What Is a Radio Head Shop?

Radiohead Shop is a store that sells drug paraphernalia, herbal remedies, and other items related to drug culture. These stores are found in college campuses, inner cities, and small suburban towns. These stores are often a gathering place for people who are fans of a particular music band or counterculture movement. Many people refer to these stores as “head shops,” but the term actually has a specific meaning that dates back to the 1960s when drug users were known as “heads.”

Most people who patronize head shops are not looking for anything illegal, and most of these stores are careful to prohibit the use of any words that would suggest that the drugs they sell are intended for illicit consumption. Even so, these establishments are often criticized by law enforcement and slandered by the media for being the source of illicit drugs. A large part of this criticism stems from the fact that many of these stores specialize in selling synthetic drugs, which aren’t explicitly prohibited under state law but are considered controlled substances by the DEA because they are chemically similar to other drugs.

In the ’60s, when these head shops first appeared, they became important centers of counterculture support, where underground publications that promoted esoteric spiritual practices could be found. Their political poignancy faded, however, as the baby boomers grew older and the 1970s saw drug paraphernalia sales become more tightly regulated.

Today, most head shops have been co-opted by the mainstream and are often reminiscent of specialty retail stores such as Spencer’s Gifts. Glass pipes, bongs, and other smoking devices are common in these stores, as well as t-shirts and posters that display various drugs and marijuana-related themes. Some shops also sell clothing that reflects the punk or heavy metal culture, such as studded wristbands and leather belts.

The name of a head shop is usually an ambiguous word that is meant to be ironic, and many of these stores have their own sense of humor. For example, one of these stores in Ohio is called The Smokeshop, and it proudly displays a sign that reads: “WARNING: We are not your normal store. Please avoid the urge to purchase any type of intoxicant and leave our premises.” The owner adds that she has had to bar high-schoolers and other young people from her business because they are so eager to buy smoking products. However, she does make sure that her staff is on the lookout for anyone who might seem suspicious.