Today Legislator Patrick Burke is introducing a local law: “Restriction of Paraphernalia from Grocers.” In response to increased societal acceptance and use of legal recreational and medical marijuana, Legislator Burke has taken action to ensure that Erie County has proper protocols in place to protect children from being targeted as consumers.

The proposed law states “no Food Retail Outlets located in Erie County shall sell or cause to be sold Tobacco/Marijuana Paraphernalia products.” Food retail outlets affected by this law consist of any store which sells milk, shelled egg and refrigerated meats, such as gas stations and convenience stores. Glass and water pipes- common items often advertised as “for tobacco use only” but are largely used for marijuana consumption- will be banned from being sold at these establishments, along with other defined paraphernalia.

Recently, the blatant placement of tobacco and marijuana smoking paraphernalia items in stores frequented by children has been brought to the legislator’s attention by community leaders and constituents. This is an issue Burke wants to be sure the county gets ahead of. “The goal is to protect children and young adults from being influenced to partake in risky activities that they don’t fully understand the gravity of,” said Legislator Burke, “In the past we have seen the tobacco industry put its interest before the wellness of the next generation by making efforts to directly target minors. We must learn from these mistakes and implement standards to protect the vulnerable.”