A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 08, 2008
Brown Bag Special ("crack kit")

A “brown bag special” has also been called a “crack kit,” consisting of a glass pipe, steel wool pad and butane lighter—all sold in a brown paper bag by convenience stores. The term “brown bag special” made news on July 4, 2008, when Williamson County announced the results of its sting operation into local stores selling drug paraphernalia.

The exact original of the term “brown bag special” is unknown, but it could have been popularized by Texas rapper DJ Nasty’s Brown Bag Special (2003).


Google Groups: soc.culture.african.american
Newsgroups: soc.culture.african.american
From: (ISIS1619)
Date: 1996/06/02
Subject: Re: ARE YOU GHETTO? QUIZ
You might be ghetto if:
(...)
you know where to catch the brown bag special for an extra low price while cruising through Dallas, TX

16 May 2005, Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, “Store Owners Dispute ‘Crack Kits’ Busts” by Brandon Ortiz, pg. A1:
But Faulkner says he’s never heard of a brown bag special.

20 May 2005, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “Stores’ staffs suspected of selling crack pipes”:
An undercover officer purchased a “fix,” “hook up,” or “brown bag special” from store clerks and walked out with either a pipe to smoke crack cocaine or a ...

i-dineout.com
Clerk Arrested for Sale of Drug Paraphenalia
LIBERTY, TX, November 21, 2005 - Due to numerous citizen complaints about the sale of drug paraphernalia at local convenience stores, a joint investigation by Liberty PD, Chambers Liberty County Narcotics Task Force and DPS Narcotics was conducted earlier this month.

The investigation resulted in the undercover purchase of what is commonly known as a “Brown Bag Special” at the Panther Stop Convenience Store on US 90 at Bowie Street in Liberty.

A “Brown Bag Special” consists of a glass pipe, a steel wool pad and butane lighter, items necessary for the consumption of crack cocaine.

YouTube
The Brown Bag Special
Added: May 14, 2006
how easy someone could buy the supplies to smoke crack from a corner store here in corpus christi, what a shame

Bottom of the Map
Friday, May 23, 2008
DJ Nasty - Brown Bag Special (2003)
DJ Nasty - Brown Bag Special
(Longview, TX screwed n chopped)

Austin (TX) American-Statesman
Drug paraphernalia sold in Williamson stores, officials say
Investigators rounding up suspects in ‘brown bag special’ sales.

By Isadora Vail
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Friday, July 04, 2008
For months, Williamson County investigators went into more than 120 convenience stores and asked for the “brown bag special.”

At 17 of those stores, officials said, they were given brown paper bags containing a glass tube, steel wool and a lighter — all the accoutrements needed to smoke crack, methamphetamine or other drugs.

How that many businesses would have decided to sell drug paraphernalia in the same discreet packaging, they don’t know.

But on Thursday, officers started rounding up everyone they had charged as a result of the sting operation, which included sending minors into some stores to make purchases.

“The most disturbing thing is that they would already have everything in the bags, ready to go, and they were selling it to our children,” sheriff’s office Detective John Foster said.

He said there are no specialty shops in the county that would sell similar articles.

The inquiry began earlier this year, when officers began finding more drug paraphernalia than usual, often in similar brown bags, Foster said; in February they began checking out convenience stores.

The brown bags were selling for about $5, more than the contents were worth, Foster said.

Houston (TX) Chronicle
July 4, 2008, 10:15AM
Officials charge Williamson County merchants with selling drug gear
The Associated Press
GEORGETOWN, Texas — Williamson County officials have charged about 20 people with distributing drug paraphernalia after a sting in which investigators asking for a “brown bag special” were given a bag containing a glass tube, steel wool and a lighter.

Investigators say they obtained paraphernalia for smoking crack, methamphetamine or other drugs in 17 of the more than 120 convenience stores in which they asked for the “brown bag special.” The investigators don’t know how that many businesses would have decided to sell drug paraphernalia in the same packaging.

Officers on Thursday started rounding up everyone they had charged as a result of the sting operation, which included sending minors into some stores to make purchases.

“The most disturbing thing is that they would already have everything in the bags, ready to go, and they were selling it to our children,” sheriff’s office Detective John Foster told the Austin American-Statesman for its Friday editions.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, July 08, 2008 • Permalink