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Bong ban now in force

Sunday, 01 January 2012

The sale, display and supply of bongs in Victoria is illegal from today under new laws introduced by the Victorian Coalition Government.

Policy ImplementedMental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge said the move sent an important message that cannabis was an illegal drug, which when consumed could have harmful consequences.

"The Coalition Government is fulfilling an election commitment by addressing a long-standing contradiction in Victorian law that allowed the sale in retail outlets of implements primarily used to consume an illegal drug," Ms Wooldridge said.

"Ice pipes and cocaine kits, both apparatus used to consume illicit drugs, are already banned from sale in Victoria.

"However the failure of the previous government to ban the sale of bongs sent a dangerous message that cannabis is a 'soft' drug, despite its health risks, which includes an increased risk of the development of mental illness.

"Through making the display and sale of bongs illegal, we take them out of the markets, off the shelves, and out of shop windows and stop them being seen as a normal retail item."

Victoria Police will enforce the new laws, with maximum penalties for breaches of up to $7,328 for an individual and up to $36,642 for a company.

Police will have the appropriate seizure powers in relation to bongs, bong components and bong kits that are displayed, are for sale or are supplied as part of a commercial activity.

They will also have the power to issue on-the-spot infringement notices for all offences.

"The Coalition Government is determined to reduce the harm to Victorian families caused by illicit drug use, and prohibiting the sale of bongs is an important part of achieving that," Ms Wooldridge said.

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