Last updated: January 23, 2023
People use a rolling paper when they want to make a cigarette. The roll-your-own variety of cigarettes is often marijuana instead of tobacco though. They’re also called joints or blunts.
Rolling papers come in individual packages. Each package contains a specific number of papers. The papers are usually folded to release from their cardboard package one at a time. They come in a variety of colors and some are even flavored for enhanced smoking pleasure.
A slow burn
A rolling paper burns evenly and at a slower pace than an average piece of paper. This type of paper has a porosity that is suited to tobacco or cannabis and contains additives that regulate the burning process.
They’re made from nonwood plant fibers such as flax, hemp, sisal, rice straw, and esparto. They are manufactured in rectangular, cigarette-sized papers with a strip of glue running along one edge. Most roll-your-own papers are fire-resistant.
This means that the paper doesn’t continue to burn away when left in an ashtray or waved around in someone’s hand during a conversation. It needs the continuous draw of oxygen provided when someone inhales to stay lit. These types of rolling papers are produced with an added plastic compound ethylene vinyl acetate. It’s the ingredient that allows the paper to self-extinguish.
They go way back
The first rolling paper was produced in Spain back in 1764. Paper cigarettes became popular in the latter years of the 19th century. They displaced cigars and cigarillos and one reason they did is that paper cigarettes were far less expensive.
It’s because of their expense that beggars in Spain combed the streets looking for cigar and cigarillos butts. They would gather them up off the ground and re-roll them into pieces of paper to be smoked.
This trend grew during the Crimean War and became even more prevalent. British soldiers stationed in the area learned how to roll tobacco in newspapers.
The demand for rolling paper grew and to fulfill the need, two companies Pay-Pay Smoking and Rizia sprang up and flourished. Today, the majority of tobacco smokers purchase prerolled packages of cigarettes but there are a few die-hards out there who prefer to roll their own.
Are rolling papers drug paraphernalia?
According to US Code § 863, drug paraphernalia refers to “any material, equipment, or product that is used to manufacture, compound, conceal, produce, process, prepare, or administer a controlled substance.”
Whoever created rolling papers did it for use with tobacco—which is a legal substance. Therefore, law enforcement generally doesn’t consider rolling papers as drug paraphernalia. There is an exception to that rule though.
Police consider rolling papers legal unless near marijuana. If that is the case, law enforcement could conclude that someone purchased the papers for illegal purposes.
Marijuana use in the workplace
Marijuana legalization continues to spread across the nation. In fact, all but two states allow some form of medical marijuana use. Moreover, it seems as if recreational use is being legalized somewhere with each passing election these days.
Whether or not they use a rolling paper, a pipe, a bong, or have a bag of edibles in their possession, marijuana causes impairment. It’s for that reason that there is no place for it in the workplace—legal or not.
It’s important to recognize the signs of marijuana use. If you have a drug-free program that includes a reasonable suspicion drug testing policy, odds are that people aren’t going to use marijuana at work. Actually, drug-free programs are a great deterrent for people who use any type of drug illegally.
Common signs of smoking marijuana include:
- A peculiar, pungent aroma
- Red, glassy eyes
- Delayed reaction times
- Inability to focus
- Strong urge to snack
- Weight gain
- Extremely relaxed state
Even though many Americans view marijuana as a “harmless” drug, it causes impairment. For that reason, it should never be okay to be at work after using marijuana. The user increases their risk of causing an accident. Moreover, anyone who is working with or near that person is at greater risk too.
You shouldn’t take pot off the test
Some employers are choosing to side with the public opinion that marijuana use doesn’t present a huge risk to the work environment. They have discreetly removed it from their company drug test.
We hope they didn’t cave under the pressure put upon them by marijuana advocates. The federal government still deems marijuana to be an illicit drug with no known medical purpose. As long as that is the case, employers have every right to stand with them in declaring marijuana as an illegal drug.
Sure, there are going to be some employees who grumble about that decision—especially if you live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal. Remember, though, that the majority of your employees don’t use marijuana or any drugs. Those employees will applaud your choice.
They’re likely to feel an increased sense of satisfaction with their jobs too. When that happens, employees are happier and more productive which has a positive effect on your entire business.
If you don’t have a drug-free program established in your company, you should consider it. We’ve mentioned that drug testing keeps your employees safer. There are other benefits for you to gain as well.
- Some states offer employers a discount on their worker compensation rates when they establish a drug-free program.
- Absenteeism is going to drop.
- Your turn-over rate is too.
- Medical expenses will decrease.
Drug abuse and work are two words that never fit together well. Establish a drug-free program in your company. It makes a huge statement to all potential workers that drugs won’t be tolerated.
We stand with you on that.