Drug Policy

Printed Bong Spells the End for the War on Drug Paraphernalia

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Inside 3DP

Several years ago in Reason, I considered the motivation for the war on marijuana paraphernalia. Mary Beth Buchanan, at the time the U.S. attorney for western Pennsylvania, explained it to me this way: "By enforcing the drug paraphernalia laws, we will…eliminate the demand for illegal substances by eliminating those products that are used to ingest and inhale illegal substances."

That goal seemed excessively ambitious to me, since even if the government somehow managed to stamp out the drug paraphernalia market, there would be plenty of do-it-yourself alternatives, several of which I outlined in a sidebar. I originally proposed including a fold-up pipe, rolling papers, or some other sample of actual drug pharapernalia in that issue of the magazine, a plan that foundered on concerns both practical and legal. But the ultimate refutation of Mary Beth Buchanan's argument, according to an account posted today at Inside 3DP, was delivered by an Israeli named Ben who tinkered with his 3D printer until it produced a plastic bong superior to the locally available alternatives:

Ben likes his marijuana but finds it difficult to find decent and reasonably priced bongs in Israel, where he lives.

Instead of paying for overpriced and poorly designed bongs, Ben decided to make his own. Ben's other specialty, or expertise, is 3D printing, and after building his Rostock 3D printer (RepRap project), he decided to start experimenting will all kinds of prototypes—one of them the now-famous bong.

The idea came came to life after a fun night out. Ben and his merry group of friends were chatting about 3D printing and its potential when someone suggested that Ben should print a bong. After initially laughing at the idea, Ben went to his laptop and started browsing for bong models. Eventually he found an STL file of a bong on Thingiverse, Makerbot's community for sharing and making 3D printed things. The rest is history.

Give it up, Mary Beth.

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  1. “By enforcing the drug paraphernalia laws, we will?eliminate the demand for illegal substances by eliminating those products that are used to ingest and inhale illegal substances.”

    I can only assume that ellipsis is replacing some qualifier about Mary Beth’s fantasy world where she rides drug war victory to the governor’s mansion and beyond. But the war on all things drug-related will not end until you can openly possess and use whatever you like and when doors are no longer kicked in.

    1. I still can’t understand how her point makes any sense. It’s like saying if we eliminate bottles we could stop people from drinking.

      Of course nothing the drug warriors propose surprises me anymore so whatever.

    2. Evidence of cluelessness. I rarely purchased paraphernalia, preferring to do it myself.

  2. Considering you can make a “pipe” out of a soda can, Mary Beth never had a chance in the first place. And as neat as this is, glass bongs are better.

    1. Shit, I had a roommate in college who swore he knew a guy who made a bong out of a Bible once.

      1. The Gideon Bible pages make nice expedient rolling papers. Or so I’ve heard from some degenerate libertine “friend”.

        1. Oh, many varieties of bible are good, the Gideon just turns up more frequently in seedy hotel rooms, which is handy when you are already too stoned to go looking for a King James to desecrate.

    2. glass bongs are better.

      I prefer porcelain. Glass breaks to easy and doesn’t stand up as well to cleaning.

      1. I made one out of stainless steel.

    3. Or an apple. Try banning apples.

  3. I see a plastic bong, and all I can think is “bad idea.”

    1. If you smoke out of a plastic bowl, you’re gonna have a bad time.

  4. I am currently trying to find the oldest Reason article on 3D printing

    I recall saying, “Let the flood of Bongs commence”

    And then joking about how you could of course still make bongs with discarded soda bottles, pens and tinfoil, but fuck if people won’t still use the most advanced technology in the universe to *first make bongs* with it.

    Because that’s how people roll.

    I think there was a similar point about the 3D ‘guns’ = that you could probably – if so motivated – devise about 100 different and far more deadly weapons out of normal household items in far less time and with far less effort, but hey = this is like, *hi-tech* and shit. because polymers and lazers, man.

    1. I think there’s definitely a research-project to done on demonstrating how the unbelievably rapid advancements in technology have served to make the average person *disproportionately stupider* in relation to precisely the advantages said technology brings.

