The Herndon Town Council on Tuesday will consider strictly regulating the sale of drug paraphernalia in the town.
Councilman Charles F. Fisher is pushing for the ordinance since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in early March upheld the right of state and local governments to regulate or prohibit the sale of drug paraphernalia. The justices unanimously found constitutional an ordinance in Hoffman Estates, Ill., banning the sale of such accessories to minors.
"Without waiting for the state and county to strengthen their drug paraphernalia ordinances, I want Herndon to model an ordinance after the one held legal by the Supreme Court," Fisher said. "Because of the legal challenges before, we have not adopted one until we could stand on something solid."
If the Herndon Town Council moves ahead with the proposal, all purchasers of drug paraphernalia would have to sign a roster for police inspection and local "head shops," the common name for stores which sell drug paraphernalia, would be subject to licensing requirements and fines for violations. Virginia, Maryland and 19 other states have enacted paraphernalia laws based on a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration model.
"The drug paraphernalia law in Virginia is weak," Fisher said. "I want stricter enforcement. There isn't a tremendous problem in Herndon, with only one business selling drug paraphernalia, but that is one too many."