Drug Testing News, Drug Test News, Pass a Urine Drug Test,
Pass a drug test. Call 1-888-420-6556. We sell all Total Body and Same Day Body Cleansers and offer
reliable overnight shipping @ PassYourDrugTest.com
purchase products or request more information, call us at:
This is a Toll Free Call.
Drug Testing News
Feds hit headshops and indict 55 pipe-sellers; Chong, Zong and
Jerome Baker among targets.
by Mark Miller
WASHINGTON—Fifty-five people have been charged with conspiracy
to sell drug paraphernalia following raids on pipe-selling
businesses from Pennsylvania to California, Attorney General
John Ashcroft and Acting DEA Administrator John B. Brown III
announced on Monday, Feb. 24.
Among the targets were such glass-pipe giants as Jerome Baker
Designs of Eugene, OR; the Zong bong and Seedless clothing
companies in San Diego; Colorchangingglass.com, of
Forestville, CA; and legendary pot comedian Tommy Chong, whose
home was raided. Former HIGH TIMES staffer Randy Przekop, who
now runs a headshop in Pittsburgh, was also indicted.
At a Justice Department press conference, Ashcroft stated that
the indictments and raids are intended “to dismantle the
illegal drug-paraphernalia industry by attacking their
physical, financial, and Internet infrastructures.” The DEA
and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, in
conjunction with the US Marshals, Secret Service, Customs
Service, and Postal Inspection Service, spearheaded the
investigation. Six US attorneys were also involved.
Although the operations primarily targeted businesses involved
in manufacturing, distribution, and Internet sales, that were,
several headshops across the US were also raided Feb. 24,
including in western Pennsylvania and Fort Worth, Texas. Tommy
Chong was not named in the indictment, but his Chong Glass
company in Los Angeles was raided by federal agents, DEA
agents, local police, K-9 units and postal inspectors. The
former Cheech and Chong member’s Pacific Palisades, CA home
was also raided.
“The whole industry’s in turmoil,” said a worker at one of the
stores busted. “The people who didn’t get popped are bugging
out just as bad as the ones who did. They don’t know if they
can continue doing business.”
The Feds said they confiscated thousands of items of
paraphernalia (primarily for pot use) in the raids. This
included both “user-specific” products (pipes, bongs, etc.)
and “dealer-specific” items (scales, baggies, etc.) The
defendants face up to three years in prison, up to $250,000 in
fines, and forfeiture of warehouses, machinery, and other
Most of those charged were part of two separate coordinated
operations. A federal grand jury in western Pennsylvania
indicted 27 people as part of “Operation Pipe Dreams,” an
investigation reaching from Pittsburgh to Phoenix to Southern
California. The name was taken from the “G. W. Pipedreams”
store in Clarion, PA, owned by the indicted Glen W. Beers.
In Des Moines, Iowa, another nine individuals were indicted
under “Operation Headhunter,” which involved paraphernalia
marketed nationwide by distributors in Michigan, California,
and Texas. The other 19 indictments were handed out in various
other states, including Texas and Idaho.
The Feds are also in the process of obtaining court orders to
shut down 11 Internet sites that sell paraphernalia, with
visitors to those Websites redirected to a DEA site that cites
the law against sale of such items. The sites targeted for
elimination include ghettoweb.com, which features the renowned
Jerome Baker Design glass pipes. (The ghettoweb.com site was
inaccessible on the evening of Feb. 24).
“People selling drug paraphernalia are in essence no different
than drug dealers,” DEA head Brown told the press conference.
“They are as much a part of drug trafficking as silencers are
a part of criminal homicide.” He added flippantly, “With
Operations Pipe Dreams and Headhunter, these criminals are out
of business, and 11 illicit dot.coms are dot.gone.”
While it is obvious to almost everyone involved that the
explosion in glass-pipe sales in the last few years has come
from pot-smokers, it is impossible for the law to tell the
purpose of an inanimate object, what makes a piece of glass a
legal “waterpipe” or a forbidden “bong.” Instead, the law
defines “drug paraphernalia” as anything which the seller
knows will be used to consume drugs. In response, most
headshops, even those selling pot-leaf T-shirts and Cypress
Hill posters, will have a sign warning that “all smoking
accessories are intended for tobacco use only,” and words like
“hash pipe” are as verboten as “sinsemilla” would be in a
hydroponic-gardening shop. One of the stores raided gave away
a bag of tobacco with every pipe purchased.
Ashcroft said the sale of drug paraphernalia has exploded on
the Internet, making it easier for “teenagers and young
adults” to buy it. The items, he said, are often disguised as
innocuous items such as lipstick cases and felt-tip markers to
escape detection, and are marketed under “code names and
“Quite simply, the illegal drug-paraphernalia industry has
invaded the homes of families across the country without their
knowledge,” he claimed.
Despite the fact the vast majority of paraphernalia users are
adults (just as the vast majority of drug users are adults);
the Feds repeatedly emphasized the need to protect children in
conducting these operations.
“Today’s actions send a clear and unambiguous message to those
who would poison our children,” White House Drug Czar John P.
Walters said in a statement. “We will bring you to justice,
and we will act decisively to protect our young people from
the harms of illegal drugs.”
Among those not accepting the government’s logic is Keith
Stroup of NORML, who told the Associated Press, “At a time
when the rest of the country is worried about terrorism, the
attorney general is going after people who sell pipes. Surely
he has something better to do with his time.”
Meanwhile, pot-smokers around the country are practicing
punching holes in soda cans and carving bowls out of apples.