States moving to ban the bong

Buddha Bong, made in Australia.
Buddha Bong, made in Australia.

THE bong seems set to become a clandestine collector's item as states across the country legislate to ban the drug-smoking apparatus.

Last month Western Australia banned the bong, with Victoria acting to make possession of one illegal from January 1 next year.

The sale, supply and possession of a bong for the purpose of taking drugs became illegal in NSW last year.

However marijuana law reform activist Michael Balderstone said the banning of bongs was "tragic" and would do nothing to stop people smoking the drug.

"People will just smoke through Orchy bottles with a piece of their neighbour's hose," he said.

Homemade bongs are routinely constructed using plastic bottles and slashed garden hoses as the stem.

And until last year, a wide range of professionally manufactured bongs were available in speciality stores and tobacconists.

Mr Balderstone said the bong was a cultural item now under threat.

"Smoking through water pipes is one of mankind's most ancient rituals because it cools the smoke," he said.

One Northern Rivers second-hand goods dealer, who did not want to be named, said bongs from the 1970s had definitely become a collector's item.

The word bong is an adaptation of the Thai word baung and it is thought the first bongs were developed in Africa, possibly as early as 1100.

Topics:  health smoking

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