If your part of the legalization movement, I’m sure that you refer to our holiest of herb by it’s proper name, cannabis. If your new to the movement or not really involved, then it’s called marijuana. Does it really matter? ‘A rose by any other name,’ and all that jazz.

Marijuana is the colloquial name for cannabis. Most people first hear the word ‘marijuana’, long before the word cannabis is uttered. Most people don’t know that marijuana is a remaining term used from the racist days of yore. When cannabis was first criminalized, it was deemed ‘marijuana’ because that term sounded Latino and we we actively persecuting Latinos. Not that big a deal, nowadays, but it does remind one that our policies are based on racism and bigotry.

Cannabis, on the other hand, has been a term used for hundreds of years. The root words are Semitic, ‘Kaneh bosm‘ or the fragrant or aromatic cane. Indeed, cannabis is quite a fragrant cane. This is technically the proper name for your bong load.

Currently in the movement, there is debate among activists about whether to stick with the commonly known word, marijuana, or go to the historical term cannabis. Some feel that the word marijuana has negative connotations, what with the racism and all that. Others feel the bad vibes are canceled out by the recognizable quality of the word.

I feel split on the subject. On one hand, marijuana is an easily recognizable word to the mainstream, while we still have to explain what cannabis is. We’re also taking the bad connotations away by using the term ‘medical marijuana’. If it heals people, it can’t be bad, right? Of course, as I just showed, we should by all means be paying this plant its propers and referring to it by its rightful name.

How do you feel about it? Marijuana or cannabis?

-Legalize It!-
-PT-