Prince George's County Council member Sue V. Mills introduced a bill yesterday to ban the sale of cigarette-rolling papers in the county, a measure she said attempts to discourage the smoking of marijuana and other drugs and will close a loophole in the county's drug paraphernalia law.
Mills said the county's current ban on drug paraphernalia, enacted in 1979, was intended to include the sale of cigarette papers, but they were inadvertently omitted from the list of proscribed products.
"People might say, 'How are you going to tell whether they're for tobacco, for people who roll their own cigarettes?' " Mills said. "Well, there may be a few people left who roll their own cigarettes, somewhere in the hills of Kentucky or West Virginia, but not in Prince George's County . . .My answer is, if I were a proprietor, I'd take it off my shelves."
In November 1979, Prince George's became the first local jurisdiction to try to crack down on the growing drug paraphernalia industry. The council passed an outright ban, which made the sale of drug paraphernalia a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or a maximum of six months in jail. The Maryland General Assembly also passed a statewide ban in its 1980 session. Boths bans survived challenges in federal court by a group of paraphernalia distributors.