The New 20th Century Word for Cannabis, ‘Marijuana‘, is Evil.
The word ‘Marijuana‘ will not be part of my vocabulary any longer, and I will tell you why?
Is the the word “marijuana” a racist term? Yes, It is a racist term that was used with the motive of falsely describing cannabis as an evil, abominable, dangerous and destructive new substance that creates criminality, violence, and insanity in its users for the purposes of making it illegal and unavailable so as to protect corporate and pharmaceutical financial interests, government drug enforcement agency funding (mainly The Bureau of Narcotics), ignorant, incompetent, and/or corrupt, selfish politicians, and for personal career advancement and greed.
The word “marijuana” plays an extremely controversial role in our cannabis cultural history, It represents in some ways, all that is selfish, evil and bad in our modern society. Cannabis prohibition was racist and rooted in lies and deceptions from the start. As the nation’s nearly 80-year history of pot prohibition slowly begins to crumble, it’s been a long journey from the reefer madness of the 1930s and the War on Drugs of the 1980s to the medical cannabis dispensaries and the legal recreational weed businesses that operate in states in which cannabis is now legal for recreational use.
The word ‘marihuana’ originated in Mexican-Spanish-Aztec languages and the motives in introducing the word ‘marijuana’ to America, instead of cannabis was a very racist act, based on the longstanding fact that narcotics agents and big corporations in the 1930s chose that word over the more scientifically appropriate and commonly understood ‘cannabis’ when crafting new drug laws, their motive was to make cannabis sound foreign, diabolical, wicked and sinister.
Prior to 1910, “marijuana” didn’t even exist as a word in American culture.
Prior to 1910, “marijuana” didn’t even exist as a word in American culture. Rather, “cannabis” was used, most often in reference to cannabis extracts in medicines and remedies for common household ailments that were readily available and legal in America.
Between the years of 1910 and 1920, almost a million Mexicans immigrated into the United States seeking refuge from the wreckage of civil war. Though cannabis had been a part of U.S. history since the country’s origins, the idea of smoking the plant recreationally was not as common as other forms of consumption. The idea of smoking cannabis entered mainstream American consciousness after the arrival of Mexican immigrants who brought the smoking habit with them. It was common for Mexicans to smoke weed medicinally as well as recreationally.
The first bill criminalizing the cultivation of “locoweed”; as it was purposely called to intentionally falsely associate it with a plant that grew freely yet was dangerous to plants and livestock, was passed in California and other states bordering Mexico thus confirming basically the start of an ongoing racist conspiracy to use Mexicans as pawns to make cannabis products illegal for unethical, self-interested, profit driven Corporate greed, Corporations needed to discourage the production of cannabis use because it infringed upon their products profit potential…
Cannabis would compete with corporate interests such as, for example, the Dupont Chemical Company had just patented nylon and wanted hemp removed as a competitor and big pharmaceutical companies who wish to rid cannabis medical products as it was serious competition to their own pharmaceuticals. The “marijuana” term started off life as a Mexican folk term, originally coming from the aboriginal Aztec’s vocabulary, but was first popularized in the US by the notorious yellow press publisher, William Randolph Hearst. And it was Hearst, who helped spark the Spanish-American War in 1898 with sensationalized reporting by his newspaper chain, he enthusiastically helped Anslinger and others demonize cannabis or hemp by labeling it as ‘marijuana’ to infer that it is a ‘new foreign dangerous drug’. Hearst was a racist, as well as being committed to the prohibition of marijuana, which threatened his timber investments. He used his control of hundreds of newspapers to orchestrate a vicious propaganda campaign against cannabis, which featured lurid (and false) stories about black and brown men committing outrageous acts of murder and mayhem. That campaign played upon the racist public opinions of the times to make cannabis illegal at the federal level in 1937.
We can truthfully say, ‘Cannabis’ is NOT ‘Marijuana’
At this time, “marijuana” has come to be associated with the idea that cannabis is a dangerous and addictive intoxicant, not a useful, valuable medicine for helping people deal with the effects of such things as Cancer, AIDS, Arthritis, Diabetes, Wasting Syndrome and a myriad of other conditions. This stigma has played a big part in stymying cannabis legalization efforts throughout the U.S. as well as medical or scientific research.
Many white Americans began to treat cannabis (and, arguably, the Blacks and Mexican immigrants who consumed it) as a foreign substance used to corrupt the minds and bodies of low-class individuals.
