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Spoons and other absurdities

Drug paraphernalia is one of the truly absurd subplots of the drug war. Its mere existence seemed to infuriate prohibitionists and resulted in a hodge-podge of strange and hard-to-enforce laws.

I remember when Chicago Alderman Robert Fioretti tried to ban small baggies (I also remember him getting really pissed off when I satirized his reasons.)

In some places, little “rose tubes” sold in convenience stores are outlawed because the tubes can be used as crack pipes.

Of course, we all know that Tommy Chong spent time in prison for the crime of making pretty glass art that could be used to smoke pot, and yet apple orchards are left to grow perfectly fine pot pipes without interference.

My favorite line in the drug paraphernalia wars came from a Wilmington Morning Star editorial:

It was as if the massed forces of Eliot Ness had busted one of Al Capone’s speakeasies and confiscated the little umbrellas that went in the tropical cocktails.

Fortunately, no officers were harmed in the making of this media event.

Now I had always known that the beautifully designed little McDonald’s coffee-stirrer spoon had been controversial because of its use as drug paraphernalia, but I never heard the whole story until now: The McDonald’s Cocaine Spoon Fiasco

image

According to minutes from the hearing, one [Paraphernalia Trade Association] representative attempted to make a mockery of the proposed law. “Look at this,” he facetiously told the panel, thrusting a McDonald’s coffee stirring spoon above his head. “This is the best cocaine spoon in town and it’s free with every cup of coffee at McDonalds.”

With its long, thin handle and tiny stirring head, the McDonald’s spoon had, indeed, amassed a cult following among drug dealers and aficionados. Light, cheap, and inconspicuous, it could be concealed easily — and best of all, as its scoop held exactly 100 milligrams of product, it doubled as a measuring device.

While the representative’s intention was to deride the anti-drug crusaders’ attack, his stunt fell on the wrong ears — those belonging to former President of the National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth, Joyce Nalepka. Though Nalepka left the hearing without a chance to testify, she spent her whole drive home “searching for some way to counteract [the PTA’s] McDonald’s spoon statement.”

Then it hit her: she’d contact McDonald’s, inform the company of its utensil’s bad rap on the street, and demand they discontinue it.

And thus, the elegant McDonald’s spoon came to an end.

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20 comments to Spoons and other absurdities

  • Howard

    “…a spoon with no bad intentions.”

    Yes, an innocent spoon — on the surface. But evil lurked within its seemingly benign design. Fortunately, once the spoon was discontinued, all cocaine use stopped. Victory!

    :/

  • claygooding

    I loved those spoons but the little rectangular ones worked with only a 25% loss of product. ;<)

    Cannabis Cash: How Much Money Could Your State Make From Marijuana Legalization?

    http://tinyurl.com/mbkowdw

    ""The U.S. stands to gain, according to our calculations, $3,098,866,907 in state and local taxes per year — that’s more than twice the entire budget of the Small Business Administration in 2013.
    California could gain the most from taxes on sales of marijuana. The state stands to take in $519,287,052, which almost covers the 2013 budget for the California Department of Parks and Recreation."" 'snip'

    Below is the map,,please send it to every legislator's wall or email.

    http://tinyurl.com/lyhrxae

    • Irie

      And you haven’t even mentioned how much would the Fed’s save in tax dollars by not fighting it (police,their equipment)DAs, judges, building of prisons, etc, etc………Legalized marijuana/priceless!

  • Servetus

    First they came for those with baggies, and I did not speak out—
    Because I used empty film canisters.

    Then they came for those selling roach clips, and I did not speak out—
    Because I made my own clips with a bent cotter pin and some wire.

    Then they came for those with McDonald’s coke spoons, and I did not speak out—
    Because I didn’t use cocaine.

    Then they came for my human rights—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • Here in Florida I deal with this absurd shit on a daily basis. for example, one of my clients is currently charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in the form of a Ziploc bag that had other Ziploc bags inside of it. Keep in mind that there is nothing actually inside any of the bags, my client had no drugs on him, and tests for residue came back negative — yet the state continues to move forward. I told my client I had one piece of legal advice…set that shit for trial!

    • John

      Hopefully, the jury will fall out of their chairs laughing riotously, pointing their finger at the prosecutor and slapping their knees as soon as the prosecutor finishes his opening statement.

  • Francis

    I don’t know, guys. The whole concept of “drug paraphernalia” may be somewhat ridiculous and arbitrary, but even so, it seems hard to argue that a spoon designed specifically for the purpose of stirring coffee shouldn’t qualify.

    • Nunavut Tripper

      I thought cocaine users were supposed to be high rollers so they wouldn’t use cheap ugly spoons from McPlastic would they?
      I mean if it’s mandatory to snort lines with a $100 bill….??? If I used cocaine it wouldn’t be less than a $1000 bill.

