. Indeed. The derp is strong with these ones.

  3. I remember head shops in Atlanta would have signs that read “if it rhymes with dong, don’t say it.” Or something. Can’t recall anyone testing that rule.

    1. You know who else ryhmes with dong?

      1. Penis?

      2. Actually the correct answer was this chick:


        Mostly SFW

        1. Well you know what they say about sucking 200 dicks at once. If it was easy, everybody would do it.

          That’s funny.

  4. back in HS when none of us could get bongs, we made ’em.

    There was the popular (and godawful) pop/soda/coke can… bent with puncture holes.

    Or core out an apple just right, add aluminum foil.

    one enterprising gent used a tic-tac box

    or we just rolled joints… with bible paper if necessary.

    1. Aluminum foil, wrapped around a pencil.

      I used to smoke Drum (roll you own cigarettes), so people often asked me to roll their joints for them, then laugh when I gave them joints that looked like unfiltered Camels.

  5. “For Tobacco Use Only”

  6. I thought it was great when Scott killed the stupid high speed rail from Orlando to Tampa. Then he went off the reservation and decided to do stupid stuff like this. He also railed against Obamacare and then decided to take that sweet Medicare graft after all the whining.

    1. Ya, but his handlers in the legislature sorted him out on that issue.

    2. Yeah, Scott is shaping up to be a disappointment when he can’t stick to his convictions (if he even has any).

      He’s turning into a flip-flopping dope for who knows why.

      Maybe he thinks compromising on crappy ideas is going to buy him any loyalty from the liberals in the state who hate him? Instead all the people who voted him in are quickly souring on his lack of cojones.

      1. I guess he sees the pink slip Rick stickers and thinks that is bad. I see the stickers and think keep cutting Ricky.

        1. Do they have those outside of Tallahassee and prison towns?

          1. I’ve seen them in Orlando and Jacksonville

  7. I remember when I purchased my first pipe. When the lady asked “Would you like a bag with that?” I just scurried out. I was a nervous high school lad. A couple months later they got busted for selling pot.

  8. Saving America’s children, one stupid and pointless law at a time.

  9. Ahhh, another drug war hypocrite telling us to ignore his own record. Should we expect anything less when even our presidents are shifty two-faced jagoffs on the subject of narcotics?

    I can’t wait for this moron to sponsor a bill banning straws for snorting or tubes for smoking rock. Maybe we can pass a bill that rounds up all former crackheads and maroons them on a desert island?

    Nice to know an easy idiot to vote against next time.

    1. He probably thinks that BECAUSE he was a former addict, that justifies his hard line. As in “I’m a former addict. I know how bad it is, so listen to me”. What I don’t get is why people who CAN control their habits have to suffer because of his weakness.

      1. What I don’t get is why people who CAN control their habits have to suffer because of his weakness.


        Obviously, since he couldn’t control his impulses, you can’t either.

        Interestingly, few alcoholics make that argument, and those that do get called out for being full of shit PDQ.

      2. Ah, the Patrick Kennedy gambit. Nicely played, Mr. Crackhead.

  10. Why don’t these fucking legislators get a real job?

  11. I’ve been rolling it lately whenever I travel to avoid the added paraphernalia charge on the off chance I’m accosted.

  12. I guess these guys have never heard of the internet.

    Like everything else fun (namely booze and guns), shit’s cheaper on the internet and I can get exactly what I want.

  13. Illadelph is some nice glass.

    They banned bongs in Kentucky a while back. One place in town sells them as “glass sculptures.”

  14. “Ummm, no, it’s not for me. I’m buying it as a present for my giant caterpillar.”

  15. I drove through St. Pete the other day, and was amazed how many head shops there were on 4th street.

  16. Bongs are done. I highly (wink) recommend the Vaporgenie. Specifically the brass Sherlock. Vaporization with a lighter. Seriously this thing is awesome.


    1. Ridiculous! Vaping means you miss many valuable terpenes. Terpenes are where the flavor’s at. Don’t you want to go to where the flavor is?

      Most of this vaping craze is the result of an unjustifiable prejudice against smoking.

      (For the lazy: Inhaling tobacco smoke is bad for your lungs; marijuana smoke, not so much.)

      1. You couldn’t be more wrong. If you want to taste your botanicals this vape is the way to go. The bong tastes like a mouth full of ashes now compared to the vape.

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