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Saskatoon convenience stores stocking meth and crack pipes

Some convenience stores in Saskatoon have expanded their stock to include meth and crack pipes due to consumer demands.

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    Article content

    Your local convenience store might be stocking a lot more than candy and chips.

    Some shops in Saskatoon have expanded their offerings to include glass pipes for smoking methamphetamine or crack cocaine.

    Saskatoon convenience stores stocking meth and crack pipes Back to video

    Irfan Manzor, manager of the 1 Stop Convenience Store on 29th Street, said it’s common for family run convenience stores to stock these items because they are in high demand — especially in the neighbourhood where his shop is located.

    “As a business owner or manger, it’s our job if someone comes in and asks for something and it’s not illegal you should bring it in and try it,” he said. “And in this neighbourhood a lot of customers were asking because they are able to buy from different locations but they don’t want to go drive somewhere else.”

    A StarPhoenix reporter visited multiple convenience stores throughout the city and found that Manzor’s shop is far from the only one stocking the product.


    Article content continued

    Through the city police media relations unit, the integrated drug unit confirmed it’s legal for businesses in Saskatoon to stock and sell the “glassware.”

    City councillor Troy Davies, who also works as a paramedic, said in his view it’s problematic for these shops to stock and selling these items — especially out in the open and close to other items, like candy bars, that are known to attract children’s attention.

    “I think it’s in poor taste that they would be so visible,” Davies said. “Everyone is just thinking it’s the new norm … but it’s not something that as a councillor, as a paramedic, I want to see any promotion of moving forward — especially in convenience stores.”

    Davies said he was “blown away” when he learned the pipes are so easily accessible, saying it’s too bad the city can’t do more to govern their sale. It would be slightly more appropriate if the pipes were kept out of view, he said.

    AIDS Saskatoon executive director Jason Mercredi takes a different view, noting that from a harm reduction standpoint, providing easier access to the pipes can help reduce the spread of HIV — one reason he has been trying to implement a trial program that would provide safe smoking kits for clients through the needle exchange.

    “It’s a safer option in terms of transmission and even public safety,” Mercredi said. “Finding a rig on the street versus a meth pipe, it’s way safer because you’re not going to get poked by a meth pipe.”

    However, people who buy a pipe at a convenience store don’t have access to support services that are available to those who use the needle exchange, he noted.

    “When you purchase it at a convenience store, there is no chance you are going to catch that person and try to get them connection to services and eventually down the road to recovery.”

    Some convenience stores in Saskatoon have expanded their stock to include meth and crack pipes due to consumer demands. ]]>