      An example being the recent commercial where they show teen girls being smashed into by a semi-truck because they were, like, texting and stuff LOL!

      Note that we do not have similar advertisements saying, “Also, you shouldn’t *read the newspaper* while driving… or try and solve a Rubix cube while driving… or *knit* while driving… or Juggle live kittens while driving….

      No, we’re so fucking stupid, that people think we need to be REMINDED, “Asshole: when operating a moving vehicle, you *still need to pay fucking attention*”

      That’s how fucking dumb we’re getting.

      When they invent the radar/satellite guided cars of course, we’ll *be much better off*.

      (I believe the ads then will need to tell people NOT TO LICK THE BATTERY CONNECTORS! REALLY! DONT!)

      1. It’s not how dumb people are getting, it’s how dumb the control freak scum in the government and law enforcement think we’re getting. One of the hallmarks of those drawn to government and statism is how much they think the little people need to be controlled. TOP MEN and all.

        1. Which reminds me of the new, viral myth of the ARMIES OF STONED DRIVERS and how they will cause slaughter on the highways…

          1. Never happen. They’ll be dead from slamming a bottle of e-juice before they get behind the wheel.

            1. e-juice mixed with vodka and Red Bull.

        2. It’s not how dumb people are getting, it’s how dumb the control freak scum in the government and law enforcement think we’re getting.

          You’re unnecessarily eliminating the middle ground. Viewing even one episode of COPS or Bait Car will convince you that people certainly could be getting dumber and that it’s possible to even conceive that police exert more excessive force on those who are symptomatic of such behavior.

          Some of the most excessive force I can recall from COPS was very much like watching a stupid animal be subdued. Not justifying the use of force but, I can imagine doing that day in and day out could pretty negatively influence your perception of people.

      2. “That’s how fucking dumb we’re getting.”

        I concur.

    2. I think there was a similar point about the 3D ‘guns’ = that you could probably – if so motivated – devise about 100 different and far more deadly weapons out of normal household items in far less time and with far less effort, but hey = this is like, *hi-tech* and shit. because polymers and lazers, man.

      I know I’ve begun taking this attitude towards all things “3D printed”.

      Cody Wilson printed his gun on a leased extruder costing $30,000. If you were literally dirt poor and could only afford fire, sand, and aluminum cans, you could cast your own parts to a standard near what Cody did. For the modest price of a $15 metal file, a $15 metal scraper, and $50 bench grinder and, if you’re rich, a $75 rotary tool you can far exceed Cody’s production quality.

      If you’re one of those monocle-toting, ascot wearing libertarians, you could drop $5K each on a milling machine and lathe, another $1K on a drill press and welding supplies and have the technology to produce an *entire* weapon of better quality than the one Cody crafted. This is about the level of ‘technology’ that exists in the overwhelming majority of custom gun shops.

      Never made use of a bong, but I bet I could get the glass cheaper than they get the plastic and get a MAP-fueled bernzomatic for less than 10% of the price and end up with a better, more usable product.

  5. By enforcing the drug paraphernalia laws, we will?eliminate the demand for illegal substances by eliminating those products that are used to ingest and inhale illegal substances.”

    That is some mighty strong stupid that she has going on there.

    Hey, let’s eliminate the demand for alcohol by making cans and bottles illegal!

    Peak Derp has been acheived.

    1. It seems that she must have never associated with any stoners at anytime to have such a fantasy. Or have any respect for human ingenuity at all. Or common fucking sense. Seriously, how do people this stupid end up in charge of anything more complex than the drive-thru window at the local Wendy’s?

      1. Back when I smoked a little weed, many, many years ago, I saw pipes home made out of practically everything imaginable that a pipe could be made of. I saw very few store bought bongs or pipes.

        1. I’m thinking that this had to be about raising revenue through arrests and fines. The drug warrior rhetoric had to just be a smoke screen.

          1. Paraphernalia charges have always been about having a way to charge stoners even if you don’t catch them with any weed.

      2. Seriously, how do people this stupid end up in charge of anything more complex than the drive-thru window at the local Wendy’s?

        By going to the “right schools”?

