Baltimore's War on Blunts

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reason contributor Jacob Grier has some sharp words for Baltimore's proposed ban on the individual sale of cheap cigars, a law that would force customers to buy their Phillies and El Productos in packs of five or more. "These cigars pose every bit of the risk that cigarettes do," city Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein declared at the press conference announcing the proposal. "It's a small but important step to reducing the incredible toll tobacco takes on the people of Baltimore." Or as Grier puts it, "In other words, upper class people can responsibly choose to smoke a cigar, but poor people need to have choices taken away from them."

Might the city also be trying to subtly expand the war on drugs? After all, does anybody actually smoke those things without adding a little something extra?

Whole thing here. Jacob Sullum on "those crazy kids and their cigars" here.

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  1. After all, does anybody actually smoke those things without adding a little something extra?

    Oh man, those things are nasty. Why anyone would suck on smoldering cardboard is quite beyond me I’m sure. Adding a little something makes even less sense. Like having a bottle of vodka and going “Hey I know! Let’s mix this with dishwater!”.

  2. Sounds like a good place to set up a loosies business.

  3. So instead of buying one, can’t they just buy 5 or more, simply delaying the time they need to hit the store for another one? What a moronic law.

  4. Won’t this, in effect, increase drug use? Now those vile Baltimorians will have to smoke five blunts instead of just one.

    If someone has the $40 or so to buy a nice fat bag of interstate commerce for blunts, do they really think the same guy can’t cough up the extra $1.68 for a five pack.

    Has the world gone completely fucking insane?

  5. I’m curious as to how they’re going to prevent some entrepreneurial spirit from buying five-packs and then selling the individual cigars.

  6. I don’t know about Phillies Blunts, but Swisher Sweets need to be outlawed just out of principle. That sickly smell is something no one should be forced to endure.

  7. Aren’t those things dirt cheap? 5 times super cheap = still really cheap.

    You know, people (not me, of course) sometimes buy a 40 of malt, which is cheap and effective. Maybe they can force me…uh, people to buy 5 at once. That would cut down on drinking, just like the cigar plan would somehow cut down on smoking, right?

  8. So instead of buying one, can’t they just buy 5 or more, simply delaying the time they need to hit the store for another one?

    I think you underestimate just how badly some people manage their money. That said, it’s not my (or anyone else’s) business to “correct” that through some stupid law.

  9. Anything that helps the cops to keep America’s children off of the pot is inherintly a good thing, I’m all for it.

  10. swisher sweets are horrible.

    Adding a little something makes even less sense.

    well, it burns more slowly and most of the actual blunt is removed, so you can uh entertain large groups of people on an equivalent budget. uh, as it were.

  11. so you can uh entertain large groups of people on an equivalent budget. uh, as it were

    Dude, that’s what party bowls are for. Come on.

  12. there are certain racial and class differences in how people actually regulate interstate commerce, i think, and blunts appear more often in urban areas, certain portions of the music industry and the like, whereas the colorfully named “party bowl” is not.

  13. Put that blunt down, just for a second. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a new method.

  14. reason contributor Jacob Grier has some sharp words for Baltimore’s proposed ban on the individual sale of cheap cigars

    Another disappointment from the Carcetti administration.

  15. Aside from being repurposed for glaucoma treatment, I always assumed these were chompin’ cigars, not smoking ones.

  16. “These cigars pose every bit of the risk that cigarettes do,”

    When you smoke them in bed.

    Or, possibly, when you smoke them too close to some crabby bastard like me.

    ———

    Like having a bottle of vodka and going “Hey I know! Let’s mix this with dishwater!”.

    Vodka’s made from dishwater, isn’t it?

  17. there are certain racial and class differences in how people actually regulate interstate commerce, i think, and blunts appear more often in urban areas, certain portions of the music industry and the like, whereas the colorfully named “party bowl” is not.

    dhex shoots, he SCOOOORES! Is it time again for an Anslinger quote?

  18. Let me know when it moves from “proposed” to “enacted.”
    Every day silly things are proposed.
    If all were enacted we’d be Zimbabwe by now.
    Or worse: England.

