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Woman fights displays of drug paraphernalia

  1. Rob Cypher
    GREENWOOD — A Kingston woman wants drug and tobacco paraphernalia banned from public display.

    Julie Simard has started an online petition and is lobbying through social media to ban retail store displays of several products, including flavoured rolling papers, smoking pipes, water bongs, roach clips, plastic drug storage containers, grinders, bud busters, vaporizers and digital weighing scales.

    Although sold as tobacco products, many of the items are commonly used in the illegal drug trade and display pictures of illicit drugs, said Simard, a member of the Annapolis Valley Fighting Addictions group that first drew widespread attention to prescription drug abuse in the province.

    Simard is a former alcoholic and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. She has been sober for 12 years.

    She was instrumental in banning smoking from bingo events at her local arena and recognized for her involvement in the creation of the province’s Smoke-free Places Act, adopted in 2005.

    Simard believes drug and tobacco paraphernalia should not be on public display for children and teenagers to see. She wants the products hidden from view, like other retail tobacco product displays.

    She said she doesn’t object to adults buying the items.

    “I truly value local business, but not at the expense of our children.”

    Her efforts have gotten her banned from Greenwood Mall. Simard said similar products are displayed in other retail outlets for shoppers of any age to see.

    Simard’s petition is also asking shoppers to boycott stores displaying the products.

    Marijuana advocates say the use of medical marijuana is legal in Canada and the government categorizes many of the products, including pipes, water bongs, vaporizers and rolling papers, as medical devices.

    Some are classed as tax exempt and eligible for provincial health insurance coverage.

    “We are very confident that the Department of Health and Wellness will employ due diligence and will act accordingly to ensure that the vendor’s product is in compliance with the Tobacco Access Act legislation,” said Krista McMullin, president of Smoke-Free Nova Scotia.

    Nova Scotia’s Tobacco Access Act already bans public displays of many of the items Simard is concerned about, said Health and Wellness Department spokeswoman Michelle Lucas.

    Rolling papers, pipes, cigarette tubes, filters, cigarette makers and holders are all considered tobacco products and banned from public display.

    “Protecting our youth from drug harm is something that we must all work actively on together,” Lucas said in an email. “It takes everyone from parents, schools and health groups to promote youth health and well-being.”

    She said the province’s mental health and addictions strategy is also working to help reduce drug and other addictions in Nova Scotia.

    AUGUST 26, 2013



  1. iKnowMe56
    Good for her for standing up for what she believes in and for trying to make a positive change for today's children.
    In my opinion, there must better things to be worried about. I am not knowledgable in goverment laws or political news, and I will not pretend to be. But what about making sure children are safe in the classroom? Or making sure there is still an America slightly resembling the country our forefathers started left for them when they are adults? Could someone PLEASE get all the trampy teenage pop stars off TV?! (OMG, that made me sound quite old) Really, though. Ok, so being a crazy, unpredictable, nonconforming, out of control celebrity sounds pretty fun. Can we get some originality? Micheal Jackson... Madonna... Lady Gaga... come on, Hannah Montana, WTF?

    If no one made a big deal out of the "tobacco smoking accessories" then maybe kids wouldn't pay so much attention to them? On the other hand; I grew up very sheltered. My television was monitored. Both what I watched and the duration of time spend watching it. My parents were very attentive, supportive, involved in my schools, helped with homework, you name it. Shut up was a cuss word in my house. Nice childhood, wonderful almost perfect parenting. I turned out to be a screw up. I remember being only a child ( I'm talking 10 and younger) I couldn't wait to grow up and drive and make friends that weren't scared to do something considered "risky" or "bad". I wanted to do drugs and flirt with boys and lose my virginity in the back of a car. I wasn't even exposed to any of these things as a child. I do not know how I knew they were out there for me to eventually find.

    Children do not always grow up to be a product of their environment. I understand the statistics are high for the ones that do ...however. That is how it is. Are we trying to save the masses? If so, I find the effort a bit fruitless. Humans, no matter age, size, gender, etc. in a mass grouping are IDIOTS! Our species goes crazy. I wish someone would come up with an organization which would somehow...pick out the good ones? Per say? The diamond in the ruff? Then, of coarse there would be the other side...Weed out the bad. All those kids in nice clothes, with fancy cars, attending reputable public schools. There are some in there that DO NOT CARE. They won't, no one can make them. So switch them around. Just an idea. It sounds a little cruel and unkind I understand that. The world is cruel and unkind. You can't give every kid a trophy all the time and expect that most of them will grow up to take responsibility seriously or have a good sense of self pride.
    Does anyone remember back in school, any grade depending I suppose... You would go to a big assembly, or the classroom was set up so that you knew a video or webcast would be in the lesson plan for the day. They would show anti-drug or anti-drinking images set to some somewhat recently popular song. Or motivational speakers hoping to CHANGE YOUR LIFE!! by telling you bits and pieces of mistakes they had made in their lives. Ya, well they made we want to do drugs. "No one ever says, "I want to be a junkie when I grow up"" Oh, wait I DID whats really messed up? My boyfriend said the same thing. Times like these assemblies or what have you, are probably (now looking at it on screen) what introduced me to that mysterious, beautiful, painful world I will never be able or want, to fully get away from. I am an addict. Not to anything specific, just to SOMETHING.. a crutch of some sort.

    If I offended anyone by this post, I apologize, for it was not my intent. I just felt like getting some feelings and emotions out at the time I saw this thread. Thank you for reading.
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