- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Wichita police have been cracking down on the sale of drug paraphernalia at local businesses.

Complaints from the community led to the recent crackdown on some products sold at new vape shops as well as convenience stores and other businesses, police said.

Capt. Kevin Mears said the state passed a law in 2008 against selling products designed to use illegal drugs, and around 2010, there was a similar sweep of businesses to eliminate the products, The Wichita Eagle reported (https://bit.ly/1Uhcqla ).

“We’ve been through this before,” Mears said.

He said new marijuana laws in other states may be contributing to an increase in paraphernalia in Wichita, where some businesses may have found new sales by providing products that could be used with marijuana.

“Because of Colorado legalizing marijuana, because of California and some other states legalizing it, or the medical aspects . we have seen an increase of illegal marijuana coming over here,” he said.

As part of the renewed effort against the paraphernalia, the city is distributing fliers with what is and isn’t allowed to be sold at businesses. If businesses don’t comply, Mears said police will seize the paraphernalia, and store owners will face fines or jail time.

Matthew Powell, who owns four vape and smoke shops, said his goods are intended for legal purposes. He said though that about 10 percent of his income is related to products that the state and city likely would consider illegal.

He said, however, he decided to comply with the order rather than risk getting his employees in any legal trouble.

“They don’t need to go to jail,” he said.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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