Dairies dodging drug laws with ‘herbal’ pipes
Sunday 16 Jan 2011 5:46 p.m.
By Jenny Suo
The Government is looking to extend controls over drug paraphernalia with a bill before Parliament that will make it illegal to supply, import or possess a pipe for smoking drugs.
Currently pipes can be found next to everyday products at a store near you, for about $30.
3 News found several shops and dairies in the Auckland area selling drug paraphernalia including glass pipes for smoking "p".
One Albany superette displays pipes next to their sweets and energy drinks and the shop owner maintains they are for legal purposes only.
“It is just for tobacco and herbals, legal herbals.”
But Christina Stroud from rehabilitation clinic 21 Days says shopkeepers know exactly what the pipes are being used for.
“I had young clients come and tell me where they would go to get their stuff on the way to Carribean Drive where they would go to a meth house and get their ‘p’,” she says.
New Zealand has one of the highest drug abuse rates in the world and retailers have recognised the demand for p-pipes.
Ms Stroud says there are up to 30 other retailers selling drug paraphernalia in Auckland alone.
But it is not just an Auckland issue, having led the push to ban party drug BZP, Christchurch-based MP Jim Anderton is now keen to see drug utensils banned.
Drug education group Methcon says it is a grey area in the current law that has allowed shopkeepers to continue selling pipes.
“The possession of pipes and paraphernalia is illegal unless there is some intention that is proved by the prosecutor/pipes are sold under the guise of ornaments and aromatherapy pipes to get around legislation,” says Dale Kirk from Methcon.
And police hope that tightening legislation to make rules more black and white will make it easier for them to stamp out the sale of pipes and stop new users from buying them.