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Published February 23, 2012, 06:17 PM

Federal judge refuses to block Moorhead paraphernalia ordinance

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV)- A federal judge is refusing to block enforcement of a new Moorhead ordinance outlawing drug paraphernalia. The ordinance was put in place back in January, banning stores from selling water-pipes and other devices deemed as paraphernalia.

A federal judge is refusing to block enforcement of a new Moorhead ordinance outlawing drug paraphernalia. The ordinance was put in place back in January, banning stores from selling water-pipes and other devices deemed as paraphernalia.

Although the judge’s ruling may be a negative for some store owners, Moorhead police are saying it is anything but that.

Lt. Tory Jacobson – Moorhead Police: “We have held the same position that this ordinance is in place, it is legally in place, and should be enforced.”

Attorneys for the store Discontent - which sells tobacco, pipes, and other products - asked for an order to keep police from enforcing the ordinance. Chief US District Judge Michael Davis denied the request Wednesday. Davis ruled the store failed to prove it would suffer irreparable harm. Lieutenant Tory Jacobson says it's a great step in combating the issue of drug use.

Lt. Tory Jacobson: “This city ordinance was drafted to address a problem that is happening here and we have known all along that it isn't just here in our community with this problem, we know as recently as Sunday that the discussion is all the way at the state level.”

I spoke with the owner of Discontent, Tom Tepley, and he said he's unhappy with the ruling, but needs time to digest it before commenting on camera.

Discontent closed on January 10th, the day the ordinance went into effect, to protect store employees from being cited.

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