A Cumberland city councilman is blaming part of his community's drug problem on the sale of some legal products. Now he's trying to get them banned from all stores in the city.
Rose tube souvenirs or crack pipes? City Councilman Charles Raleigh says items like these are being used for the latter. He wants to ban them from Cumberland store shelves.
"They advertise them as Happy Valentine presents. That's what on the tubes," Raleigh said.
But if these are supposed to be Valentine's Day presents, Raleigh wants to know why this one has a hole in the top, or why this rose tube has an aluminum foil opening.
"The concern with me is that youth can actually walk in there where there's no age limit and purchase it," Raleigh said.
Raleigh says he bought these items from the Joy Store. The store's manager declined to comment, but the cashier inside told me off camera that they've voluntarily pulled the products from their shelves, even though their sale is legal.
"Most of those things found by Councilman Raleigh are used as drug paraphernalia. Most law enforcement officers understand that but since they are legal, there's not much we can do about it," said Cumberland Police Chief Derrick Akal.
Raleigh says the city attorney is now drafting an ordinance to ban the sale of items like rose tubes and postage scales.
"We're making it too easy for people to walk in and buy the paraphernalia, whether it's innocent or not," Raleigh said.
City Council members will vote on the proposed ordinance next month. Raleigh expects it to pass.
The vote is on the agenda for the next city council meeting scheduled for August 14th.