Moorhead Council approves paraphernalia banMoorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Selling drug paraphernalia will soon be illegal in the city of Moorhead. Tonight, the city council voted 5 to 3 in favor of adopting an ordinance banning stores from selling water-pipes and other devices deemed as paraphernalia.
Selling drug paraphernalia will soon be illegal in the city of Moorhead. Tonight the city council voted 5 to 3 in favor of adopting an ordinance banning stores from selling water-pipes and other devices deemed as paraphernalia.
The debate has been going on since July, when the City Council first voted 6 to 1 to adopt the first reading of the ordinance. Since then it's been tabled and read again, failing just two weeks ago. But tonight, it had a second chance. In the end, there was little doubt in which side would come out on top.
Greg Lemke – Moorhead City Council:” With all due respect to those that are saying this violates the constitution, unless you are a Supreme Court justice, I don't care if it violates the constitution, because we have attorneys who prepared this ordinance.”
Greg Lemke had the deciding vote, the one missing from the vote two weeks ago that failed, the one that will make it illegal for stores like these to sell water-pipes and other sorts of drug paraphernalia. The former Fargo Cop says he's seen the problem first hand, and it's important we do whatever is possible to make it difficult for kids to use drugs.
Greg Lemke: “If this is about youth and drug use, let’s put all the obstacles in front of that making it not so easy for people to get them.”
Council members Luther Stueland, Diane Wray-Williams and Mark Altenburg all opposed the vote.
Diane Wray Williams – Moorhead City Council: “Tobacco is a legal substance and on this list are items that people who use tobacco use.”
Mark Altenburg – Moorhead City Coucil: “It's not going to solve the problem 6 months from now, 12 months from now, 18 months from now, what you and I might consider paraphernalia will still be sold in this city.”
Discontent Owner Tom Tepley says this doesn't mean anything for his policies and his store.
Tom Tepley – Owner, Discontent: “No not really, I mean, I've already changed everything I am going to change.”
The law is set to go in effect 30 days from now which would be December 28th. But the debate certainly isn't over as owners have threatened to file lawsuits and challenge the ordinance in the courts.