Hub City father advocates for the removal of drug paraphernalia displays

HATTIESBURG, Miss.(WHLT) – James Moore is advocating for the removal of drug paraphernalia in convenience stores.

In 2015 Moore’s son, Jeffrey Moore, died in an accidental heroin overdose. Since then, James has taken this tragedy and turned it into a teaching lesson about drug addiction.

On Monday, James went to the Hattiesburg city council work session to present how drug paraphernalia is being displayed and sold in the city. In his presentation he provided examples of they way items are being sold.

He said, “I wanted a drink, and what I thought was a junior food mart, and right in the middle of the aisle was a tall glass display case of things that are routinely described as drug paraphernalia by federal, state and local ordinances.”

At the meeting he also brought in some of the drug paraphernalia that’s being sold in these stores.

He demonstrated a Comet cleaner can that you can unscrew from the bottom, and it turns into a storage space for drugs. In addition to that, he showed a highlighter, which actually was a pipe.

Each item looked like a regular everyday item, so it’s difficult for family, teachers, or friends to know exactly what’s modified about the item.

James says the paraphernalia being sold is sending a mixed signal to young children.

“It sends a very mixed message to our kids, for us to stand up in a classroom and tell them to just say no, to tell them to avoid drugs, that drugs are detrimental to you, that drugs can kill you, and then you have them follow mom into a convenience store to get some snacks, and you see that as a city we have given this retailer a license to publicly and openly sale and display things that are used specifically to consume illegal drugs.”

With these items being displayed in stores, James says they’re trigging recovering addicts who are trying to escape drugs.

He hopes by sharing his son’s story and making the city aware about the issues surrounding these sales, the community can help make a difference for those struggling with addiction.

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