I thought they were for tobacco
May 14, 2003 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Feds hit the Bongs [and, by extension, the Chong]. The venerable entertainer Tommy Chong is the latest to go down in a recent bizarre DOJ sting against online retailers of smoking accessories that stems from a 1994 supreme court ruling removing from prosecutors the burden of proving that a retailer intended a product to be put to an illegal use. An odd campaign and questionable use of limited resources, indeed, but more shockingly, now that the man has Chong, who's next?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly (43 comments total)
 
We all are, silly.
posted by FormlessOne at 1:38 PM on May 14, 2003




From the third link (an op ed piece):

You might quibble with how “legitimate” an item tobacco is, but there’s a bigger point. Selling bongs is only part of the reason head shops are being singled out. They are also being prosecuted partly for displaying materials that aren’t illegal -- materials that are, in fact, protected by the First Amendment. A head shop with Grateful Dead decals in the window and marijuana-leaf T-shirts on the racks could get busted for selling a water pipe, whereas a low-key tobacco store across the street could do the same thing without fear of punishment.

Shouldn't all of the people selling these things be arrested just for the sake of equal application of the law? I mean, I'm as much in favor with stuffing our prisons full with dangerous pot smokers as the next guy. However, it just doesn't seem fair to bust Dustin at the local head shop for selling a bong unless we're going to bust old Mr. Caruthers at the local smoke shop for selling the same thing. Same crime, same time.

Of course, the minute kindly old Mr. Caruthers was in jail, some right thinking folks might start to think the law was sort of silly.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:49 PM on May 14, 2003


While I don't indulge in it myslef, I have seen or heard of people smoking dope from tinfoil, toilet paper tubes, shampoo bottles, and various plumbing supplies. Are those things all going to be confiscated too? What is the difference between a marijuana pipe and a regular pipe - intent?
posted by trigfunctions at 2:02 PM on May 14, 2003


Better confiscate lightbulbs, too. They make great vapourizors.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:04 PM on May 14, 2003


Come to think of it, better confiscate the nation's apples, too. I've seen a diagram showing how to stick a pencil through an apple twice to make a little "cooling" pipe. (Pencil to core, remove; repeat. Smoke goes in one hole, to the core, back out the other hole. I'm not sure how you're supposed to light the weed... suck flame into the apple??)

Lessee... mugs. I know that frozen mugs are used sometimes. The cold "sucks" the smoke into the mug. Then you "drink" the cold smoke. Although... that sounds like it's bogus: I'd think the smoke would be hotter than the air in the mug...

And last, but surely not least, I'll bet the nation's toilet paper supply should be impounded. I've no doubt at all that shitwipe is sometimes used for rolling paper!

I'll bet someone's used a cored carrot for a pipe. And corncobs! We all know that br'er rabbit smoked a corncob bowl!
posted by five fresh fish at 2:09 PM on May 14, 2003


Coke cans are pretty good, too.
posted by Asparagirl at 2:12 PM on May 14, 2003


Whatever Ashcroft is smoking is making him hellllla paranoid. No wonder he's out to ban it all.

Before my friends and I were old enough to drive to a headshop, we were making bongs out of tupperware, tinfoil, and plastic pen tubes.

What were we smoking out of them? Tobacco, amazingly enough, stolen from a shipment of apricot-flavored hooka tobacco my dad had brought back from Syria. ISYN

Bring it on, Asscraft (as if this posting hasn't already played havoc with your monitoring fitlers). I can make a bong out of a gum-wrapper and a bottle cap. Gimmie a book of matches and a AA battery and I'll whip up 2 turntables and a microphone.
posted by scarabic at 2:21 PM on May 14, 2003


What is the difference between a marijuana pipe and a regular pipe - intent?

that would be about it.
posted by quonsar at 2:43 PM on May 14, 2003


what about a water bong made from a 2 liter soda bottle and a sink?

oh no! ban the sinks!
posted by sugarfish at 2:49 PM on May 14, 2003


What a crafty bunch MeFi's are! Unfortunately for you all, it is common knowledge that Mr. Ashcroft routinely monitors Metafilter. I'm sure he has already alerted DEA agents to monitor grocery stores for suspicious characters purchasing apples, pens, and toilet paper with the obvious intent of using them for illegal activities.
posted by trigfunctions at 3:05 PM on May 14, 2003


Well, by damn, they'll take my brownies when they pry them from my cold, dead, chocolately fingers.
posted by Hildago at 3:14 PM on May 14, 2003


Better ban sugar, flour, and butter too. I used all those ingredients last night, plus one more, to prepare and consume my special 'space cake'.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:20 PM on May 14, 2003


Power hitters from mustard bottles....a glass, a straw, some ice cubes and a joint...plumbing supplies and a pottery class...vases, glass cutter and a super crazy straw...frankly, the possiblities are endless.

