The sale of bongs will be banned in Victoria next year as the State Government enacts news laws about cannabis use across the state.
The drug cannabis is illegal to buy or use but the water pipes used to smoke the drug is available in stores that display them with the disclaimer “for tobacco use only”.
Ice pipes and cocaine kits are already banned for sale in cannabis. Businesses selling bongs will be given until the end of this year to stop selling the items before they are fined up to $1465.
The Minister for Mental Health Mary Wooldridge will introduce the legislation banning the sale, display and supply of bongs in Victoria tomorrow in Parliament.
“While cannabis remains an illegal drug, one of the commonly used methods of consuming it – the bong – has been widely available to buy,” Wooldridge said.
“Through making the display and sale of bongs illegal we take them off the shelves of shops and out of shop windows and stop them being seen as a normal retail item.
“The legislation will also ban the sale, display and supply of bong components and bong kits.
“This will stop the confusing message that while it’s OK to display and sell equipment used for smoking cannabis, it’s illegal to smoke cannabis.”
The minister said that research has linked cannabis use with increased risk of developing mental illness.
Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia director Paul Dillon believes that outlawing the sale of bongs would lower the sale and use of cannabis.
“Cannabis is the most popular illicit drug and has been for a long time, so having a ban on the implement is most probably not going to have a significant effect on that,” he said.
“People don’t stop using the drug, they just use it in a more dangerous, different way and certainly home-made bongs are far more dangerous than implements you buy in a store. Smoking through a plastic container and silver foil means you also inhale toxic fumes.”
There will also be restrictions on the display of traditional hookahs that look similar to bongs although there will be no direct ban on the devices.
– Article originally from International Business Times.