Albany commissioners vote to get rid of drug paraphernalia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany commissioners vote to get rid of drug paraphernalia

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

November 25, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany city leaders say some stores are aiding illegal drug use which leads to other crimes. Commissioners voted to force stores to be more responsible, hoping a new ordinance will help get drugs off the streets.

Commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance to make it illegal to sell, use or distribute drug paraphernalia Tuesday night. Right now many stores knowingly sell items that can be used to smoke marijuana or crack.

Commissioners passed the ordinance with some worries that it could lead to costly legal challenges. Commissioner Bob Langstaff worries about challenges from store owners who may claim the ordinance is unconstitutional but he says the city needs to take action now to get the ball rolling.

"I'm hopeful it'll stick and it works. But it's one of those things like a sign ordinance or a noise ordinance. You learn from your mistakes and you're constantly changing it and adapting it to the current case law or current changes in the law," said Langstaff.

Mayor Willie Adams told commissioners that many crimes are connected to drug use and the city had to do something even if the law is challenged in court. Violators face a maximum penalty of $1,000 and up to 6-months in jail.

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