Stop selling drug paraphernalia: Mayor

Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd has taken the unusual step of asking a local retailer to stop selling drug paraphernalia.

Shepherd has rifled off a letter to the owner of the Bankhead store on Bernard Ave. requesting that he stop selling drug paraphernalia or removing the products from plain view.

"I have received a complaint that your store sells items that could be considered drug paraphernalia, ie: pipes, bongs and other items," writes Shepherd. "These items are displayed in plain view of any patron, including children. With a school nearby, and the rich residential surroundings, children are known to frequent this store."

Shepherd goes on to say that parents have raised concerns with other levels of government and asks the owner to take action.

"I ask that you consider removing these items from sale at your store or perhaps having them displayed in such a manner that children would not be exposed to these items."

Mayor Shepherd's letter is CC'd to Kelowna MP Ron Cannan, City Manager Ron Mattiussi, and Kelowna RCMP Superintendent Bill McKinnon.

The owner of the Bankhead store, Manjit Dhial, says he has already removed the bongs and pipes from plain view, not because they might be considered as drug paraphernalia, but because they fall under new tobacco regulations introduced by the province of B.C. The new tobacco regs take effect at the end of March.

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