Somerville police have recently sent investigators from the Drug Control Unit into local stores warning owners they can not sell glass pipes, Kent and other cigarettes. Two Union Square stores were visited by Sgt. John Gobiel in order to educate the owners of the prevention of selling glass pipes and bongs in the state.
“There’s a lot of people who do things that they don’t really understand are wrong, and they shouldn’t be doing,” said Deputy Chief Paul Upton. “It was more of an educational type of thing and all we look for is voluntary compliance.”
No enforcement action was required. Buzzy’s Glass Gifts and Other Cool Stuff, a counter in the pet supply store “Bone Appetit” and the glass-wares counter of the Mid Nite Convenience, store were both pulled without incident. Owners Domenic Bazzalo and Frank Golden would not comment further.
Upton said that both cases were examples of citizen’s tips, and were violations of a Massachusetts law that states, “No person shall sell, possess or purchase with intent to sell… drug paraphernalia, knowing or under circumstances where one would reasonably know that it would be used to… inhale” an illegal drug. The violation carries with it a penalty of up to two years imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine.
“This was strictly citizen to police, police referring it to the drug unit, the drug unit referring it to the DA’s office for clarification, they got clarification [and] the drug unit went back,” said Upton.
While consumption of the glassware’s supposed drug, marijuana, has been decriminalized for less than an ounce, the status of its use has not been changed. “It does not make it legal,” said Upton. “We enforce the law as we go. We don’t make them and we’re enforcing the law the way it’s written.”