City sues stores for illegal selling of drug paraphernalia - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City sues stores for illegal selling of drug paraphernalia

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) – The city of San Francisco is taking a stand and launching a crackdown on crack pipes and other illegal drug paraphernalia.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed suit against half a dozen shops in the San Francisco area.

"Crystal meth pipes and crack pipes," said Herrera.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Superior Court, names six smoke shops and three properties, including one shop across the street from a public library.

Herrera is pointing to illegal drug paraphernalia confiscated, not from drug dealers but from local stores throughout the city.

"These are specialized instruments that have no other purpose, no legitimate purpose than to be used or to encourage the use of illicit drugs," Herrera said.

Activists have complained for years, and their complaints led to a lengthy investigation.

"Just walk down the street and it smacks you in the face," said resident Mary Wong.

Nabil Ismael, the owner of one of the stores being sued, still offers bongs that are considered legal because they can be used for tobacco as well as marijuana, but no longer sells illegal paraphernalia and does not understand why he is being sued.

"He said only six smoke shops got sued, and there are I don't know how many in the city," Ismael said, "so I think they only picked whoever they want to pick."

Herrera says that there are many shops in San Francisco violating the law, but he calls those listed the most egregious.

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