Senate group proposes ban on cigar-rolling papers, also known as ‘blunt wraps’

BOISE — Cigar connoisseurs don’t want pot smokers operating under their guise.

Legislation introduced Monday in the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee would make that a lot more difficult. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Denton Darrington, R-Declo, would make it unlawful to sell, manufacture or distribute roll-your-own cigar wrappers in Idaho.

The proposal would give the wrappers typically called “blunt wraps” the same status as other drug paraphernalia, opening sellers, manufacturers and owners of the products to potential criminal charges. It comes at the urging of the tobacco industry, which says the wraps have no legitimate use and are primarily used to make marijuana cigarettes.

“In recent times, the term ‘blunt’ has become associated with marijuana or joints,” said Russell Westerberg, who spoke on behalf of the Cigar Association of America.

Also, a blunt can mask the odor of marijuana and give the appearance of no wrongdoing by its smoker, Westerberg said, adding that if Paris Hilton had used a blunt, she probably wouldn’t have been caught. Hilton was detained in South Africa in July for suspicion of marijuana possession at the World Cup. The hotel heiress was later cleared of the charge.

Westerberg brought samples of blunts in, and lawmakers passed the packages around, inspecting them to get acquainted with the products.

Blunts also are used to smoke “spice,” synthetic marijuana that’s seen increased use in Idaho.

In other business, the committee introduced legislation sponsored by Darrington that clarifies Idaho’s rape-by-fraud law.

It closes a loophole and is intended to protect both married and single women. Currently, the law allows criminal charges to be filed only when a female victim is deceived into believing she is with her husband during sex.

The move would broaden the law so rape-by-fraud could be charged regardless of who the female victim is tricked into believing she’s with.

The existing loophole became visible in a court case in Boise, when an intoxicated woman was duped into believing she was having sex with her boyfriend.

Because the case didn’t involve a husband-and-wife relationship, charges against the alleged rapist were dropped.

source: magicvalley.com

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