WEBSTER – Avowing that he detests anything having to do with illegal drugs in Webster, Board of Health chairman David Zalewski last week acknowledged that the board had gone too far when it amended the tobacco bylaw in April to include blunts, rolling papers and pipes in a ban of all drug paraphernalia.
“We shut down everything in the shop,” said Mr. Zalewski. “We banned everything.”
Local vendors of smoking merchandise were unclear as to what they could and could not sell.
Therefore, Mr. Zalewski moved to amend the bylaw to allow blunts, rolling papers, and tobacco pipes to be legal.
While acknowledging the necessity for the change, Mr. Zalewski said, “You'll never convince me an 18-year old kid is buying rolling papers and making cigarettes, an older person, maybe.”
The sale of merchandise that is clearly oriented towards illegal drug use will still be prohibited. The definition of drug paraphernalia includes water pipes, glass pipes, roach clips, miniature spoons with level capacities of one-tenth cubic centimeter or less, bongs, wired cigarette papers, chamber pipes, electric pipes, air driven pipes, ice pipes, punctured metal bowls, and many more.
Members of the board recognized that some cultures and religions use glass pipes in their celebrations and ceremonies, but agreed that customers for these could “buy them elsewhere, just not in Webster.”
In other business, the board instituted a new fee schedule for public and semi-public pool inspections.
The first inspection is free of charge. If the health agent finds a problem, the re-inspection will also not incur a charge. However, if the agent has to reinspect a second time or finds additional violations, there will be a $25 fee, plus a $50 fee for every re-inspection required thereafter. The fee is intended to address instances when an organizations has called for the health agent to come out for an inspection knowing that the violations have not been fixed.