A couple of weeks ago I covered how Dallas was contemplating a new law that would outlaw the sale of single cigars so as to prevent the youths from hallowing them out and stuffing them with pot. Supposedly, if you outlaw the sale of single cigars (they want retailers to sell five packs, at least) then the cost will be prohibitive for high teens. Of course, this is ridiculous and is only meant to make it tougher for cigar smokers to get their hands on stogies.
Fortunately, a hearty few in Maryland are fighting back. From the Washington Post:
A cigar wholesaler, several retailers and a cigar enthusiast have filed suit against Prince George’s County, arguing that the county overstepped its legal authority when it adopted a ban on the sale of cigars in packages of less than five.
The County Council passed a bill in November that classified cigars in certain instances as drug paraphernalia and banned the sale of single cigars. The legislation, signed by County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), was intended to curb the use of blunts, cigars hollowed out and filled with marijuana. The county was the first jurisdiction in the country to pass such legislation.
The cigar supporters filed suit in Prince George’s Circuit Court yesterday, arguing that tobacco laws should be passed by the state rather than counties. Saying that their business will be hurt by the legislation, which is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 8, the businesses and the cigar lover asked the court to enjoin the county from enforcing the law, declare it unconstitutional and award the plaintiffs $20 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
County spokesman John Erzen declined to comment on the litigation.
I’m beginning to wonder if there’s any place in this country (in the world?) where it’s kosher to smoke cigars anymore unhindered by the ever-growing reach of the government? It’s not looking like it.