      • B. Snow

        I distinctly recall that the older High-schoolers, College Students, Yupppies, “Young Adults” in the general vicinity of Houston were often caught wearing little jewelery charm-sized “spoons” (maybe they were supposed to be wooden spoons IDK for certain) but IIRC – people had them in Pewter, Silver, & Gold…
        I don’t think I ever actually saw any cocaine or other powdered-drugs, until I was at least 18 & out of high-school.
        I think I may have see a couple older teens in the neighborhood with tiny bags of weed – a couple times in the early-to-mid 80’s…

        Now, given the “small world” that we live in – years later in another city all the way across Texas, I ran into a couple people who’d lived in the same area = at roughly the same time-period I had – who said there was ‘stuff everywhere’ – due to the relative proximity to the “Houston Ship Channel”.

        They told me some stories about things – that made perfect sense looking back… It almost made me wondered how naive I’d been to NOT notice certain things for what they actually were.

        But one thing I recall was the little “necklace spoons”, that were status symbols to some people “in the know” – and IIRC, someone bull-shitted me into thinking they were some sort of joke-jewelry an ‘ironic play on words’ of the phrase, “Born with a Silver Spoon in their Mouth” saying…

        Until they were shown on the News = in a Local Network’s = “Parents should be very afraid of this new/dangerous thing that kids are wearing to be cool – Because it might be a signal/signify that they are actually (not-so) ‘SECRET’ coke-heads”.

        In This Week’s *new* Moral Panic – “That you haven’t heard of but which just might exist right under your nose, Or *Dunh-dunh-DUNH* maybe even -literally- under your children’s noses – Or, maybe around their necks… (Reporter ‘so-and-so’) will bring you the *Full Story* in our “News at 10”.

        • claygooding

          There are so many “drug cartels”,,considering all users are abusers,anyone joining with others to procure or sell drugs must be a cartel,,,that the larger the city the more circles of friends that shop and buy from/with each other.
          If you know anyone in the circle your in,,while your next door neighbor is getting popped for 20 lbs of weed and none of your circles has any or knows him.
          That is what makes the drug market impossible to stop,,you don’t have a constant starting or finishing point,,,about the time they figure out a guy is dealing weed his source has dried up and he is back to hunting dime bags for his own weed.

  • DdC

    I remember something about electricians protesting the banishment of alligator clips so they reversed it. Who uses roach clips? I just cut them up for the next joint. Probably have molecules passed on since the 70s.

    I think this is real…

    Texas to Permit Medicinal and Recreational Marijuana Use!: http://newsbuzzdaily.com/texas-to-permit-medicinal-and-recreational-marijuana-use/

    • DdC

      Buford C. Terrell comment on Texas
      outright lie. The legislature wasn’t even in session then.

      Texas is about to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.
      http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/texaspot.asp
      FALSE

      Who Are the Patients Receiving Medical Marijuana through the Federal Government’s Compassionate IND Program?

      • claygooding

        The same article was released claiming GA was about to do the same thing only as with the TX bill,,the bill number doesn’t exist.
        They even used the same bill # in both articles,,,kids,,what are you going to do with them.

        • claygooding

          I wonder if it reached kev-kev and friends and how gray their faces must have become,,I figure about two more states and DC will see a huge decline in corporate funded organizations,,plus FLA,,any idea how much money big pharm will lose in FLA for arthritis medicine alone? Not to mention anti-depressant and sleep aids,,,no wonder they are still hiring “new” anti-marijuana groups all over FLA.
          I have seen some pure bullshit articles claiming MMJ is losing it’s momentum and more people are coming out against MMJ,,however the polls are still running at about 80% for and whomever these new prohibitches are they ain’t sticking their heads up in any news articles,,,not even their own op-eds,,comments closed. I think they are hiring people with a computer to post articles under an org name just so they can appear as a group of people instead of just the computer operator.
          That is what I would do Vern.

    • Uncle Albert's Nephew

      I don’t remember roachclips being used as much as worn on the belt loop. After the great moral panic about pot pipes that sort of died out.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Pete, how in the heck did you miss how the idiots in the Maryland Legislature decriminalized 10 grams or less (as of 10/1/2014) but left paraphernalia criminalized?

    I wonder if brownie mix would be illegal in Maryland if you also have a recipe for ABT brownies? Oh wait a second, I guess that the written recipe would be paraphernalia all by it’s lonesome.

  • Paul-UK

    MacDonald’ s plastic spoons! How tacky! Why not buy a nice silver Georgian or Edwardian snuff spoon, far classier