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Author Topic: Crack pipes in convenience stores?
Wizard of Yendor
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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This isn't an Urban Legend exactly in that I've never heard it; I figured it out myself, but if I started passing it off as the absolute truth, who knows.

Okay, I once read in a local paper that one method of smoking crack cocaine was to take the glass tube that they sometimes sell horoscopes in and stop one end with some steel wool. At the time it seemed like just a clever misuse of a common product. Now I haven’t actually seen those for sale lately, but I have seen tiny cloth flowers sold in similar tubes. So after seeing them for sale a few dozen times it hit me: Who would buy a tiny cloth flower? They’re really selling the glass tube, this time with an even weaker cover story.

So what do you all think? Am I being paranoid (not that I care much what people do to their own heads in the own homes) or am I on to something? Or maybe it's common knowledge only no one thought to tell me?

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Interesting idea.

I know nothing aboud crack pipes, but I have seen those flowers. The salvage store recently got in several HUGE crates full of those little flowers... I couldn't help but wonder why anyone would buy them. Perhaps you might be on to something.

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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Crackheads use all kinds of things to smoke crack: glass pipes, soda cans, car antennae, etc. That's why many will have burns and blisters on their fingertips -- you try holding a glass or steel rod that's burning at one end.

And yes, they use steel wool to filter it -- a commonly used product, I am told, is Chore Boy.

As for the original post, I don't doubt that some would use those tubes for such a purpose. But your typical crackhead isn't going to waste money on a new glass tube when he can snap off a car antenna just as easily.

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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B3TA X
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I saw a story on the news a while ago about the flowers in tubes and they are sold purposly as a crack pipe and the stores that sell it know that they are crack pipes and that is why they are sold (who would actually buy one?), it was on the Philadelphia news and when a person for the news bought one for the report the clerk asked if he wanted matches.

~B3TA "why not smoke the flower while they're at it" X

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Are crack-pipes actually illegal to buy in America? You can buy them over here with no problems. Same with lots of drug parephenalia. It's not as if they're the drugs themselves, and for all the authorities know you may want it as an ornament.

If America is anything like England in this matter, then you wouldn't need to buy a plastic flower, because all you'd need to do is go to somewhere that does peircings, or a market.

As for who buys the flowers, old women, tourists (hey people actually buy purple donkeys, foreign tourists must buy crap, too, right?), Motels, insurance offices, doctor's offices. Anywhere where the kitch is more important that taste, or class is attempted to be conveyed as cheaply as possible.

Troll "or, just for Algernon" face

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Darimir
The Red and the Green Stamps


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From the looks I got when I was in the US last with my Golden Virginia pouch and my Rizla, you'd think that rolling your own cigarettes there was illegal [Roll Eyes] . But I'm pretty sure that paraphenalia is illegal if it's been used or the law suspect you've used it. So any time they like really. A few shops in Bristol (UK) stopped selling tin foil recently because people use it for smoking heroin. Next thing you know lighters will be illegal.

Jim.

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Wizard of Yendor
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
Are crack-pipes actually illegal to buy in America?

Troll "or, just for Algernon" face

No, not really. There are even stores the specialize in stuff like that. Still I can see why normal stores wouldn't want to sell them openly.
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june_miller, the long hot summer
The Red and the Green Stamps


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It's certainly not illegal to sell (in the US of A) bongs, pipes, bronze screens, and all other sorts of paraphenalia used for smoking marijuana. But the rationale there is they can conceivably be used for tobacco (though I have a hard time believing anyone does); crack pipes really can't be used for anything other than crack. So that might be why they are illegal.
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abby 68
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I always wondered what those glass tubes with floweres in them were for. [Wink]
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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Darimir:
From the looks I got when I was in the US last with my Golden Virginia pouch and my Rizla, you'd think that rolling your own cigarettes there was illegal.

I found it harder to buy rolling papers in Hawaii than the grass to smoke in them (which I bought almost accidentally from some bloke who offered it to me while I was playing pinball - although I suspect it might have actually been denatured as it had no bloody effect...). Almost all the tobacconists in Waikiki were ABC stores, which must have a policy of not stocking them. In some places literally every other shop was an ABC shop with a tobacco counter (at one point there was a row of five shops, three of which were ABC stores), but they all sold exactly the same stuff, and no papers! So much for consumer choice... it took ages to find an independent tobacconists that actually had them.
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JohnnyRichter
The Red and the Green Stamps


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When I went to the Warped Tour this year, they had all sorts of bongs, pipes, rolling papers, etc. for sale and were freely selling them to the mostly 15 and 16 year old crowd, including myself. Security guards who could've stopped them were everywhere, so i'd guess it's probably not illegal to just sell them as they are.

quote:
Next thing you know lighters will be illegal.

As a matter of fact, store clerks have refused to sell lighters to me and my friends on several occasions on the grounds that they're "tobacco paraphenilia".
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underwired
Rabies Home Journal


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My boyfriend used to work at a place in Waikiki that sold all kinds of stuff like bongs, rolling papers, little pipes, things that looked like pens or lipstick tubes but were really pipes, etc. But there was this sign on the case that said that this stuff was for tobacco smoking only. These things would not be sold to anyone implying otherwise.

