City of Philadelphia Moving Towards Ban On Blunts

Council members in Philadelphia are close to outlawing the smoking of blunts in the city. Last Thursday (Oct. 26), the council’s Committee on Licenses and Inspections unanimously approved a bill that would make the sale of “loosies” and other drug paraphernalia, including cigarette wrapping papers, illegal. The Philadelphia Metro reports that sales of cigars in packages of fewer than six would also be banned, except those sold in specialty tobacco shops. Available at most inner-city convenience stores and Chinese take out restaurants, “loosies” are loose cigars that are frequently emptied out and filled with marijuana. “I think it sends the wrong message when you can get a blunt or rolling papers with your Now and Laters or Lemonheads or pretzel sticks,” said Stephen Clay, a medical directorat the Gaudenzia drug treatment facility. Local activists believe the accessibility of blunts in stores and on the streets helps create a feeling of “lawlessness.” They further point out that the items are at times laced with cocaine or PCP for a greater high. If the bill is passed, at least one major retailer has vowed to stop selling small packages of blunt cigars, according to the Metro, which added that the entire council is expected to approve the measure next month.