    2. Peak Derp has been acheived.

      There’s no such thing as Peak Derp. Mark my words, someone will say/do something even dumber next week.

    3. It occurs to me, that the same line of thinking that leads to SWAT raids justified solely by the purchase of hydroponic gardening supplies would also result in 3D printers (the printers themselves) being classified as drug paraphernalia…

  6. Ben likes his marijuana but finds it difficult to find decent and reasonably priced bongs in Israel, where he lives.

    But easy to find them in the United States. Gee, wonder why that is. Let me think about it, and see whether I can get back to you with the answer sometime. Maybe later this decade.

    1. Is it because of the jooz?

      1. I was guessing he was referring to Socialism, but I could be wrong.

  7. Hey, wait a minute. Where’s the metal parts for this bong? You’re going to need a metal or wood or ceramic or something bowl, you can’t use plastic, and a metal screen, right?

    So just outlaw all metal, and the WOD is finally won!

    1. Can you 3D print silicone?

      1. Not possible. THIS is what would revolutionize 3D printing in my view.

        At this point in time you have to print and THEN create molds for silicone. Blech. Who has thousands for all the shit required for molds. I did it for years and it’s a fucking pain in the ass unless you get paid well… and in the midwest you don’t.

      2. The powdered metal business is big in PA. I wonder if some sort of 3D printing could be adapted to work with it. Maybe just to make the mold into which the metal is pressed before sintering.

        If governments took the typical knee-jerk reaction of banning the components, manufacturers of hundreds of useful, non-recreational products would scream.

  8. Ben likes his marijuana but finds it difficult to find decent and reasonably priced bongs in Israel, where he lives.

    So just how easy is it to find weed in Israel? And what are the drug laws like there? I really have not a clue.

    1. It’s pretty hard. You have to go to a few areas in Tel Aviv where the Russian mob operates. You aren’t going to find it in most of the country. There is no culture glorifying it.

      1. “It’s pretty hard. You have to go to a few areas in Tel Aviv where the Russian mob operates. You aren’t going to find it in most of the country.”

        This is more or less the complete opposite of everything I’ve heard for the last 18 years.

        Most people said you could buy it anywhere near beaches, and that you could smoke openly in public places provided you were discreet.

        The main reason I believed these people is because they smoke *every fucking day, all the time*, and I find it hard to believe they developed said habits in a country where it was either “hard to get” or “frowned upon culturally”

    2. I have about 5 Israeli friends. There are lots who were born there but come to NYC for school, go back for IDF service, come back to NY to work, etc.

      They are all, to the last, unrepentant hardcore nonstop pot smokers. Of the highest caliber /i.e. ‘hi-functioning’. 3 run their own companies. 1 is a PhD.

      They said there’s about 50/50 hash-weed in the market, its everywhere, most of it comes from Lebanon, and cops ignore it as long as you behave nice. Ive never been there myself.

      1. Yeah, but aren’t the weed laws in NYC, and much of the east coast, so much harsher than, say, out here in California? I’m guessing they only smoke in their homes.

        1. Not really.

          walk through central park on any summer afternoon.

  9. Anyone else headed to Knob Creek?

    1. I have to assume that’s some kind of euphemism for masturbation. In which case yes, I am.

      1. I thought that was an oblique reference to getting hammered on Knob Creek bourbon.

        1. Jeebus you guys are heathens.

  10. How many potheads have 3D printers?

    1. How many alcoholics have a distillery?

      1. Fabricating a quick bong to get high off is far fucking easier than creating liquor my man.

        1. You missed the point. Tool Box just asked how many potheads have 3D printers.

          1. I get it but you can’t fabricate a clean and fair (no fuels or nasty chems) liquor high quickly with OR without a jesus printer… You CAN fabricate a super quick high with found materials with decent weed.

  11. This particular application aside, I’m really starting to believe that 3-D printing is going to be quite revolutionary. It’s got that feel to it, kind of like when the Internet first started being used by regular folk.

    1. Regular people don’t understand 3 dimensions.

      1. And they didn’t understand hyperlinks. Now they do. The big question is, of course, whether porn will drive this technology as well.

