Columns

Marijuana Report: Florida Hunts Head Shops

While the rest of the

country -- or at least California, Colorado, and a few others --

virtually legalizes pot, Florida is going retro.

Bills making their way through the Florida House and Senate would impose a

25 percent tax on pipes with carburetors. Worse, it argues that these

pipes couldn't be sold unless 75 percent of a shop's sales were tobacco.



OK, I'll acknowledge that a pipe with that kind of opening is used primarily for rolling. And I'll agree that Florida badly needs money.

But this ain't gonna earn more tax revenue, and it will restrict

business. In a state where painkillers like Oxycontin are virtually

unrestricted, the boys in Tally have picked the wrong target.

But

this bill has already been approved by at

least one committee in the House. And the Palm Beach Post

notes that at least one legislator, Chris Dorworth, a Republican from

Lake Mary, doesn't even know what these pipes are.

It has also

drawn the ire of smoke shop owners, who

have gathered hundreds of signatures to oppose it.

"The state

and the feds are attacking this war on drugs ass backwards," writes

one. 

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse