I remember when my aunt and uncle had a 2-acre allotment of tobacco. I didn’t understand then, but growing small allotments of burley tobacco was in its twilight, becoming decreasingly profitable for years. My aunt and uncle stopped growing in 2006, as did most everyone else.
The death of small allotment tobacco finally occurred with Congress’s passage of The Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act in 2004. Ostensibly aimed at creating more jobs, this Act deregulated the tobacco market. But the “Tobacco Buyout” replaced the nearly 70-year-old Agricultural Adjustment Act and ended small allotment tobacco farming.
Now, cigarettes are more taboo, and pot is increasingly legally and morally acceptable. Marijuana has become an economic and entrepreneurial opportunity, no longer simply a problem to be suppressed by throwing tax dollars at it.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized marijuana. Possession is either a criminal misdemeanor with no jail time or not punishable. Nine of these states have gone on to legalize the adult use of marijuana