Huntsville pastor calls for boycott - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Pastor calls for boycott of stores that sell drug paraphernalia

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Garner said that as a test, his 15-year-old daughter was able to go into a convenience store and purchase drug paraphernalia. (Photo: tfofc.info) Garner said that as a test, his 15-year-old daughter was able to go into a convenience store and purchase drug paraphernalia. (Photo: tfofc.info)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A Huntsville pastor has called for a boycott of convenience stores that he claims sell drug paraphernalia.

Troy Garner leads the Fellowship of Faith Church on North Memorial Parkway. He said almost all stores in north Huntsville sell drug paraphernalia.

He and several other pastors in Huntsville say, although legal, selling the paraphernalia is immoral.

Garner said Monday it is too easy for kids to get their hands on the materials. As an experiment, his 15-year-old daughter was able to go into a North Huntsville convenience store and buy paraphernalia.

He said if people stop going into the stores, maybe they will be forced to stop selling the pipes, scales and related items.

The pastor called on the Huntsville Police Department for help in the matter during his announcement. Garner said he hopes an ordinance can be developed that, at minimum, would restrict the sales of the potential drug paraphernalia within a certain proximity to schools and churches.

However, Thomas Morris with the Huntsville Police Department said the department can only do so much. He said state lawmakers would have to create or adjust the law before anything could be enforced in Huntsville.

Still, Morris believes with less of the paraphernalia available, it will help make Huntsville a safer place.

"Drugs play a big part in a lot of crimes, and without the drug paraphernalia and without the drug use, of course, crime will go down," said Morris. 

"If you can eliminate the accessibility of it, it will go a long way in the prevention of drug abuse and ultimately saving lives," Garner said. "As I interact with kids and student athletes, I see the devastating effects of drugs and how it thwarts their potential."

Huntsville school board member Laurie McCaulley and the school system stand behind Garner, but McCaulley said it will take more than a boycott.

"We can also help educate the parents," she explained. "Some of the items Pastor Troy showed us were poker chips - what I thought were poker chips, and then I find out it's a marijuana grinder. I think information will be powerful."

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