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Head shop open in time for holidays

After having $50,000 worth of inventory confiscated during a police raid last summer, Green Side Up Gallery in Allston reopened in time for the holidays.

After having $50,000 worth of inventory confiscated during a police raid last summer, Green Side Up Gallery in Allston reopened in time for the holidays.

“The first customer I had in [on Monday] said he needed a Christmas present for his mother,” said Matt Yaffe, who owns the so-called head shop and was arrested in June for distribution of drug paraphernalia. “I can’t say it couldn’t be better timing because six months was a long time. But we’re open and we’re happy. A lot of the kids are gone but that’s OK.”

Before opening in October 2009 on Harvard Avenue, Yaffe spent three months securing the proper city and state licenses. Yaffe’s shop was one of three Allston head shops — along with the Wildside Gallery and The Joint — raided by police last spring.

Yaffe’s lawyer Joshua Krefetz argued that according to state law the government has to prove the seller knew someone will use the so-called “functional art” to ingest drugs.

On Monday, Krefetz negotiated a deal with the district attorney’s office that allows Yaffe to open as long as he doesn’t sell “one-hitters” and “bongs” for one year.

“I argued my case over and over that Matt Yaffe was being singled out and no one knew why,” said Krefetz, adding he believes the definition of drug paraphernalia needs to be clarified in Superior Court. “I don’t think merchants who engaged in a business that they’ve been told by city and state bodies is legal should have to lay awake at night wondering if they are going to get raided by the police due to what is apparently vagaries in the interpretation of the law.”

 
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