New city laws attack neighborhood crimes: prostitution and blunts

The City Council has passed a new measure intended to crack down on sales of blunts, wrappers used to roll marijuana or other drugs. The council says sales are targeted at young people. The council also made promoting prostitution a crime.

It used to be in Kansas City, that prostitutes and their customers could be charged but not the person who got them together.

That changed under a law passed Thursday that makes promoting prostitution a city crime. It was one of two measures passed to better attack crimes in neighborhoods.

One makes promoting prostitution punishable by from 30 days to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

While other aspects of prostitution have long been illegal, the city had not had the promoting charge to apply to people like escort service operators and pimps.

“These are the people you really want to target,” said Councilman John Sharp.

In the other change, the council toughened the law against selling blunt wrappers or rolling papers to minors under age 18. The wrappers, commonly sold in Midtown, are cigar wraps that are often fruit flavored to appeal to youths, who use them to roll marijuana or other drugs.

The council had passed another recent law that said the wrappers must be kept behind a counter or other place where an employee supplies them.

But even under that law, Sharp said, an employee who sold the wrappers or rolling papers to a minor could escape punishment by just saying he thought the youth looked 18.

The new law specifies that any clerk who violates the law can be fined from $100 to $1,000 dollars and jailed for up to six months for each incident.

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