Why Say “Cannabis,” Not “Marijuana”

There is a discussion amongst our brethren about whether we should be saying, “cannabis” or “marijuana.”  The “cannabis” school of thought gets a fair amount of ink, so here’s a short bit from someone on the “marijuana” side.

This writer argues that the industry should embrace the term “marijuana.”

With due respect to these pioneers, I submit that hiding from a word that few people today associate with negative campaigns and false propaganda long since forgotten is in fact more potentially damaging than helpful. Shunning the single most commonly used name for the product we cultivate, process and sell can be perceived as the tactics of individuals and organizations who try to conceal truths.

There are valid points in this article WHICH IS HERE. Go read it, exercise your brain.

I usually say “cannabis.” “Marijuana” was originally spelled “marihuana.” The “h” became a “j” to make its pronunciation harder and accentuate its’ foreignness. Harry J. Anslinger knew there is a great distrust of foreign things in American culture and he co-opted that ignorance. Harry was a black-hearted bastard but he knew how to make people afraid.

“Marijuana” is part of Anslinger’s lies and fear. Time to leave this behind. We have come to a new day and it’s time to rebrand humanity’s ancient friend with a fresh “new” name, “cannabis.” That is the plant’s botanical name, after all.

Singer/songwriter Jewel has a song titled A Life Uncommon, which contains the line, “Lend our voices only to sounds of freedom, no longer lend our strength to that which we wish to be free from.” The legacy of “marijuana” is what we wish to be free from. “Cannabis” is the sound of freedom.

However, if you bring the baggie for everyone to share you can call it anything you wish.

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  1. Wookwok August 6, 2014 at 21:06

    I prefer to say cannabis, but the truth is… without the word marijuana, would we even use “Mary Jane” as slang?

    1. Profile photo of DavidB
      DavidB August 6, 2014 at 21:15

      That’s a good point.

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