And my personal favorite, while in college, I had a friend who turned my sister's Volvo into a bong on a dare. It worked...and road trips were never the same again. ;)
posted by dejah420 at 3:21 PM on May 14, 2003


A quick Google search found this bizarre article, along with several illegal instructions for manipulating apples.
http://www.imdb.com/PeopleNews/2002/20020103.html

Charlize Theron Caught Smoking Homemade Bong

Charlize Theron has been snapped smoking from a homemade apple bong - during a pool party at her Los Angeles home. The actress is pictured lighting the top of the homemade pipe and inhaling the contents deeply, before screaming in an attack of the giggles. An eyewitness at the party says, "I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Charlize and her friends pass round an apple they were using as a bong. She was using a lighter to ignite what they put in the top of the apple. She sucked the smoke from a hole on the side of the apple, coughed a bit, started giggling hysterically, and then passed the apple bong to her friends. Hippies in the 1960s used to smoke pot out of apples all the time, and my guess was that Charlize's Granny Smith was filled with something other than tobacco since she was already smoking a cigarette." Theron's publicist Heidi Schaeffer had "no comment" on the event.

posted by trigfunctions at 3:24 PM on May 14, 2003


dejah420 -- I marvel at the creativity of the human species when it comes to fucking itself up :-)

Oh, and your username? BALEETED! It's obviously meant to promulgate illegal activities. Please return it to any one of the many drop boxes the authorities have provided. Thanks!
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:29 PM on May 14, 2003


you can eat the apple when you are done, BTW.
posted by th3ph17 at 3:34 PM on May 14, 2003


Meanwhile, just a bit to the north, a pungent cloud of legal and legislative sanity fills the air . . .
posted by gompa at 3:34 PM on May 14, 2003


Back in school, I used to get really pissed when some of my dormmates would borrow my pipes -- I smoke tobacco in 'em -- for their shithead needs. I mean, geez, if they could afford a habit to start with, they could've forked over a buck or two for their own corncob pipes...
posted by alumshubby at 3:36 PM on May 14, 2003


"the universe is my paraphernalia." - baba quonsar rama llama dingdong
posted by quonsar at 4:06 PM on May 14, 2003


Gee, they took how long to figure out Tommy Chong might be found in the presence of certain illegal smoking devices?
posted by tommasz at 4:13 PM on May 14, 2003


to prepare and consume my special 'space cake'. She's alive, Alice B. Tolken.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:15 PM on May 14, 2003


Uh...wasn't her name Alice B. Token?

Just kiddin'. I know it is Alice B. Toklas
posted by jaronson at 4:35 PM on May 14, 2003


Drugs are bad, mmkay
posted by larry_darrell at 4:53 PM on May 14, 2003


This crackdown seems so... random. I wonder if this was supposed to correspond with some sort of success by the drugs=terrorism ad campaign. In any case, Chong can probably afford a decent lawyer. I read a story, for which I searched and searched for a link, about a guy who lost his entirely livelihood and business over this. Jesus, the War on Drugs is fucking stupid. In general wars should be fought against actual things, and not just words.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 5:31 PM on May 14, 2003


>A head shop with Grateful Dead decals in the window and marijuana-leaf T-shirts on the racks

This quote is so telling. In the Ashcroft worldview I suppose open drug advocacy using or even the hint of is equal to drug use itself. A headshop in the suburbs is a sign that the "War on Some Drugs" is losing. A head shop in a sign we're all degerates. In the Republican Suburb (a phrase I'm starting to love) there are no headshops, just Niketowns and Walmarts as far as the eye can see.

