Observational Assignment: Drug Paraphernalia Sales in Ithaca by Adriana Darcy

Efforts: Earlier this week I went downtown to the Ithaca Commons. I brought my camera and notebook, and as I was walking around, I took pictures of interesting things I found, and wrote down things that I saw that I felt might make a good story. I came up with a few ideas, that I wrote down and took pictures for. As I walked around the commons, and in and out of stores, one thing I noticed that stood out to me, was the amount of drug paraphernalia that could be found, not just in stores specific to this stuff, but also in stores, like Loose Threads, that mostly sold clothing and accessories.

There are many reasons why, of all of the observations I made, I felt this one would was one of the strongest, and would make a strong story. I have read articles and heard many people talk about how Ithaca College is one of most "weed friendly" campuses in America. Since Ithaca College is located in the city of Ithaca, this must have a large impact on the city. As well, the legalization of Marijuana is a hot topic in today's age, with many people for it, and an equal amount of people against it. I want to know what separates Ithaca from other towns and cities on this topic. I also want to know how the legalization of Marijuana for medical use in New York State has affected the drug paraphernalia market.

Some questions I have are "When did all of these shops start appearing? What caused this increase of these types of shops? Why did certain stores, like Loose Thread, decided to start selling drug paraphernalia? How do the natives of Ithaca feel about all of this?

Another thing I noticed while walking around the commons is the number of "For Rent" and "Store Closing" Signs there are around. This makes me wonder why these are closing, and whether it has anything to do with the increase of drug paraphernalia around Ithaca.

In order to report this story, I would interview the stores that sell drug paraphernalia to find out when they begun selling it, why they begun selling it, and their target market. I would also interview some of the town's natives to see how they feel about the increase in stores selling drug paraphernalia.

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