Hastings Law Journal


Mark A. Richard


In an effort to combat the problem of drug abuse, local communities have enacted statutes or ordinances that prohibit or otherwise regulate the sale, manufacture, or possession of drug paraphenalia. In Village o/Hoffman Estates v. The Floside, Hoffman Estates, Inc., the United States Supreme Court passed upon the validity of one such drug paraphenalia law and in so doing may have substantially limited a civil plaintiff's ability to challenge such a law on vagueness grounds. This Comment explores the Court's vagueness analysis in FlIpside. The Comment first outlines the provisions of the Village of Hoffman Estates ordinance and describes the difficulties The Flipside experienced in determining what items were covered. The Comment then focuses on the Court's treatment of the vagueness issue, the ordinance's "designed or marketed for use" terminology, and its constitutionality in view of the modern vagueness doctrine enunciated in Grayned v. Rockford. The Comment criticizes the Flipside Court's application of the vagueness standard and warns that it may represent a weakening of constitutional protection from impermissibly vague legislation.

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