It only costs $2.35.
For just the change in your pocket and a trip to a local convenience store, you can purchase a crack pipe or glass pipe used to inhale methamphetamine.
"These were just bought yesterday," Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said Thursday, holding a small glass cylinder containing incense. Another glass tube held a synthetic rose.
Douglas County law enforcement officials announced Thursday they will begin cracking down on local convenience stores and retail shops that sell items such as these, now considered illegal drug paraphernalia. A check of several Lawrence stores Thursday showed the items were readily available.
"These are squarely illegal, and you can't sell them," Branson said. "You're going to have to get them off the shelves."
It's a problem Branson and state Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, have been addressing for nearly two years.
Davis introduced a bill in the Kansas House during the 2006 legislative session that changed the definition of drug paraphernalia.
"That bill allowed us to really get at items like this that are available at convenience stores here in Lawrence and throughout Kansas that really have no other purpose than to inhale meth," Davis said.
Then in 2007, the law got some more teeth.
The term drug paraphernalia was expanded to include some of the definitions now used in federal law. And perhaps the biggest help to officers and prosecutors was there no longer has to be evidence of drug residue on the paraphernalia.
"The Legislature has been able to form a statute that we can really work with at this point," Branson said. "This isn't going to stop people from doing drugs, but it's going to make it less available, and if we can make it less available even a little bit, it helps."
Starting today, the Lawrence-Douglas County Drug Enforcement Unit will begin an "educational" enforcement of the new law.
Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern said officers will hand out fliers and information to local store owners to make them aware of the changes in state law. He praised lawmakers for their work last session.
"I think it's a big step on the part of the Legislature to understand that there is a big meth problem out there, and these little things can only help," McGovern said. "It's (meth) a terrible drug, and we've got to take steps to intervene."
After an initial educational period, officers will enforce the new law. The penalties for selling drug paraphernalia include a maximum of two years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
During enforcement, officials said, officers will conduct random, unannounced inspections of local convenience stores and other retail shops to make sure everyone is complying with the new state law.