Archive for January 3rd, 2008

Nicotiana Rustica

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

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I love tobacco. I grow it in my garden carefully, protecting the young tender plants from the late frosts of Spring. I clear away any competing weeds so the plants can grow with out competition and produce the right amount of leaf.
I follow a religion that prohibits the recreational use of this plant whether as smoke , chew or snuff. I agree with those prohibitions.
I also give my time every Friday to a group of American Indian inmates at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison. I serve as a spiritual advisor to roughly 40 native men. I carrry tobacco and other plant medicines in to the facility. Tobacco is not allowed into the any UDC facility except for the purpose of prayer by Indian inmates. Even staff have to go out of the facility to have a smoke.
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Last time I was in it was near 15 degrees in temperature. I watched as several Dineh brothers prepared a water drum in the bitter cold with bare hands. They drummed and sang with wet fingers, glad for the chance to pray in this way. Between songs they shared tobacco rolled in a corn husk according to their traditions. I was awed by their devotion. My hands ached for their frozen finders. I thought about all the times these ceremonies were outlawed. I thought about them going underground with their prayers to survive the prohibition of our government.
I hate tobacco as product and the way it is pimped to our people by conspiring men and women who only see potential profit in its leaves. I hate what the smoke does in the body when used in a way unintended by its creator. I hate the way it seduces our young men and women and traps them into years of addiction and disease. I hate how our government colludes with big tobacco and refuses to really get serious about stopping this evil industry. I want to tear them down. I want to see them fall. I want freedom and health for our children. I am at war and will not rest until this happens.
This ad from Australia is over the top and perhaps a bit gross. I don’t care. Mouth cancer is ugly. Lung and throat cancers are less visible but just as deadly.

I think that we will live in a smoke free world someday. The way it will happen is through LOVE.
I love all of you.