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Published December 27, 2011, 09:56 PM

Clay County votes to pass drug paraphernalia ordinance

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - First it was Moorhead, now it's Clay County. The County Commission took steps to pass an ordinance outlawing the possession and distribution of items deemed designed for use of illegal drugs.

First it was Moorhead, now it's Clay County. The County Commission took steps to pass an ordinance outlawing the possession and distribution of items deemed designed for use of illegal drugs.

In some ways it's the same, but in many ways it's different. Rural Clay County doesn't have any head shops to crack down on, no products to remove from the shelves. But the ordinance passed tonight, will make sure they don't have to worry about those businesses settling down in unincorporated parts of the county.

Bill Bergquist – Clay County Sheriff: “We too also agree with the ordinance and as law enforcement we look for those tools that are going to help us.”

The Clay County Sheriff's office began the hearing by laying out different items that can be found at local shops head shops.

Bill Bergquist: “In my career I have never arrested anybody with one of those pipes with tobacco in it, and in my years I have definitely confiscated quite a few drug paraphernalia.”

Unlike the highly heated Moorhead City Council meetings, nobody showed up to oppose the ordinance and it passed easily with a 5 to 0 vote. Interim Clay County Attorney Michelle Lawson said enforcement will not be a problem.

Michelle Lawson – Interim Clay County Attorney: “There is absolutely nothing unenforceable about this ordinance. The language in the ordinance is very similar to the federal act which has been upheld by higher federal courts.”

The ordinance passed one day before the Moorhead law goes into effect tomorrow.

Grant Weyland – Clay County Commissioner: “The county board agreed that since other communities are considering passing ordinances that we have an ordinance in place to support what they've already done.”

Again, this law only affects unincorporated parts of the county. Cities like Barnesville or Dilworth would have to pass their own ordinances banning the sale of drug paraphernalia.

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