Blunt Talk

Loose cigar sales banned


Prince George's County, Maryland, has banned the single sale of cheap cigars, which can now be purchased only in packs of five or more. Single blunts, according to the county council, are a) gateways to cigarette smoking and b) drug paraphernalia, since they can be hollowed out and used to smoke pot.

The new rule doesn't apply to all cigar sales, though. "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," reports The Washington Post, "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 is the sale of inexpensive cigars in places where poor black people buy them. Rich white men can carry on buying stogies in their cigar bars and golf clubs.

Bruce C. Bereano, a lobbyist for cigar distributors, told the Post the law was "laudable." But he wondered aloud whether it would change much, speculating that a cottage industry of selling singles from behind the counter or in the street would spring up, similar to the one that already exists for cigarettes.