  19. I got…
    A bag of funk, I got…
    White Owl blunts and
    I’m about to go get lifted, said
    I’m about to go get lifted. I got…

    Myself a 40, I got…
    Myself a shorty, and
    I’m about to go and stick it, said
    I’m about to go and stick it…

  20. Question: What exactly is a panty raider?

  21. Or:

    http://archive.salon.com/sex/world/2000/09/19/osaka/index.html

    Panty raider A man posing as a health official in Japan calls women and asks them to turn in their underwear for inspection.

    Ah, the Japanese, masters of innovation.

  22. Ballmer, it is a strange place, hun.

  23. The solution to get people to use less is to buy more? Is there a stupid school you must attend to work for government?

  24. Ole Miss?

  25. Is there a stupid school you must attend to work for government?

    Anyplace with a “College of Education” will do.

  26. Maybe you just have to be young to appreciate them. But I have pleasant memories of swisher sweets and underaged drinking.

    Yes exspensive cigars are nice but for the most part I do not find the 1000% price difference to be worth it. But I am almost always drinking when I smoke a cigar so I know my judgement is impaired.

  27. Speaking of “underage drinking”, Ft. Bliss, TX just raised the drinking age from anybody in service to 21.

  28. I never dealt with Phillie Blunts, cuz I heard that’s for silly stunts.

    And I had the grav, of course.

  29. I heard an interesting statistic on the History Channel. The average age in WWII was 26, the average age in Vietnam was 19. Maybe we should move the mimimum age for military service to 21.

  30. A friend of mine had me pick up some Cubans fo him at the airport once. They rolled the crepes way too tight.

  31. The average age in WWII was 26, the average age in Vietnam was 19. Maybe we should move the mimimum age for military service to 21.

    Not following your leaps in logic.

  32. I was in baltimore for the preakness and watched a 12-14yo black kid ask a cop (who looked to be in his 60s, also black) where he could get some “white girl”, for the guy who’s stuff he was pushing in a shopping cart. As if my mind wasn’t confused enough by a kid thinking he can ask a cop where to buy drugs, the cop then TOLD him and pointed to a nearby street.

  33. heh2k,

    Are you sure it was drugs and not sex?

    [ducks]

  34. The average age in WWII was 26, the average age in Vietnam was 19. Maybe we should move the mimimum age for military service to 21

    Apples and Oranges, m’boy…

    In WWII, every able bodied man went to fight because of the far larger scale. In Vietnam, soldiers were drafted from a large pool of 18-25 year olds, abundant because of the whole baby boomer thing…

  35. Holy cow, thirty-some comments and noone’s quoted Thomas Riley Marshall, vice president of the United States from 1913 to 1921.

    “What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.”

    This was apparently said as an aside to someone while he was presiding over a session. I seems he had gotten bored by some Senator who had a long list of things “the country needs”.

  36. In WWII, every able bodied man went to fight because of the far larger scale. In Vietnam, soldiers were drafted from a large pool of 18-25 year olds, abundant because of the whole baby boomer thing…

    And even in Vietnam, over 60% of the people who served were volunteers.

  37. Which could have tended to lower the average age.

    IIRC, draftees had to be twenty or older to be sent there. Volunteers could be any age.

    I may have misremembered though.

  38. The average age in WWII was 26, the average age in Vietnam was 19.

    As a purely factual issue, I have a hard time believing that such a low average is possible. For the average to be 19 you’d have to have such a massive number of 18 year-olds to counter every possible age above 19 that it seems wildly implausible. That just has to be a mistake.

  39. WWII was the last large scale war we won. Did a higher average age make a difference? If I give some undersevered deferrence to the idea that people under 21 are too irresponsible to drink, then I would agree that they are too irresponsible for combat. From there, it’s not that far of a leap to say irresponsable troops could have affected the outcome of the Vietnam war. But to believe any of it, you must start with the concept that an 18 year old is too inmature for drinking.

    It’s BS to me too, I’m just having a little fun. I don’t buy into the under 21 crowd are too irresponsible to drink. If you’re old enough to server, you’re old enough to be served. Which is the real reason I think the draft age should be moved to 21.

  40. “””For the average to be 19 you’d have to have such a massive number of 18 year-olds to counter every possible age above 19 that it seems wildly implausible. That just has to be a mistake.”””

    It never seemed quite right to me either. But considering that most of those dying were infantry and your basic grunt units were mostly the youngest, we probably replaced more 18 and 19 year olds than any other age group.

  41. Guy:

    The kid also said “my man wants to get a real good high”.

  42. roflz I havnt actually smoked one of those since high school…

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