Paraphernalia typically used to smoke marijuana is surprisingly easy to purchase in Lynchburg and surrounding counties. A survey of area convenience stores and tobacco outlets by the staff of The Moore County News revealed how readily available smoking paraphernalia is. These items are available at least a dozen stores in area municipalities contiguous to Moore County. The pipes shown in the accompanying photo are sold in Lynchburg and are displayed in a mirrored, glass display immediately below the check-out register of a popular convenience store. The items are legal to sell in Tennessee as long as the item is new and sold to those of age just like tobacco. Most law enforcement officials report that many mom and pop convenience stores sell bongs, bowls, vaporizers and the like. How can these items be legally sold? The simple explanation is that these shops are not technically selling drug paraphernalia. They are selling water pipes, glass tobacco novelty pipes. These items can be for the same reason that it was perfectly legal to buy and sell wine glasses and beer mugs during the days of prohibition. Wine glasses could be used for grape juice or beer mugs for root beer floats, and people can use a smoking device for tobacco. These items only become drug paraphernalia after people leave the store and employ them in an illegal manner. Thus, the items really do not become “drug paraphernalia,” unless and until there is proof that the owner used the item in a manner which violates the law. The penalty for selling these devices to someone underage is actually less than the penalties handed down for selling tobacco to an underage buyer. A person that sells tobacco products to a person less than 18 years of age is subject to a fine of $2,500. A person selling smoking paraphernalia to a person less than 18 years of age is subject to a fine of $50 and 30 days in jail.