Buying bongs, pipes, roach clips and other marijuana-related paraphernalia could soon be legal in Tacoma.
The City Council is weighing changes to code that would make Tacoma’s drug regulations jibe with the state’s new law legalizing recreational marijuana use.
The proposal would mean no longer outlawing the sale and possession of bongs and other devices often used to inhale marijuana smoke.
Under existing city code, selling or possessing bongs or other marijuana-related items is a Class 1 civil infraction, which can be punished by a $250 fine.
But Initiative 502, which voters statewide approved in November, allows licensed marijuana retailers in the state to sell pot, along with products used to consume or store it.
“We’re just trying to line things up,” City Manager T.C. Broadnax said in an interview last week.
Even though current code outlaws the sale and possession of marijuana pipes and bongs, that doesn’t mean people haven’t found creative ways to sell them in the past, Tacoma Police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.
While Tacoma stores have been barred from displaying drug-related paraphernalia, some have sold marijuana pipes from behind the counter, or presented them as legal tobacco pipes, Cool said.
Others simply avoided getting caught, Cool said.
“A lot of times they just sold them with no marketing,” Cool said. “They’d just have them on the shelves.”
Currently, individuals with bongs or pot paraphernalia in Tacoma might have the items seized by police, Cool said. That would change if the City Council votes to legalize the marijuana-related products, she said.
The City Council is expected to finalize the proposed changes to its drug regulations at a meeting Sept. 10.
The ordinance under consideration also would adjust city policy so that selling, growing or consuming marijuana would no longer be classified as a misdemeanor offense.
The proposal would similarly adopt the state’s new policy that makes display or public use of marijuana a Class 3 civil infraction punishable by a $50 fine.
“It seems like that for everyone involved, if the rules are consistent, you’re better off,” Councilman Joe Lonergan said Tuesday.Melissa Santos: 360-357-0209 email@example.com