What would you do if all bongs and marijuana paraphernalia were banned from your state? Sounds crazy right? Some of us are so used to being able to walk into our local smoke shop and see walls and display cases full of bongs, pipes and many other assorted smoking supplies. But this is not the case when it comes to Florida. In earlier years a "Bong ban" bill was passed. This bill was set to outlaw the sale and use of any, "metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic" smoking devices used to consume marijuana. The ban was designed to make it a first degree misdemeanor to "knowingly and willfully sell drug paraphernalia" although its language and wording is still very vague and there are loopholes in the bill. It goes along to state that items that could be considered drug paraphernalia " are not illegal to possess unless they are used, intended for use, or designed for a specific manner. That being said if the smoking device is sold " for tobacco use only" there is nothing illegal about it. The bill even set that a shops income could not come from more than 25% sale of pipes, which this would put many store business owners, out of business.
As of 2016 Amendment 2 passed in Florida. Amendment 2, "Allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not immunize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana." The Amendment is set to begin taking place January 3, 2017.
Now the question Florida residents are asking is if the bong ban still remains. The bill is now somewhat worthless since the legalization of medical marijuana. It gives the medical marijuana treatment centers freedom to sell and distribute "related supplies" to patients. Although it could be a while before patients can really reap any of the benefits. The Florida Department of Health hasn't even begun to draft the rules for the businesses looking to get into the medical marijuana game.
With any laws there is a lot to tune in and see what will work and what won't work. But it all seems to be a step in the right direction for Florida and cannabis use and consumption.