AUBURN — Administrators at a Maine jail have ordered kitchen staff to peel bananas before they’re served to inmates, and the jail has stopped serving oranges entirely, because prisoners have been drying and smoking the peels.

Lt. Jeff Chute of the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn says the peel smoking has been a problem for six or eight months.

Chute says guards were tipped off by a strong tobacco-like smell that was traced to the peels.

He says there’s an urban legend that smoking dried peels and rinds can give the user some sort of high. He says that’s not true.

He tells the Sun Journal that all smoking is banned in the jail. Inmates have been using smuggled lighters or altered electrical outlets to spark the fruity smokes.

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