KOKOMO, Ind. - A neighborhood crime watch group in Kokomo is asking its members to boycott convenience stores selling pipes that are clearly visible to children and often next to candy.
“The beef for us is that it’s being displayed in front of kids, for kids, by candy with no discretion or ethics or concern for how this might be impacting our community," Peace Watch CEO Chris Wendt said. "We would like it to be treated like an adult product like it is.”
The group started six months ago with the mission of cleaning up Kokomo's streets and now is turning its attention to the items these convenient stores sell in their neighborhoods.
“Children shouldn’t have to see this kind of thing," Peace Watch Member Christi Brewer-Allen said. "You can’t say in a community we have a drug problem on one hand, and then say it’s ok for business like this to sell these kinds of things and children see them. “
The group is boycotting four convenience store chains in Kokomo.
Buddy's Mart Owner Shipan Mohammad, who sells the products at three of his franchises in Kokomo, said he'd be willing to work with the group for the benefit of the neighborhoods.
“Anything helpful for the neighborhood, I’ll do that," Mohammad said. "I have no problem. Anything we need to move, just let us know, we’ll move.”
The Peace Watch plans to bring its concerns to the Kokomo City Council Monday night and hopes to create legislation that will give local authorities more control in regulating the products.