Bong water bill dries up with Tim Pawlenty's veto

Drain after using
Drain after using
Photo: tohoscope

Talk about a buzz kill. Bong water is still a controlled illegal substance in Minnesota, thanks to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto pen, to say nothing of the four justices he appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

"The bill waters down current criminal justice practices and standards related to the weight of controlled substances found in water pipes," Pawlenty said, by way of justification.

The bill that reached his desk was the result of a 2007 Rice County case in which prosecutors charged Sara Peck with first-degree possession of a controlled substance -- the traces of meth found in the water of her bong. The bong water weighed 37.17 grams, enough to bump Peck's sentence up to seven years.

The charge was dismissed in court. The county attorney appealed. The Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, and ruled in favor of the prosecution last October. Every one of the four justices in the majority had been appointed by Pawlenty.

Lawmakers stepped into the fray. By a unanimous vote in the Senate and a 129-2 margin in the House, the Legislaturepassed a bill that basically said the weight of bong water can't be counted as part of the weight of a controlled substance in a drug prosecution.

Yes it can, the governor said.

Drain after use, we advise.

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