My boyfriend said that regardless of that sign, he occasionally had the odd customer who would ask where they could buy some drugs. It drove him nuts. [Roll Eyes]

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by june_miller, the long hot summer:
crack pipes really can't be used for anything other than crack.

I beg to differ. A crack pipe. That could be used for smoking just about anything, including tobacco (though I'd suggest weed might be more likely and easier).

Troll "cracking up" face

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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ravensbane
The First USA Noel


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Okay...recovering druggie (going on six years clean) and later rehab counselor here.

Just to clarify a few points.

Conveniance stores (and any other store) can decide for themselves whether they want to carry things legal in themselves that can be used for crack and other illegal purposes.

Most drug paraphernalia is legal to sell in California and many other parts of the U.S., with the exception of hypodermic syringes which require a prescription. However convicted drug users can be sucessfully prosecuted for possession of brand-new unused paraphernalia even if they're off probation or parole.

As someone else noted, stores exist openly here which specialize in drug paraphernalia. Once usually known back in the days as "head shops", they usually now use self-descriptive terms like"smoke shops" or "60's memorabilia stores" in in the L.A. area.

Making a specific reference to illegal drug use will get a customer thrown out of most such stores, since store staff won't take the risk of the police running a sting to bust them for "selling items with knowledge that they are being bought for illegal purposes".

Crack pipes are often kept out of plain view and are commonly referred to only as "glass pipes" by sellers and sucessful buyers.

Crack use also uses small screens or rolled-up pieces of copper--stainless steel doesn't work well at all--scouring pads placed in a pipe as a pedestal and cooling filter for the crack rocks. Since the "smoke shops" believe they have legal cover for the sale of small screens (tobacco use again) they have those screens in stock here.

But Chore Boy copper scouring pads must be purchased in grocery stores or conveniance stores; as must the baking soda purchased to "rock up" the cocaine.

In Richard Price's novel "Clockers", he refers to conveniance stores as selling the "nationwide triad" of crack use: Chore Boy, glass cigar tubes, and Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. In poor areas stores may charge many times over what they commonly cost elsewhere.

I'd add "lighters"--lots of them-- to that "triad" since a user on a run can easily use three or four disposable lighters in a few hours.

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Ny Jolie **
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
As for who buys the flowers, old women, tourists (hey people actually buy purple donkeys, foreign tourists must buy crap, too, right?), Motels, insurance offices, doctor's offices. Anywhere where the kitch is more important that taste, or class is attempted to be conveyed as cheaply as possible.

I don't think those are the kinds of flowers they're talking about here. The tiny paper flowers in a tube are pretty crappy quality and are only a coupld of inches high.

I always have wondered why anyone would buy a tiny flower, when you could go onto someones lawn and pick a real one thats prettier and bigger...It all makes so much sense now...

In addition, I did a search, and found this article in a local news paper. This is the picture included with it:

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~Ny *CRACKED* Jolie~

*EDITED TO ADD*

I also found this picture:
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With this article.

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Evil Anya
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Not sure about this, but couldn't a one hitter be used for smoking crack? I've only ever seen them used for weed, but there was no secretive business with them at the store, they were out on display with all the other pipes. My friend who works at a smoke shop says they're one of the best sellers, because so many people want a hand blown glass bowl (pretty!) but they are rather expensive (mine cost $55, for tobacco use only, of course [Wink] ), whereas blown glass one hitters are much cheaper, maybe $10-$25 depending on the quality and where you're buying it from.

But I'm sure a lot of crack addicts are not willing/can't afford to go and buy a nice glass pipe like that, and most likely there are more convenience stores/gas stations in any given town than there are smoke shops, so if a crack addict really feels strongly about smoking out of a glass tube, those little flower tubes are probably the way to go. How much do they cost anyway? Probably not more than a dollar or so.

I think it differs from state to state, but you can buy syringes in drug stores in Connecticut.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Those flowers do look pretty pointless, but I'll still buy the "old lady/tourists" theory, at least as well. I still think Pogue's got a good point, though. I've only done crack a few times, but every time it was with the highly specialised equipment of a copule of burned-down ciggarettes, and ajn empty coke can with some holes poked into a dent.

Much cheaper, and more conveniant. I'd also have thought far less suspicious than a buzzing yoof buying a quantity of small flowers.

Troll "cracking up" face

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by june_miller, the long hot summer:
It's certainly not illegal to sell (in the US of A) bongs, pipes, bronze screens, and all other sorts of paraphenalia used for smoking marijuana. But the rationale there is they can conceivably be used for tobacco (though I have a hard time believing anyone does); crack pipes really can't be used for anything other than crack. So that might be why they are illegal.

I've seen here sold a wallet with a small mirror and a silvery slim tube attached on the inside. I can't think of any use to it aside from snorting coke.

Jaime

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"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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