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The illegal use of controlled substances within the unincorporated area of Sierra County creates serious social, medical and law enforcement problems. The illegal use of such substances by persons under 18 years of age has reached crisis dimensions. It is causing serious physical and psychological damage to the youth of this community, an impairment of educational achievement and of the efficiency of the educational system, increases in nondrug-related crime, and a threat to the ability of the community to ensure future generations of responsible and productive adults – all to the detriment of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Sierra County.

The proliferation of the display of paraphernalia in retail stores and street vendors within the county, and the distribution of such paraphernalia intensifies and otherwise compounds the problem of illegal use of controlled substances within this community.

A ban only upon the display and distribution of drug paraphernalia to persons under 18 years of age would not be practical. The person who displays or distributes would have difficulty determining who could lawfully view or receive drug paraphernalia. The already thinly staffed law enforcement agencies would be subjected to intolerable added enforcement burdens by adding age of a person who views or receives paraphernalia as an element of a prohibition upon display and distribution. A significant number of high school students are 18 years of age or older. It would be lawful to distribute paraphernalia to some students attending the same school in which the distribution to other students would be prohibited. Permitted display and distribution to adults within the community would symbolize a public tolerance of illegal drug use, making it difficult to explain the rationale of programs directed against similar abuse by youth. The problem of illegal consumption of controlled substances by adults within this community is significant and substantial, necessitating a cessation of the encouragement to drug abuse which the display and distribution of drug paraphernalia create.

This chapter is a measure which is necessary in order to discourage the illegal use of controlled substances within Sierra County.