News / Victoria

Esquimalt councillor thinks it's high time bong store mascot got smoked

In a debate sparked by a fluffy bong, councillors in Esquimalt are considering putting restrictions on commercial mascots.

The motion was put forward by Coun. Tim Morrison on Monday and would require businesses to get a permit from the township to use mascots in public. Morrison has said his constituents are complaining about a costumed bong drumming up business for The Bong Warehouse on Esquimalt Road.

Morrison did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

However, the head shop's owner feels his store is being unfairly targeted.

"I'm trying to run a business and support my family and I'm being attacked by this councillor who was obviously born 300 years ago," said Ryan Place. "People are uncomfortable with the idea of marijuana because they're uneducated."

Place said his shop, which carries tobacco and marijuana paraphernalia, caters to medical patients and natural health advocates, many of whom appreciate the mascot.

"They love it, and they all want to get their picture taken with it," he said.

Under the proposed bylaw, businesses could be fined between $250 and $1,000 for unauthorized use of a mascot. If it passes, Place says he plans to fight it.

"It's an attack on my rights and freedoms to market my business," he said.

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