Cigar makers want to outlaw blunts that could be used for illegal drugs


Gov. Butch Otter receivied a firsthand look at a natural gas well last week from representatives of Alta Mesa energy company.

An Idaho Senate panel will consider banning blunt wraps, products that the backer of the ban said can be used to mask the use of marijuana and other illegal drugs.

Blunt wraps, which can also be called tobacco wrappers and roll your own cigar wraps, are hollow wrappers made of reconstituted tobacco that can be flavored and filled with a smokeable product. The flavors, which include tobacco, apple, and mango, and the shape of the wraps could hide the look and smell of marijuana, according to ban supporters. They are already banned in Canada, Boston, and New York City, but Illinois lawmakers rejected a ban last week.

The Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee agreed to hold a hearing on the legislation that’s backed by committee chair Sen. Denton Darrington, R-Declo, and Russell Westerberg, a lobbyist for the Cigar Association of America.

“They always come out with kind of technology to be a step ahead of us, and we are always playing catch up,” said Darrington.

The law would label blunt wraps as drug paraphernalia and make it illegal to have or use them. Westerberg said he’s unaware of any cigar or tobacco users who use blunt wraps, but that such people could come forward during the panel’s hearing on the legislation.

“The term ‘blunt’ has become associated and synonymous with marijuana and joints,” Westerberg said. “If Paris Hilton had been using a blunt (wrap), … she probably wouldn’t have been arrested.”

Westerberg said the ban wouldn’t apply to rolling paper used for loose tobacco to make cigarettes. His legislation said the ban would cost $1,850, which he said is a far cry from the $22 million it costs to treat addiction to illegal drugs including marijuana and Spice in Idaho.

The Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee also agreed to hold hearings on legislation amending the state rape-by-fraud law to protect unmarried women. The law change, also backed by Darrington, follows a well-publicized case of a woman whose boyfriend allegedly tricked her into having sex with another man. Current state law only protects married women in that situation.

Darrington said he’d heard from several lawmakers asking him if the rape law would be changed.

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A sample tobacco blunt wrap, wrapped in plastic, A sample tobacco blunt wrap, wrapped in plastic
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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Lawmakers considering “Blunt” Ban… - News Radio 1310 KLIX

  2. Ron Tully

    The suggestion that the City of New York has banned cigar wrappers is a nonsense. The City of new york has in fact broadly banned the sale of any tobacco product that has a characterizing flavor, including pipe tobacco, cigars and flavored oral tobacco products. There is no outright ban on cigar wrappers in New York any more than there is outright ban on the sale of cigars or pipe tobacco. The Cigar Association has suggested there is also a ban in Canada on these products. What Canada has in fact done is set a minimum pack quanity for the sale of cigar wrappers – not banned them. Facts are impaortant here. Cigar Wrappers are a legitimate tobacco products used by adult consumers to make-your-own cigar. What the Cigar Association and its larger member companies fear is that adult consumers are making a choice to make their own cigar and passing on those expensive machine made large cigars. If ever there was an effort to destroy a small and emerging segment of the tobacco industry this is it. The state of Illiinois looked at this issue only last week and rejected the bill when it saw it for the competitive play it turned out to be agianst small tobaco companies. The states of Maine, Tennessee, Massachusets, Rhode Island, California and Illinois all looked at the issue of cigar wraps in various legislative committee’s only last year, and rejected the arguments of the Cigar Association. This is competition at its worst, with one segment of the tobacco industry pushing to put another segment out of business because they are losing market share. Does Idaho want to be part of that effort by the Big Cigar companies?

  3. ty

    dats real…. cigar wraps will allways be purchased and if they ban it, people will just use wutever cigar IS availible at the time and use that.

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