Sale of Single Cigars to Poor Blacks Banned


The sale of loose, cheap cigars has been banned in Maryland's Prince George's county—you must now buy them in packs of five. Loose, cheap women are still available as singles.

The argument goes like this: Single blunts are (a) gateway drugs to cigarette smoking, especially the flavored ones, and (b) drug paraphernalia, since they can be hollowed out and used to smoke pot. 

It almost seems as if the rule was written as a satire on class and race relations in the U.S.:

Tobacco stores that specialize in cigar sales, and often sell high-end cigars for as much as $5 apiece or more, are excluded from the legislation's restrictions, as are other locations that are sometimes age-restricted, including golf courses, fraternal lodges, bars and restaurants.

In short, the only thing that has been banned are cheap cigars in places where poor black people buy them. Carry on with your commerce, white men, in your cigar stores, Elks Clubs, and golf courses. 

Bruce C. Bereano, a lobbyist for the distributors, said the intent of the law was "laudable." But, he said, the law will only create a cottage industry of people who buy cigars in packs of five and then sell them individually on the streets. 

The result: The poorest people will pay a little more for a bottom-of-the-line product and have to buy it on the street. Otherwise, everything will carry on as before.

Via Rawley Vaughan