Flower Tube as Crack Pipe

Torrington out to discourage sale of drug paraphernalia

Sold in convenience stores across Connecticut, the small plastic tubes with phony flowers in them are more than they seem.

Mayor Ryan Bingham knows the City of Torrington can't pass a law against them.  He also knows many people don't realize the tubes are often used as pipes for smoking crack.

So when a volunteer from the community proposed persuading convenience stores not to sell the tubes, Bingham decided to back him as part of a wider effort to educate the public.

"As the economy draws worse, we want to be on top of some of the potential increase in drug use in Torrington," said Bingham.

He plans to bring together police and merchants, and recognize the convenience stores that no longer sell paraphernalia.  Several stores no longer stock the stuff.

The Wasteland gift shop on Water Street doesn't sell the tubes, but it does sell rolling papers, blunt wraps, and pipes of all sizes, as accessories for smoking tobacco.

"When people go home we don't follow them," said John Carusello, one of the owners of Wasteland.  "But that's like any other thing.  You can use 'em in a good way or a bad way.  It's all about individual responsibility."

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