Huffing and graffiti problem addressed with one ordinance

Huffing and graffiti problem addressed with one ordinance (KTUL)

A Tulsa city councilor says it's time to get tough on teenagers who mis-use spray paint and has now proposed an ordinance to regulate the sale of spray paint to juveniles

Connie Dodson says the problem isn't just graffiti, she's worried about their health, too.

Taking a look around town, it's not hard to find the scribbles, the markings.

"Obviously graffiti is a big issue, " said Dodson. "We've seen a increase and a rise in it in the last ten years."

Fed up with graffiti, Dodson is hoping to cut down on the problem by controlling the sale of spray paint, specifically to minors.

"Other cities has seen results in cutting down on that when limit the availability of the spray paint to the juveniles, which oftentimes appear to be the ones who are doing it," said Dodson.

Her push to regulate it goes a little deeper. She also hopes this proposed crack down will stop kids from huffing the paint fumes to get a cheap high.

"You can die from it," said Dodson. "It can also cause brain damage, cognitive issues and additional learning issues. Those were things I knew were going on when I was researching gang activity in college."

She wants this ordinance; it was discussed last night at the city council meeting.

Dodson hopes the Tulsa Police Department will help, especially when they see minors outside past curfew. She also hopes the stores that sell it will do their part. The law would not apply to school projects or tasks supervised by an adult or guardian.

"Voluntary compliance with the stores obviously would be the first step," said Dodson. "A lot of store already voluntary monitor this. If they don't comply they could be faced with the fine."

Right now, Dodson is proposing an up to $200 fine. It's all preliminary right now but Dodson is determined to keep kids safe and Tulsa graffiti free.

The council will have more discussion on the proposal next month.

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