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Florida Smoke Shops Sue State Over New Law Restricting Pipe Sales
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Smoke stores across the Florida state are wishing a new law, controlling what they can deal in, will be spoiled. Thirty stores have taken legal action to block implementation of the rules, which became operative in July and ultimately wipe them out. The law that was passed in the previous parliamentary session, makes it an offence for a smoke store to make more than 25% of its sales from smoking devices or pipes. Luke Lirot, a Clearwater lawyer, who is acting for the stores says that this act is a miserable failure. And moreover one cannot have these store owners held accountable for the aim of someone else. Shop owners dispute that certain glass pipes could sell for as much as $5000, but they are not used in any way for smoking. Jay Work, an owner of a smoke shop who is a glassblower himself says that these decorative pipes are exhibited as art. Jay Work is one of the proprietors involved in the court case. Owners of the smoke shops and The Pipe Shop say that the law may possibly make some of them stop doing business which will also make employees lose their jobs and the state lose tax income. The new rules were backed by state Representative Darryl Rouson. In the beginning he aimed at taxing pipes, however when he did not receive any backing in the House, he suggested regulating sales. Rouson reasoned that pipes vended in head shops are utilized to smoke hard drugs and the bill was passed without opposition. State Representative Joseph Abruzzo said that he was worried about the crack pipes sold in these shops and supported getting them out of the hands of youth. Rouson who is a recuperating drug addict said that he used to visit these smoke stores searching for such devices to fulfill his compulsions. He says that smoke stores are spreading a farce regarding how their stuffs are used. He says that he desires to educate the public and further adds that this is a chance to grow your establishment and not a risk that may put stores out of business. However, store owners disagree with him. Work said that the manner in which the law is written is illegitimate. He adds that there is no business that has a limit on the quantity you can sell. Customer said that the law gave the impression of increasing revenues of the tobacco business and also the stores continue to carry items apart from pipes. Lirot said that the implementation should at least be deferred for a year, as smoke stores have never maintained complete records of their transactions. Additionally, the regulation does not apply to other retailers for pipes like gas stations, Tobacco Shop Online and Tobacco Store Online. Rouson said that he will try to extend the law in the time to come. Lirot said that it is not an acceptable judicial act. He adds that it does not enhance any government stake and is penalizing the people. Rouson understands that restricting the stores will not triumph the war on drugs, although he expects it will help. He adds that it is one part of the problem that we are able to do something about.
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