The Strange World of the UK ‘Head Shop’

Cannabis is illegal and yet in the UK shops selling cannabis paraphernalia operate openly on the High Street. The “head shop” is an institution that shows no sign of going away, writes Helen Soteriou.

People may not be familiar with the 1960s term “head shop”, but there’s one in virtually every British and American city.

They tend to make a lot of their money from two categories of products.

There are bongs. Cigarette papers of every size and make. T-shirts bearing the legend “Adihash”, in a reference to Adidas’s logo looking a bit like a leaf. Steel pipes. Plastic grinders. Rolling “machines” for cannabis smokers who can’t be bothered learning how to do it by hand. Sundry caps with Bob Marley on.

The other category is legal highs – drugs formulated to avoid breaching current laws and the subject of perennial concern after a series of high-profile deaths.

One of the last acts by recently departed Home Office minister Norman Baker was to propose restrictions on head shops. He was speaking as part of an attack on legal highs. The substances are a big part of the profits made by many head shops.

– Read the entire article at BBC.