Being the semi-optimist I am it seems cracking down on glass pipe retailers is a sign that the war on some drugs is doing worse than ever, in regards to publically accepted propaganda. Heck, the NYTime has a flash ads claiming to learn the truth about marijuana which leads straight to antidrug.com. You know, the people who try to connect gun deaths, teen pregnancy, etc to pot use. Its beyond ridiculous now.

If anything this is further reinforcing that idea that government is completely out of touch and it is not to be trusted. No wonder the real life effects of anti-drug advetising on teens has led to more drug use.

Teens aren't stupid. Really, they aren't. But if you keep them in an information vacuum they will get stupid. I'm sure the internet helps, but that doesn't excuse Ashcroft et al. When drunk driving hit the national consciousness we didn't try to ban all liquor, instead people stressed designated drivers and other solutions. Prohibition doesn't work.

I really wish the DEA would get its act together for once and teach young people the difference between physically addictive drugs and non-addictive drugs AND the proper way to use drugs. Like a condom or needle exchange program it will equal saved lives, not useless propoganda.

Where are all the "state's rights" Republicans on this? Oh that's right, they're hypocrites.
posted by skallas at 5:53 PM on May 14, 2003


Where are all the "state's rights" Republicans on this? Oh that's right, they're hypocrites.

And where's the libertarian right? Oh that's right, they only smoke joints, and don't care about the bong store getting busted. Hypocrites. Just joking, we all know that personal privacy is only an issue for hippies and terrorists.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:09 PM on May 14, 2003


turned my sister's Volvo into a bong

care to elaborate?
posted by copmuter at 7:27 PM on May 14, 2003


How much trouble could I get in if I made a bong out of an Uzi? Would it just even out as far as Ashcroft was concerned?
posted by Sr_Cluba at 8:02 PM on May 14, 2003




I'm sad to hear about Tommy Chong. Just a cautionary note on using aluminium foil or cans in smoking apparatus. It's probably unwise as aluminium is a toxic metal with a fairly low burning point and has been linked to Alzheimer's disease. The best kind of charlie wong is made out of glass, though the apple bong is always good value for a laugh...
posted by Onanist at 8:29 PM on May 14, 2003


Gee, they took how long to figure out Tommy Chong might be found in the presence of certain illegal smoking devices?

however long it took them to realize he's a canadian, eh.
posted by t r a c y at 9:20 PM on May 14, 2003


AFAIK, there's no conclusive link between aluminum and alzheimer's. And a damn good thing that is, because aluminum is the third most common element on earth!

But, yah, it wouldn't be good to inhale vapourized aluminum.

I was listening to Grateful Dead long before I ever toked. Does that mean GD is a gateway to drugs? Are those TShirts in the headshops a precursor to making good hash?
posted by five fresh fish at 9:56 PM on May 14, 2003


now I know why Chong wasn't on That 70's Show this year, his character just vanished in between seasons. I really miss him.
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 10:56 PM on May 14, 2003


Well, now it's all up to Gilbran Chong, and he's off to a great start.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:48 PM on May 14, 2003


Gimmie a book of matches and a AA battery and I'll whip up 2 turntables and a microphone.

Scarabic's the man!
Now clap your hands!
Now clap your hands!

Apples...yum. Great for the munchies.
posted by nofundy at 4:56 AM on May 15, 2003


Feds knock on the door.
Chong: Who is it?
Feds: It's me, Dave! Let me in man!
Chong: Dave's not here.
posted by quonsar at 5:52 AM on May 15, 2003


You can use the paper wrapping from tampons as joint paper. Lets ban tampons and arrest those who sell them. Machines in high-school bathrooms? My god get them outta there!
posted by dabitch at 7:07 AM on May 15, 2003


I'm not answering my door for a while.
posted by dong_resin at 9:21 AM on May 15, 2003


You can make a bong out of a watermelon, so let's hope Chief Fascist Ashcroft bans them as well.
posted by mark13 at 12:31 PM on May 15, 2003


And, does Canada's Justice Minister lick Ashcroft's boots?
posted by mark13 at 1:51 PM on May 15, 2003


Just kiddin'. I know it is Alice B. Toklas
What was I thinking...ah space cakes. Thanks jaronson.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:46 PM on May 15, 2003




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