With a renewed emphasis on drug busts in Lewis County, some residents and law enforcement officers are worried about the upcoming arrival of Mom and Pop's Hippy Shop in Weston.
Less than a year ago, federal authorities raided Hot Stuff and Cool Things in Clarksburg and Buckhannon for selling bath salts. Those concerns are being brought back, but this time in Lewis County, as Mom and Pop's Hippy Shop is moving to a location on Route 33 in Weston.
Authorities in Lewis County said they don't want to have to deal with any other drugs in the county.
"We've looked at some ordinances from a neighboring city and neighboring county, and what we want to do is hopefully get an ordinance enacted that would restrict a head shop, if you will, from coming in here and potentially distributing illegal substances," said Sheriff Adam Gissy.
Gissy has been working on ordinances to be passed by the county and the city to restrict the sale of even legal synthetic drugs. But owners of the store said that although they did sell those legal substances in Buckhannon, they won't be doing so in Weston.
"We've never dealt with anything that's illegal in the state of West Virginia. We don't deal with bath salts, party pills or anything, never have. And so many people are having concerns about potpourri, we've dropping that from our line, we're not even going to carry it in the store anymore," said John Burrows, who owns the store with his wife Rose.
But Gissy and others in the county want to be sure to prohibit that use. They said it only adds to drug problems as time goes on.
"It's unfortunately led to more hard drugs, your cocaine, your heroin, your meth, so I think it's safe to say it could be considered a gateway drug and should be take very seriously," said Gissy.
As for the Burrowses, who have also opened a dollar-store like business in Weston, they want people to know their store will be safe.
"We invite everybody, and I mean everybody, doesn't make any difference who they are, to come to mom and pops when it is open and check us out for themselves," said Rose Burrows.
The Burrowses said they will continue to sell pipes at the new store, but that they have maintained state permits for those items.
They plan to close their Buckhannon store next week and begin moving the store to Weston, to be open by the end of February.