In 2009, Helen Ubiñas wrote about the drug paraphernalia widely available in late night convenience stores. At the time of publication there were no laws regulating the sale of such items from these corner stores. This is about to change. Councilperson Cotto has introduced an ordinance to restrict the sale of items that would not typically be used for anything except illegal drug use. Blunts and rolling papers would not likely be affected, as people do not use these exclusively for illegal drug use, but items like glass vials, cutting agents, and scales would be restricted.
The ordinance language follows:
Sec. 25-19a. Restrictions on the sale of drug distribution equipment.
The purpose of this section is to restrict the sale of articles that aid and abet the distribution
and sale of illegal drugs in the City of Hartford.
Sec. 25-19b. Definition
For purposes of this section “drug distribution equipment” means:
i. Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in the manufacturing, compounding,
converting, producing, processing, or preparing of illegal drugs.
ii. Scales and balances used, intended for use, or designed for use in weighing or
measuring illegal drugs.
iii. Dilutants and adulterants, such as quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, mannite, dextrose
and lactose, used, intended for use, or designed for use in cutting unlawful drugs.
iv. Capsules, balloons, envelopes, bags and other containers used, intended for use, or
designed for use in packaging small quantities of illegal drugs.
Sec. 25-19c. Prohibition.
The retail sale, offer of retail sale, gift or distribution of any drug distribution equipment
within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Hartford is prohibited. A fine of ninety-nine dollars
($99.00) per piece of drug distribution equipment per day shall be assessed on an individual or the
principal of any establishment engaged in the retail sale, offer of retail sale, gift or distribution of any
drug distribution equipment.
Sec. 25-19d. Enforcement.
It shall be the duty of the Hartford Policy Department to enforce this section.
Sec. 25-19e. Appeal.
Persons may appeal fines associated with this section in writing to the Court of Common
Council within thirty (30) days of their assessment. The Council, by resolution, may grant appeals or
partial appeals with the affirmative vote of a majority of Council members.
Sec. 25-19e. Severability.
If any provision of these sections is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, then such
provision shall be considered separate and apart from the remaining provisions, which shall remain
in full force and effect.
Sec. 25-19f. Enactment.
This ordinance shall take effect ninety (90) days from its passage.
This ordinance is on the agenda of tonight’s City Council meeting.
Reprinted with permission of Kerri Provost, author of the blog RealHartford.
To view other stories on this topic, search RealHartford at http://www.realhartford.org/.