Marijuana-Laced Cigars in Vogue
`Blunting' Dangerous New Fad Among High School Students
Next time you see a high school student smoking a cigar, look again, because it may be more than just fine tobacco he's enjoying, according to the November newsletter of the Substance Abuse Task Force of Cambridge.
"Blunting," or smoking cigars laced with marijuana, is not a new practice but is a current trend among high school youths in the Boston area, according to the alliance. And local police, local stores and the task force said the pattern has reached Cambridge.
"It's common," said a detective on the narcotics unit at the Cambridge Police Department. "They cut it open and fill it up with marijuana then soak it in alcohol...It lasts longer and it hides the smell of marijuana, but when you see a 14-year-old kid smoking a cigar, you know something's up."
In blunting, the smoker splits open a cigar, usually a "Phillie Blunt" brand cigar, and replaces some of the tobacco with marijuana. According to the Governor's Alliance Against Drugs, the trend is getting more and more youths hooked on both nicotine and marijuana.
"We're partly worried about blunt because it could mean lots of nicotine-addicted kids," said Bill Plante, communications director for the alliance. "Nicotine is about the most addictive stuff around...two or three days of blunting will basically leave someone hooked on nicotine."
Many Cambridge-area merchants have felt the effects of the fad, citing the high demand for Phillie Blunt cigars.
"People under 18 ask me for them--and I refuse them sale. It happens a lot...mostly on the weekends," said one employee at Store 24 on Massachusetts Avenue. She said the most popular brand of cigars requested by teenagers were Phillie Blunts.
An employee at the Leavitt & Peirce tobacco shop also said requests for "Phillie Blunts" were common.
"That's the latest thing the kids want," she said. She says the cigar was most commonly requested by "high school guys."
She added, however, that Leavitt & Peirce doesn't sell Phillie Blunts "because it's a really cheap cigar."
Plante, from the alliance, said the trend has become so widespread that youths now sport clothing with the words "blunt" or "chronic," referring to a potent strain of marijuana.
Plante said the alliance started a state-wide campaign in August against blunting to educate parents and teachers about its implications. "If you're a parent and your kid has "blunt" onhis shirt you may not realize it, but if you'reeducated on the matter, you may know your kid isheaded for trouble," Plante said. "The effect of inhaling canibinoids and tobaccobasically makes an average kid into a special needkid for eight hours. If a kid does it in themorning, he's not going to be in school whetherhe's there or not," Plant said
"If you're a parent and your kid has "blunt" onhis shirt you may not realize it, but if you'reeducated on the matter, you may know your kid isheaded for trouble," Plante said.
"The effect of inhaling canibinoids and tobaccobasically makes an average kid into a special needkid for eight hours. If a kid does it in themorning, he's not going to be in school whetherhe's there or not," Plant said