Lakeview head shops under fire for paraphernalia in windows - FOX 32 News Chicago

Lakeview head shops under fire for paraphernalia in windows

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Three head shops in Lakeview have been given an unusual chance to avoid felony charges by agreeing to remove the bongs, pipes and other marijuana paraphernalia from their store windows.

Prosecutors said the owners were prominently displaying bongs, pipes and other paraphernalia in the shop windows for people passing by to see. Several people with children complained to the alderman and Chicago Police.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said she got involved and charged the store owners with class four felony charges of possession of paraphernalia.

“It's hard to stop them...and win these cases outright,” said Alvarez.

Adding to the shop owner’s headache were the fines levied by the city’s Business Protection and Consumer Affairs Department. Its investigators found several other violations where the owners were selling items with trademark logos of Chicago sports’ teams.

“They found products that were not licensed…Cubs paraphernalia…and you can't just put your name on any products sold in stores legally,” said Barbara Gressel of BACA.

The shops agreed to avoid thousands of dollars in fines and criminal charges by signing a deferred prosecution agreement. If they abide by the agreement to remove the items from the front windows, they will avoid prosecution.

More importantly, city and state officials feel the agreement allows the owners to become good neighbors in the community.

An attorney for one of the shop owners told FOX 32 the agreement is fair and a win-win for everyone.

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