March 24 2015
To the Editor We live in a very legalistic era so much so thatpeople spend time sorting out what they can do and what they can’t doleaving very little time to do what they should do. Lately much timehas been devoted on should marijuana be legalized or not? I am not asupporter of marijuana nor am I a supporter of the use oftobacco. Speaking from experience in my mid 20s I worked in thetobacco fields in Delhi. I not only worked there but I lived with thefamily I worked for. This gave me a tremendous advantage as I was ableto gain first-hand knowledge of the industry. Work started early in the morning. The first operation is called suckering. The plants hadreached their height so the top was snapped off. Down the stock oftobacco grows what are called suckers. These leaves would not matureinto viable leave so were removed by a downward motion of both hands. About every 30 feet it was necessary to scoop a handful of sand andtreat it as a hand wash to remove the sticky tar substance from yourhands so you could drop the leaves on the ground. Our crew handled 30acres plus another 15 acres on a joint ownership. The actual tobaccocropping started at bottom of the plant removing the sand leaves whichwere very low in tobacco quality. As the tobacco leaves matured theywere picked accordingly. I won’t continue in detail concerning theprocess of drying and storage. In my observation the tobacco plant is a producer of nicotine that is grown for profit but can be a killer. Of note not one of the longtime workers in our crew smoked. When youassess the contrast between marijuana and tobacco as to a productinjurious to health how do they rate? How much tax profit-wise is made from every carton of cigarettes that are covered with warnings to thesmokers? Was tobacco made legal? I am not criticizing those that smoke but would do all I can that is possible to have them kick the habit and have better health. It would put less financial burden on our healthsystem.