Smoke Shop Ready to Open

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Feb 23, 2001.

  1. By Jeremy Pawloski, Journal Staff Writer
    Source: Albuquerque Journal

    A number that a police spokeswoman said is slang for marijuana use was part of a sign at the Gas Pipe's new Los Ranchos location until it was replaced Wednesday afternoon.
    The Gas Pipe location at 6666 on Fourth Street is scheduled to open March 15, according to the sign. The store will sell rolling papers, tobacco pipes, water pipes, hydroponic growing lights, greeting cards and darts, store officials have said.

    The Gas Pipe's attempt to open in the village last year was met with widespread community opposition. Critics said items the store sells are used for illegal drug use and former Los Ranchos Mayor Harry Stowers called the store a "head shop."

    Residents also objected to the store's location - on a route students use to walk to and from the nearby Taft Middle School.

    Village trustees denied the Gas Pipe a business license, and owner Jerry Shults subsequently sued the village on the basis that denying him a business license violated his right to equal protection under the law and that the village's zoning ordinances did not prohibit his intended use of the building.

    A settlement was reached earlier this month, with the Gas Pipe agreeing to restrict some items it normally sells and not to allow people under 18 into the store, among other concessions.

    Until Wednesday afternoon, the outdoor sign at the Gas Pipe had said the store's grand opening would on be "4 20."

    Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Beth Baland said Wednesday that "4:20," is slang for marijuana use.

    "It's some kind of slang for using marijuana," Baland said, when asked what she understood the numbers to mean.

    "Sometimes the taggers use it on the walls."

    On April 20, a "Four-Twenty" gathering was held by more than 200 marijuana users and supporters of legalizing the substance in Albuquerque's Roosevelt Park.

    A store manager removed the "4 20" from the sign at the Gas Pipe on Wednesday after a Journal reporter took a picture of it. The "4 20" had followed the words "Grand Opening" in the sign.

    "It was some guy's idea of a joke," the store manager said as he was removing the numbers.

    He replaced it with letters reading that the store's grand opening would take place April 20.

    The manager declined to be interviewed further.

    Shults in a phone interview Wednesday said the numbers and the date are significant because that's the anniversary of his first store's opening in Dallas in 1970.

    Shults said he was not aware of "4:20" being slang for marijuana use.

    "This was totally a coincidence as far as I'm concerned and we are complying with the village's wishes," Shults said.

    Los Ranchos Mayor John Hooker, who broke a tie to approve the settlement, said Wednesday he was not aware of "4:20" being a code for smoking marijuana. He also said he hoped there was no connection between the old number on the sign and marijuana use and that it was merely a coincidence.

    Trustees Penny Rembe and David Siegel voted for the agreement, arguing that if the village lost a lawsuit with the Gas Pipe, it would also lose the concessions they stood to gain by passing the compromise settlement.

    Siegel said Wednesday he is "very concerned" about the Gas Pipe being in the village and that "it's pretty clear" what the nature of the business is. He added, however, that the village did not have legal means for keeping them out.

    Trustees Leo Bartolucci and Barbara Chavez voted against the settlement.

    Bartolucci said Wednesday he had no idea "4:20" was slang for smoking pot, and added that the number being on the Gas Pipe's sign could have been a coincidence.

    "I'm 77 years old, we didn't know what pot was until the '60s," he said.

    Bartolucci added that he has concerns about whether the settlement agreement with the village can be enforced.

    As part of the settlement with the village, the Gas Pipe agreed to the following:

    * It will not sell adult toys or "display smoking accessories in its window or in a position from which they can be readily viewed from the outside."

    * It will "not carry any literature or items of apparel that contain or display words that advocate the use of controlled substances."

    * It will not permit anyone under the age of 18 to shop there. Identification will be requested if someone appears to be around the age of 18.

    Source: Albuquerque Journal (NM)
    Author: Jeremy Pawloski, Journal Staff Writer
    Published: Thursday, February 22, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 Albuquerque Journal
    Address: P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103
  2. This is something I like to hear but also hate some of the things that were stated in the article.

    * Something I Like - It's being allowed to be set-up. This store could be a great place for fellow stoners to hang-out and get the latest smoking acessory more sufficently.

    * Something I DISLike - People actually voted on if it should go up or not. That's just stupid. They have no right to say you can't sell these materials, they _aren't_ illegal and if they are used with _illegal_ subtances that isn't influenced by the manager of the store rather by the personal opinion of the person who is smoking it. And if we went by the personal opinion of things we sell we'd defintely not be able to have _ A LOT_ of stores up. It also could be a good place for your crazy stoners to gather and hatch evil plans of mass-terrorisim stoners are known to cause! ((editors note: holy shit, i was stoned. disregard this!))

    ... blah blah blah! more stores should go up and marijuana information should be spread to all the mis-informed! r0ar r0ar!

    [ February 24, 2001: Message edited by: soulzero ]

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