        1. The big question is, of course, whether porn will drive this technology as well.

          3-D printed fleshlights…

          1. You know, I had some cool ideas for the Internet back in the 90s that others exploited while I failed to act. This revolution, I’m ready.

          2. I wouldn’t stick my dick in that shit. When we can print latex then the world starts to have a problem.

        2. Hyperlinks are 2 dimensions. Porn is 2 dimensions. Mom’s photo album is 2 dimensions. Pro Libertate posing with cam-camera with dolphins with his girly-girl at a fish park is 2 dimensions… Dear, the collective average sweet human does not understand 3 dimensions.

          Three dimensions is for bright people. I read like a fucking elitist… NOT my intention. The math of 3D is not widely studied or understood aside from a solidly strong clutch of digital brights probably composed of several millions… You need hundreds of millions to make something mainstream.

  12. Clearly this is sky but… I’ve gotten some fantastic goddamn highs out of a gravity bong made from a 2-liter plastic Pepsi bottle with a wrench socket precisely stuck in the lid to roast the weed. I love creativity but wow… 3d printing a high is maybe a bit high class for this intelligent wood elf who’d rather repurpose. NO critical judgement tho. None. I’m cool with all adaptations. I do 3D. I do 3D printing. I’d never waste spool on a high. Guess I’m a cheapass.

    1. “…a gravity bong made from a 2-liter plastic Pepsi bottle with a wrench socket precisely stuck in the lid…”

      My first post sort of expected/predicted we’d get a series of people repeating age-old home-recipes for ’emergency bong creation’.

      re “gravity bongs” = always thought them stupid, wasteful, messy, and inconvenient.

      1. As someone who had access to lab glassware, I made some pretty cool bongs.


        1. Episiarch|4.10.14 @ 6:18PM|#

          As someone who had access to lab glassware, I made some pretty cool bongs.

          My friend built custom aquariums and reef systems. he had his own shop when he was 16. something of a ‘savant’.

          If there had been a ‘world championship’ of Bong Innovation, I assure you, he would have been a regular contender. One of his creations which we dubbed “king bong” or “the bonginator” (many other titles) had a power supply, an air pump, and required 2 people to carry around. Admittedly, that one was a case of ‘design for its own sake’; his other concepts were far more elegant, efficient, and handheld. My favorite was his version of this basic idea =

          http://www.kamleshindustries.c…..c-0001.jpg

          his had a longer main-pipe, shorter chamber pipes; very well balanced and almost impossible to knock over; spillage is almost nil with closed water chambers; controlled hit-concentration, etc. I considered it the Eames Chair of bongs.

        2. this one is sort of closer to my friend’s design

          http://alturl.com/xu4y5

          only there were 2 filter chambers, and the pipes ran in pairs on each side rather than one big honking hose between them like that. Much more symmetrical and elegant. Sort of Gieger-ish actually.

          The really nice thing about that ‘slanted and balanced’ layout? no-hands, sitting down at a table, works great.

          1. Your friend seems brilliant… glad we had you around to report on it.

      2. Emergency bong creation is the first step in actually enjoying weed without stepping into a store that doesn’t exist in a swamp deep in Florida cracker country OR smoking a bong off hot ABS- in which case why the fuck do you need the weed?

  13. Didn’t hand-blown glass also spell the end for the war on drug paraphernalia?

  14. “By enforcing the drug paraphernalia laws, we will?eliminate the demand for illegal substances by eliminating those products that are used to ingest and inhale illegal substances.”

    Walk into ANY smoke shop in the country and walk out with pipes, rolling papers and it’s 100% LEGAL.

    1. As long as they pretend it’s not for smoking dope out of, yep!

      (And in a place where it’s legalized, they don’t even have to do that… unless they’re scared of the Feds.)

  15. That is of course unless heating the plastic used in 3D printing does not cause it to melt and deform …oh wait isn’t that how it’s made?

    Nothing like brain dead addicts and their stupid ideas.

