SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – A kiosk at the Mission Valley mall is selling pipes and bongs and a teen advocacy group is fighting to have them removed.
Parents said the kiosk’s location makes a visit to the mall uncomfortable.
Lizbeth and Marlenne are two members of Advocates for Change Today. Their goal is to keep alcohol and drugs out of the hands of their peers, but it’s a task that is becoming more challenging as marijuana perceptions change.
“It has become normal. ‘It doesn’t harm you and it’s just a plant.’ They don’t know the effects and actual harm it can do,” said Marlenne Robles, a high school senior.
The advocate group shot video of “Fresh Vape,” a kiosk at the Mission Valley mall. According to the group, the kiosk is openly selling products that could violate state law.
Typically, items classified as water pipes or bongs are supposed to remain out of sight for children under 18-years of age.
“The mall should not be doing this, just having that stand out there. Families are walking by with their children. Children are seeing that from a young age basically grow up thinking it’s a normal thing,” said Lizbeth Uriostegui.
Many parents who visited the mall said they were surprised by the openness of display of products.
“I would be uncomfortable about it as a parent because then you're putting yourself in a situation where you have to explain what those products are and who would be using them,” said a parent.
Others said they were less upset about the items.
“I really don't think that much of it since it looks like a water pipe, but for drugs probably. Parents could explain it, but some children may abuse it or say okay this is cool let's try it,” said another parent.
The Westfield Group, which owns the Mission Valley Mall, said that to its knowledge “Fresh Vape” is only selling items focused on vaping and is not breaking the law but it would investigate the concerns.
Huntington Beach Assemblyman Travis Allen’s office said kiosks like the one at Mission Valley are legal because the pipes are behind a glass case.
On Wednesday, Assemblyman Travis Allen introduce a bill that would ban such sales like the one at “Fresh Vape."