Seriously? This Smoke Shop Can Have 52 Possible Citations for Selling Scales and Pipes?

This story pisses me off! Hudson Police recently issued $12,480 worth of drug paraphernalia citations to the manager of The Hideaway smoke shop in Hudson, Wis. Is The Hideaway in Oakdale subject to the same enforcement?


The Hideaway in Oakdale can rest easy.

Earlier this week one of The Hideaway's sister locations in Hudson, Wis. was issued $12,480 worth of drug paraphernalia citations. Hudson police also confiscated more than 52 pieces of merchandise deemed as "drug paraphernalia," including glass pipes and one-hitters. The Hideaway has locations in Oakdale, Hudson, Rosemount and Dinkytown.

Hudson has a city ordinance that defines drug paraphernalia as well as the violations and penalties for shops that carry the merchandise. 

Merchandise that violates the ordinance include (but are not limited to):

  • Scales and balances
  • Mixing devices
  • Water pipes, chamber pipes, electric pipes, air-driven pipes, chiller pipes, carburetor pipes
  • Roach clips
  • Separation gins and sifters
  • Bongs

Oakdale has no such ordinance. 

The city of Moorhead passed a drug paraphernalia ordinance that became controversial. That ordinance was challenged in federal court and was found to be constitutional.

Last year the city of Stillwater also passed an ordinance similar to Moorhead's.

The city of Oakdale does have an ordinance dealing with tobacco, but not drug paraphernalia, said Karen Haines, a crime analyst for the police department. 

"We actually do not restrict the sale of those items," Haines told Oakdale Patch. 

Haines noted that the only difference in Oakdale is that convenience stores that sell that merchandise are required to restrict the items from the public, whether it's in a locked cabinet or display case. This does not apply to tobacco shops. 

"There can be no access to the customer directly without requesting something through an employee," Haines said. "For something like The Hideaway where 90 percent of the sales are for tobacco, they don't have to follow that. But no one under 18 years old can enter the store."

There have been discussions on whether or not the city should pass a drug paraphernalia ordinance, but as of yet nothing has moved forward, Haines said. 

"It may be something that comes up again," Haines said. "At this point there hasn't been any request to modify or change the ordinance." 

Michelle Stark, community affairs officer of the Oakdale Police Department, said that police often cite Minnesota Statute 152.092, which states that "it is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to use or to possess drug paraphernalia. Any violation of this section is a petty misdemeanor." 

"In the hands of some people these items may be used for smoking legal tobacco products, by others it becomes paraphernalia when there is evidence of illicit use and for others it is collectable art," Stark said.

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