Be Careful What You Ask For… Or Buy At Your Convenience Store

The Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting on the crackdown by the Las Vegas City Council on a downtown convenience store that was selling plastic flowers in little glass vases, together with scouring pads. The problem, you see, is that said items (except for the flower) could be used as crack pipes, although they weren’t sold for that use. Mayor Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas has asked Las Vegas police to look into suppliers of these items because he could not imagine a legal use for the small plastic flower. How was this uncovered? A sign by the register in the store noted: “If you don’t see what you want, ask for it.” According to Assistant City Attorney Bill Henry, that is a signal in the “crack community” that they have pipes. Really? I’ve seen that sign in loads of stores, and I just thought it meant they were providing customer service.

This is just one example of seemingly innocuous items being used wrong, and then impacting innocent people. What if I wanted to buy a small plastic flower in a vase, and something to clean my sink at the same time. Apparently, that can get me into trouble in Vegas. Luckily, what happens there stays there. But there are other examples. We all know the effects of the drug communities on those suffering with colds, as we can no longer buy Sudafed without entering our names in a log. We have to suffer with a pretty-ineffective substitute. For those with sinus problems (like me), this is a real pain… all because some folks looking to get high found a way to misuse something useful to others.

Think that’s the only case? Think again. According to reports, the next substance hitting the news is cough syrup. Many years ago they removed the alcohol, so that’s not it. Instead, teens are buying the liquid to get high off of dextromethorphan, the cough suppressant commonly used. Kids call it “robo-tripping” or “skittling”, and it is sharply on the rise. In large doses, dextromethorphan can cause euphoria and hallucinations. On the plus side, it also can result in seizures, vomiting, dangerous spikes in blood pressure or body temperature and psychosis, and there have been reports of fatal overdoses. Perhaps we should start to make folks sign for that as well.

What’s next? Perhaps whipped creme. nsshere has told me that there are kids today getting high by sniffing aerosol whipped creme. Pie makers beware! You may be next!