Maryland Cigar Smokers Fight Back

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.

Regulate Cigar Sales to Prevent Pot Smoking?

OK, some people are just dumb. Unbeknown to me, potheads buy cigars, hollow them out, and then stuff marijuana in them to create a “blunt.” Obviously this is a huge problem ranking up there with Somali pirates, genocide in Darfur, a nuclear Iran, a tanking global economy, and figuring out what to do with Jay Leno after he leaves The Tonight Show.

But is outlawing the sale of single cigars (the smoke-Nazi crusader is proposing, you guessed it, forcing retailers to sell cigars in five packs – related story) going to stop pot smokers? Do I even need to answer that question?

Here’s part of the original story:

Hidden among the discussion surrounding Wednesday’s vote on a strengthened smoking ban is addendum Item No. 13 on the council’s final docket of the year, which includes a whopping 151 items. This item addresses the sale of individual cigars, long the bane of Dwaine Caraway’s existence, along with saggy pants and public speakers.

The new ordinance would prohibit the sale of individual cigars and require cigars to be sold in packages of at least five, with a penalty of no more than $500 awaiting the perpetrator. Notably, it doesn’t apply to cigars sold in tobacco shops or other businesses.

So what’s Caraway’s beef then? Well, he knows it’s hard to make a blunt without a cigar, so this is his answer to stopping the practice in his district. Heck, it even lists “public safety improvements and crime reduction” as the key focus area on the item.