‘Bongs’ off sale after anger
A CONVENIENCE store in Aberdare that was selling bongs and “drug paraphernalia” has removed them from shelves after an angry reaction from members of the public.
A CONVENIENCE store selling bongs and “drug paraphernalia” in a Valleys town has sparked outrage.
The Family Shopper in Aberdare sells everything you would expect to see in a local newsagents or off licence, until you reach the till, where customers were recently faced with a variety of bongs of different shapes and sizes.
Local Church in Wales chaplain Lance Sharpe said he was “disgusted” when he went in the shop on Canon Street last week and saw them.
“I was in Aberdare with the children. I just went in there to get a drink and as I walked up to the counter I looked up and saw them there. I just couldn’t believe it.”
Mr Sharpe, who is a chaplain at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, added: “I know it’s not illegal to sell them.
“I said to the lady behind the counter ‘I can’t believe you’re selling drug paraphernalia’.
“She told me that depends what you use it for. I said it’s probably not illegal but is it morally right?”
Mr Sharpe said he was concerned as he knew from his experience of working with people affected by drugs that “drugs can ruin people’s lives”.
He said: “It’s unbelievable that the shop is called Family Shopper yet it’s selling such things. I was really disgusted by it. They felt like it was not a problem like they were able to sell things like that so openly and freely in a convenience store.
“You have got children and all sorts going in and out of there and children will ask their parents ‘what’s that, mummy?’ and the parent will have to explain.
“I know they do sell these things in shops in the cities but a convenience store in Aberdare is just not the right place. I have never seen anything like that before.”
Mr Sharpe, who has lived in Aberdare for four and a half years, added: “You might be able to use bongs for things like tobacco, but does anyone really do that?
“Their main use is with illegal drugs. It’s not an ornament that you’re going to put on the mantle piece is it? It’s aiding illegal drug use.
“You can’t compare that with selling alcohol, which is completely legal, I don’t think it’s comparable.
“I would urge the shop not to sell these items anymore.”
A spokesman for the store said the items were being removed from the shelves.
He said: “They are not illegal. They are legal to sell for tobacco use. If someone uses them for something else that is not our responsibility.
“But we are here for the local community and we would like to work with them so if it’s caused offence to someone we will take them down and completely out of stock.
“We are not selling them any more.”
The Family Shopper store on Canon Street, Aberdare