A City Council committee Monday sought to make it more difficult for youths
to use drugs, advancing a measure that would ban the sale of an
increasingly popular wrapping paper used to make marijuana cigars.

The ordinance would prohibit the sale of wrapping that is impregnated with,
aged or dipped in "alcoholic liquor and/or honey"--language aimed at
outlawing a product called Royal Blunts.

Sold for $1 each in some convenience stores, Royal Blunts are hollow brown
paper tubes, shaped like small cigars, that can be filled with marijuana.

Besides making the taste more palatable, the strawberry or cognac flavoring
masks the distinctive smell of the drug, narcotics Officer Raphael Mitchem
told the council's Police and Fire Committee.

Inexperienced officers can pass by an offender without realizing marijuana
is being smoked, Mitchem said.

Royal Blunts have become fashionable among some youngsters, including
preteens, he said. "If you want to be in with the in group now, it's `Let's
stand on the corner or sit on the porch and smoke a Blunt,'" Mitchem said.

Using Blunts for marijuana consumption can lead to smoking more potent
hashish and other more serious drugs, said Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th),
chairman of the Police and Fire Committee and co-sponsor of the ordinance.

In 1999, the council voted to ban "bidi" cigarettes, imported tobacco
cigarettes that look like marijuana joints. Because they are particularly
potent, critics contend bidis are harmful and can lead to tobacco addiction.

Also on Monday, the committee advanced a proposed ordinance that would
permit police to impound the vehicles of motorists charged with driving
while intoxicated. The measure would add drunken driving to a lengthy list
of other offenses--from possession of guns to loud music playing--that can
lead to vehicle impoundment.

Newshawk: Sledhead
Pubdate: Tue, 11 Dec 2001
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 2001 Chicago Tribune Company
Contact: ctc-TribLetter@Tribune.com
Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/82
Author: Gary Washburn