News Column

Stores selling bongs and crack pipes shouldn't profit from lottery ticket sales: Ontario Safety League

July 17, 2014



TORONTO, July 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Safety League has called on Ontario's recently elected and re-elected Members of Provincial Parliament to pass a law prohibiting convenience stores that sell bongs, drug pipes, pill grinders and other drug paraphernalia from selling lottery tickets.

An Ontario Safety League undercover investigation conducted this spring found that convenience stores routinely sell drug paraphernalia to teenagers. Under the supervision of Ontario Safety League President and CEO Brian Patterson, 17-year-old mystery shoppers visited convenience stores in the Toronto and Barrie areas and easily purchased bongs and drug pipes. 

"I was shocked.  Store clerks didn't even bat an eye at these teenagers purchasing pipes and bongs that are clearly meant for smoking drugs like crack and marijuana. Stores are also selling pill grinders, which enable people to abuse powerful prescription narcotics," said Patterson. "There needs to be a new law in Ontario: if you sell drug pipes, then you can't sell lottery tickets."

"We need action to stop neighbourhood stores from selling drug paraphernalia, particularly to our children."

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) lottery products are important money-makers for convenience stores. Patterson believes a new law prohibiting stores from selling both lottery tickets and drug pipes will drastically reduce the availability of bongs, crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia for teens.

"It's troubling to learn that teens can easily buy drug paraphernalia at gas stations, especially when we're seeing a disturbing rise in driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs," said Marc Paris, Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug Free Canada. Paris noted that teens make up the highest proportion of drug-positive driver fatalities. "We are hopeful that politicians will work together to enact a strong disincentive against selling drug paraphernalia."

In August 2013, the Ontario Safety League raised the alarm on the growing trend of convenience stores openly selling pipes, marijuana grinders and other equipment clearly intended for smoking illegal drugs, like hash, marijuana and crack cocaine. The organization was able to easily purchase nearly 50 pieces of drug paraphernalia at convenience stores across Southern Ontario.

SOURCE Ontario Safety League


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