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Assemblyman Travis Allen Introduces Legislation to Stop the Sale of Illegal Drug Paraphernalia

AB 2169 bans the sale of illegal drug paraphernalia across the State of California

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) introduced AB 2169, which eliminates a loophole in the Public Safety Code that perpetuates the sale of illegal drug paraphernalia across California.

This failure in California’s Public Safety Code has created storefronts in at-risk communities and all across California that are lined with cheap glass pipes used for smoking meth and other illegal drugs. Nearly one in ten Californians struggle with drug abuse, and in the state capital of Sacramento alone, 82 percent of arrests test positive for illegal drugs. Further, 85 percent of addicts will never receive treatment, and 40,000 emergency room visits each year are drug related. Halting the sale of drug paraphernalia masquerading as tobacco or naturopathic devices is a major step in stopping the rise of illicit drug use.

“This loophole in California’s drug laws needs to be closed immediately to save lives and protect our youth from easily acquiring illegal drug paraphernalia. Federal and state laws never intended to allow illegal drug tools to be legally sold. AB 2169 will close the loophole and put a stop to the proliferation of inexpensive and readily available illegal drug paraphernalia in our communities,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen.

Despite California’s drug enforcement efforts in confiscating over 800 pounds of heroin, 5,000 pounds of methamphetamines, and 18,000 pounds of cocaine annually (about $280 million in street value), approximately one million children aged 12 and up were dependent on or abused illegal drugs in a survey done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Drug abuse is the number one cause of premature death in California, with 11 people dying every day.

Under federal law, drug paraphernalia is specifically defined as ‘any equipment, product or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.’ According to the U.S. Department of Justice, drug paraphernalia is illegal. U.S. Code Title 21 Section 863, makes it ‘unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale drug paraphernalia; to use the mails or any other facility of interstate commerce to transport drug paraphernalia; or to import or export drug paraphernalia.’

“In our city we have smoke shops that openly sell drug paraphernalia under the guise of ‘tobacco use.’ The pipes and other drug paraphernalia they sell contribute to drug use by youth and young adults, while also reinforcing a drug-positive culture,” said the Garden Grove Drug-Free Coalition “We want to do all we can to build a healthy, drug-free community.”

“California can no longer turn a blind eye to this illegal activity that allows our children to be taken advantage of and encourages them to use illegal drugs” said Assemblyman Travis Allen.