Crack pipes for sale at some convenience stores

Some of the glass crack pipes purchased during a WAVE 3 investigation.
Some of the glass crack pipes purchased during a WAVE 3 investigation.
By John Boel - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A recent WAVE 3 News investigation videotaped illegal drug and gun activity in a west Louisville neighborhood. Residents walked by and did nothing. We found neighboring convenience stores doing something about the problem - they're supplying the crack pipes.

We found if you use the right terminology, and ask for a pipe, tube, glass, or rose, store clerks may sell you a cylindrical glass crack pipe with a tiny fake flower inside to try to disguise it. We found other convenience stores displaying a wide array of pipes and bowls. One store at 18th and Wilson sold us one with a police officer sitting at the door.  

Some stores have them out in the open, while others have them hidden in drawers behind the counter. After buying them at all four of the stores we visited, we went back in with questions.

"We don't sell this one in store," said one worker, who we had videotaped selling one to us. "I not sell it here, that's it," he said as he asked us to leave the store.

Some workers didn't deny selling them, but denied knowing what they are.

"I never knew what they use it for," said a worker at 32nd and Kentucky.

"This is for tobacco use and they sell it all over city," said another store worker. "Every store you go they sell it. I don't know what they use it for. We sell as a rose. And we buy it from major company. We get receipt for it."

At Shorty's Convenience Store, a worker first denied selling them. When we explained we had videotaped a sale here, his story changed.

"This is legal stuff," he said. "You buy it everywhere. Everywhere you buy it. Have a good day."

A spokesman for the Jefferson County Attorney's Office said they will prosecute these cases if police bring charges.

One complicating factor now is the changing of Kentucky's paraphernalia law. It was changed in 2010 to make second and subsequent offenses misdemeanors, rather than increase to Class D felonies as they were before.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.