Broward News

Broward Dropping the Bong-Hammer: Business Inspections for "Smoking Devices" Coming Soon

The Broward County Board of County Commissioners is warning that county code enforcement officers will start hunting stores that aren't in compliance with the new ordinance requiring shops to post "visible signs" explaining that they can't sell "smoking devices" to kids.

Again, the county refuses to acknowledge that the ban is on products typically used to smoke weed, as it's still saying the ban is on "tobacco smoking products."

"Businesses selling smoking pipes or items such as cigarette papers must post visible signs explaining the prohibition," county spokeswoman Kimberly Maroe says. "The ordinance also forbids selling minors smoking devices that are intentionally disguised as ordinary items such as a pen, lipstick container, or Highlighter."

Those are for sneakin' a toke, but we doubt code enforcement will show up in the fruits and vegetables aisle of your local Publix.

The county says that code enforcement officers will be conducting "informal inspections" and that violators will be fined $250 the first time they're busted and $500 each time after that.

In case you're wondering what the actual definition of "smoking device" is, here's what Florida Statutes have to say about that:

  • Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic smoking pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, or punctured metal bowls
  • Water pipes
  • Carburetion tubes and devices
  • Chamber pipes
  • Carburetor pipes
  • Electric pipes
  • Air-driven pipes
  • Chillums
  • Bongs
  • Ice pipes or chillers

If anyone ever says they've used these things to smoke tobacco, they're most likely lying.

Still, most county officials and now code enforcement officers are still playing the anti-tobacco card.

"It's very important because these minors are under the age of eighteen and shouldn't be smoking," Code Enforcement Officer Joy Ganaishlal says in a statement. "It's a hazard to their health, it's not legal and it comes with a civil penalty."

Commissioner Dale Holness is the only one to somewhat admit what the ban is really about, as he said in late September, "Our children are our future. As we do things to protect them, we build a better life for them and for us. The more productive they are, the better off we all will be."

Get creative, children.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley