Haight smoke shop owner arrested in Salt Lake City after allegedly refusing to wear a face mask to board an airplane

Photo: Instagram
By Jay Barmann - Published on November 30, 2020.

A man who made international headlines after allegedly attempting to board a Delta flight out of Salt Lake City while refusing to put on a face mask turns out to be the owner of Upper Haight smoke shop Pipe Dreams (1376 Haight St.), which advertises itself as the oldest smoke shop in San Francisco.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, 44-year-old Joshua Colby Council "became argumentative" after allegedly trying to outrun a gate agent who insisted he put on a mask and boarded a Delta flight maskless last Wednesday night. The incident delayed the flight by 45 minutes, and Council was reportedly escorted off the plane and taken into police custody.

All of the plane's other passengers, reportedly "several dozen" of them per Salt Lake police, got off the plane before Council would agree to get off himself. The UK Daily Mail says that he was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, and released the following morning, on Thursday.

For the past five years, Council has co-owned Pipe Dreams with Cassandra Chatham, and they were featured in an SFGate piece last fall regarding the city's ban on vape products. While the co-owners both expressed a bias toward the more ancient practices of smoking tobacco and cannabis in their natural forms, they said the shop was being kept afloat in part through the sale of vape cartridges, and giving that up would be hard for them financially.

"People are going to get their nicotine somehow, they’ll have it shipped here illegally or get it on the black market," Council said at the time.

The airplane/mask refusal case follows a few months in which we heard fewer of these stories than we had heard earlier in the pandemic, and Council's views on the efficacy of masks or the public-health requirements dictating their use are not known.

Pipe Dreams originally opened in 1968, and has survived as a tobacco- and cannabis paraphernalia store through medical marijuana legalization and, more recently, full recreational legalization.

Throughout the last nine months, Pipe Dreams has been advertising their wares on Instagram, primarily glass bongs and pipes, but also, ironically, face masks.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Pipe Dreams SF (@pipedreamsonhaight)

Jan 22, 2021
San Francisco Twin Peaks

SFMTA proposes reopening most of Twin Peaks to vehicle access

SFMTA staff are recommending reopening more than half of Twin Peaks to cars, despite broad public embracement of the park for non-vehicle recreation. Read More

Jan 19, 2021
San Francisco Chinatown

$1.9 Million Chinatown relief measure passes Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a relief measure that would pay ailing Chinatown restaurants nearly $2 million to serve up meals for their neighbors in need. Read More

Jan 19, 2021
San Francisco Tenderloin

The Tenderloin used to have a bar where a woman was convalescing in a bed behind a curtain in back

An autobiographical essay titled "The Hard Crowd" by novelist Rachel Kushner, published in last week's New Yorker, offers some vivid snapshots of several long-gone Tenderloin bars, including one with a convalescing person in a bed in back. Read More

Jan 19, 2021
San Francisco Castro

Milk Club holds MLK Day tribute at Castro's 'Hibernia Beach' honoring community leaders

Yesterday the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club (Milk Club) held a Martin Luther King Jr. Day tribute at Castro's Bank of America (501 Castro St.), commonly referred to as 'Hibernia Beach,' honoring the civil rights icon and the passing of recent community members. Read More