Don't Ask for Bongs in this Joplin Store on 4/20...or Any Day... - KOAM TV 7

Don't Ask for Bongs in this Joplin Store on 4/20...or Any Day...Despite What You See

Joplin, MO -

Today's 4/20 date has become a significant day for marijuana users all over the world.  One Joplin store has products that you may think are drug paraphernalia.  

Think twice.

Alex Vestal's "Kerosene Skate Shop" has been around for three years.  But in April...

"It's a holiday to some people," says Vestal.

On April 20th to be exact...

"People probably take the day off at work.  Probably should," says Vestal.

Some of his newer products may be more popular.  You might call Vestal a straight-up businessman.

"A lot of my clientele is interested in that product," says Vestal.

Freedom of speech generally allows you to say the "B" word.  Just don't say it in Vestal's business.  We asked if he has any bongs.

"You're outta here," says Vestal.

"By nature, they're bongs," says Captain Trevor Duncan with the Joplin Police Department. 

Vestal instead calls his products water pipes.

"Better know what the verbiage is, if anything," says Vestal.

The pipes are sold to smoke tobacco and legal herbs.

"These stores sell items that aren't illegal to possess or sell," says Duncan.  "But a lot of purchasers then use the items for illegal activity."

But Joplin police say that's not the fault of business owners like Vestal.

"I think everybody involved knows there are legitimate uses for these items being sold," says Duncan.

Vestal's water pipes are in the back of his store.

"Does it make it seem like it's a bad thing or what?  We ultimately decided to do it in the back room just because we don't want to offend parents that might not be used to that," says Vestal.

So if you end up buying a new skateboard or water pipe, Vestal will tell you the same thing...

"We don't want to get ourselves in trouble or any of our customers in trouble," says Vestal.

Vestal says some gas stations in Joplin sell pipes that are primarily used for meth, and will never sell those types of products.


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