    150+ Scientific Studies Showing the Dangers of Marijuana

    1. So the stoner girl you were into turned you down, huh. That’s a lot of butthurt.

      1. So I at a Dead concert and a joint is being passed around. Someone passes me the joint. I only did bongs, so I passed it along. But some deadhead chick screamed ‘Bogart’ in the short interim.

        My GF, Mary, laughed, but everyone else had knives in their eyes.

      2. I always stayed away from addicts and am dating an ex-NFL cheerleader.

        1. What do you bench?

        2. Your SATs?

        3. You have a Porsche too?

        4. Your dad was a Navy SEAL?! Wow

          1. You seem upset.

            1. Addicts like you make me sad.

              1. I dig your sad face, dimwit.

        5. LMAO … good shit man, you’re off to a better start than most of the trolls we get here

      3. He has a point, man. I’ve printed all sorts of crap including an international patent I can’t disclose on a 3d printer and there is NO fucking way I’d smoke anything off a printer no matter HOW genius Israelite the file was.

        I don’t dig Poptech’s arrogance just because he reads like a total fucking dickington, of course… nothing worse than a dick face with truth.

  16. When I read this article and the comments here in 2015 I think of the erased decade: the 1970s.

    I’ve mentioned this before. A lovely Mormon gal picked it me up while I was hitchhiking through Utah and took me to a tent in Wyoming so she and her friends could get to together and play Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Guilelessly.

    There is nothing edgy about the year 2014.

      1. I arrived in Utah via Wyoming. Two days before I got a ride from some Wyoming locals. We got a ways down the road, talked about this and that, and then the front seat passenger tried to stab me with a hunting knife. “You’re a faggot” was his explanation. The driver was not into this drama so he slowed down. I exited the car while it was still going about 30 mph.

        Thump, thump, thump.

        1. Maybe you aren’t good at telling stories.

          1. It’s a fact you aren’t.

  17. After a job well-done, Kathleen Sebeelius is riding off into the sunset

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will announce Friday she is stepping down, ABC News has confirmed.

    The president will nominate Budget Director Sylvia Burwell to replace her.

    Earlier today Sebelius was on Capitol Hill to announce that 400,000 additional people have chosen insurance plans through the Obamacare exchanges as of this week, raising the total number of enrollees to approximately 7.5 million.

    “As of this week, 400,000 additional Americans have signed up and we expect that number to continue to grow,” Sebelius said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday.

    Last week, the administration announced 7.1 million people had enrolled as of April 1.

    Comrade Seebelius should be awarded the title Her of the American People and be buried outside Obama’s tomb in DC.

    1. She did such a good job that she’s resigning. Uh huh. If you believe that, I also have some property in the Everglades you might be interested in.

      It surprises me not at all that they let her walk out quietly instead of publicly canning her, because canning her would be admitting how massive their ongoing fuckup is. And they can’t have that.

      1. Given his arrogance I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama parades on her stage during the press conference and declares “Heckuva job, Kathy!”

      2. What sort of fuck-up involves ensuring an additional 42 million previously uninsured people have access to quality, affordable healthcare?

        Oops, I meant thirty million.

        Er, seven million.

        Minus the people who lost their insurance last year.

        1. So, what’s that come to? Negative ten million or so?

          -jcr

      3. “It surprises me not at all that they let her walk out quietly instead of publicly canning her, because canning her would be admitting how massive their ongoing fuckup is”

        Dude, the whole purpose is to rotate players so no one has to answer questions about their previous answers to questions.

        Once you tell *too many* lies in Congressional testimony, its time to move on to the job for OFA.

        Clapper et al are still using up their Lie-credits. Sibelius was done with the “we wont extend the deadline” thing.

        1. Ok. Gilligan has posted. Jesus should now come.

  18. !!! KEEP DOPE ALIVE !!!

    1. Mummy bongs!

  19. Poor Mary Beth Buchanan, attaching herself to the War on Dope crusade just as it starts to fizzle out. How will she ever become a Senator *now*? Maybe start talking about the wage gap…

  20. So, Mary Beth Buchanan is a delusional cunt?

    Good to know, I guess.

    -jcr

  21. Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.

    http://www.GotsDatAnon.tk

  22. We’d all be better off if the police focused on crimes that have actual victims.

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