Drug paraphernalia can no longer be sold in Peoria under a new ordinance.
The City Council on Tuesday approved the measure, which was proposed by Councilman Tim Riggenbach. He says the idea for the ordinance came after he took a look inside convenience stores near a pair of schools on Wisconsin Ave.
"I was confronted with bongs, one-hitters, crack pipes, all sorts of paraphernalia," said Riggenbach.
He says the local ordinance bolsters similar laws at the state level, and gives Peoria police an extra tool in fighting what he calls the "scourge of drug use" in the city.
"It also sends a clear message that drug paraphernalia will not be tolerated in the city of Peoria," Riggenbach said.
The ordinance also increases the distance convenience stores that sell tobacco products have to be from schools. Under the old rules, tobacco sellers' buildings had to be at least 100 feet away from school buildings. The new ordinance dictates that the property lines, not just the buildings, of schools and tobacco sellers have at least 350 feet between them.
"Many of the new schools that are being built, they have large campuses, and they have front yards that are oftentimes more than 100 feet. So changing this to the property line demarcation, I think, is something that is reasonable," he said.
The seven convenience stores already in operation within 350 feet of school property will be allowed to continue selling tobacco products. Riggenbach conceded to that condition to avoid hurting what he called legitimate business owners.
Peoria police will notify businesses about the new ordinance over the next 10 days.