So here it is Monday, August 8, 2016, a day that will live in the hearts and souls of cigar smokers across the United States. A day where the Government stretched the limits of law and finally entered our humidors with cigar regulation. This day is one that many will remember for years to come. For on this day, the FDA of the United States Government took control of the premium cigar industry through a sweeping set of regulations that can only be described as the planned destruction of many small businesses across our great land.
Any cigars that were on the market after February 2007 are now subject to a comprehensive review and paper work nightmare, in order to be approved. If these blends are not approved, the many cigar retailers stretching from Sea to Shining Sea, must pull them from their shelves or face severe fines. The fight for cigar rights has been ignored by our Government.
This day August 8, 2016, was the day, cigar enthusiasts from as far as California, down to Florida, up through the Midwest and over to the Northeast, convened upon the US Capital in peaceful protest against these regulations. Consumers, retailers, and brand owners were in attendance along with the Cigar Rights of America (CRA), fighting for the preservation of jobs and enjoyment of a legal adult product.
Tourists from all around the world stopped to ask questions, and each and everyone, shook their heads in disbelief, that the United States would be so shortsighted and choose to hurt so many small businesses in this great country. The band of Brothers and Sisters of the leaf spoke, educated those who asked questions and let their voice be heard on the lawn of the US Capital. A lawn that ironically, was a place you could not smoke until today. The Save the Leaf organization was able to secure a permit to legally allow smoking, on the west lawn of US Capital, for the first time in history.
Even though this battle may be raging on in the souls of all cigar smokers and those that revere their rights as US Citizens, rest assured, a small but significant voice was heard today. A voice that chose not to be silenced, a voice that grew as the day moved on. This voice, is that of the people. The fight will rage on, this fight will not end slowly. The Brothers and Sisters of the Leaf will press on through legislative actions in congress and a current law suit against the overreach of FDA.
Now that the event is over and people are heading home to their families and jobs, remember you still have a voice and it should be heard. Call and write your local representatives, remind them about the current HR 662 bill in Congress, and explain that you do, and will vote, and that there are 2 million more just like you. Save the Leaf, it has been part of the American culture since 1492.
And here are some videos of the Save the Leaf event
Glynn Loope from the CRA Addresses the Audience
Walking through the signs