Because of the great influx of Mexican-Americans, bad feelings developed between the small farmer and the large farms that used cheaper Mexican labor. Then, the depression came and increased tensions, as jobs and welfare resources became scarce. Americans were searching for someone to blame. Many white Americans began to treat cannabis (and, arguably, the Blacks and Mexican immigrants who consumed it) as a foreign substance used to corrupt the minds and bodies of low-class individuals. The term “marijuana” came into being to suggest it was a ‘new drug’ of negative, heinous and dangerous of Mexican origin, disassociating it from cannabis or hemp, falsely suggesting it to be a completely different substance. Harry Anslinger’s efforts with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was the reason “marijuana” became a new word to be known by Americans all over the country. Harry Anslinger was hired as the first director of the recently created Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930, he was one of the primary individuals responsible for creating the stigma surrounding cannabis and popularizing the term ‘marijuana’ to be used in a negative, racist light, so that he could receive the ‘proper’ government funding he desired for his new Federal Bureau of Narcotics budget,. Cocaine and opiates were not enough, he needed a bigger target. Anslinger launched a vigilant campaign against cannabis that would hold steady for the three decades he remained in office. A very outspoken man, Anslinger frequently used racist phrases. Anslinger had a receptive audience in a racially divided, segregated America, where apartheid was codified. Someone had to be blamed for the economic calamity that had overtaken the United States and the world in the 1930s. And Mexicans were streaming across the border, taking jobs that were scarce in states like Colorado.
Anslinger regularly made public racist statements such as,
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”
“…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”
“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”
“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”
“Marijuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”
“You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”
“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
When making public appearances and crafting crazy propaganda films such as ‘Reefer Madness’, Anslinger specifically used the term “marijuana” when campaigning against the plant, adding to the development of the herb’s new “foreign” identity. Cannabis was no longer the plant substance found in medicines and consumed unanimously by American’s all over the country, it was described by Anslinger as a dangerous, addictive drug that caused insanity, crime, violence, mayhem and death.
The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was the culmination of Anslinger’s rascist and deceptive work and the first step to all-out prohibition.
During the late 1960’s, the times were changing indeed, and in the previous decade the Beats, the daddy-o’s of the hippies, used marijuana as part of their lifestyle. When, because of the Vietnam War and other reasons, much of the Baby Boom generation revolted, weed, pot or grass, or any of the many names marijuana was called, became a common part of their everyday life.
This development was not taken lightly by then President Richard Nixon, so he lumped marijuana into the same class, or category as cocaine, heroin and LSD, much stronger drugs. Mexico at the time was a major importer of weed into America, Nixon had Mexican marijuana fields sprayed with paraquat, an herbicide that kills green plants on contact and also is toxic to humans.
Nixon ran as a law-and-order president, and he pushed for a ‘war on drugs’.
That war lasts to this day, costing taxpayers billions. Cannabis is part of that war, even though polls now show that more than half of adults believe cannabis should be legal, and that positive response is even higher in Western states and provinces.
Though the word “marijuana” is the most common name for cannabis in the United States today, its history is deeply steeped in racism, politics, and a complicated cultural revolution. Some argue that using the word ignores a history of oppression against Mexican immigrants and African Americans, while others insist that the term has now lost its prejudiced bite, it is just not a big deal. Regardless of whether or not you decide to use the word yourself, it’s impossible to deny the magnitude and racial implications of its introduction into the American lexicon. As with any changing social norms, reclaiming words or destroying terms based on racist lies and disinformation must be essentially eliminated from our cannabis cultural scene.
As for myself, I am making an effort to rid the word ‘marijuana’ from my own vocabulary, Using the term ‘Weed’, ‘Herb’ or ‘Bud’ serves me well. ‘Cannabis’, I could use when I am expressing ‘weed’ in a ‘formal‘ context.
Good news my friends, place your first order, get free shipping, use coupon code 72162 at checkout.
– The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States by Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law, USC Law School. A Speech to the California Judges Association 1995 annual conference.
– THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT AND THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE: AN INQUIRY INTO THE LEGAL HISTORY OF AMERICAN MARIJUANA PROHIBITION by Richard J. Bonnie & Charles H. Whitebread, II. VIRGINIA LAW REVIEW. VOLUME 56 OCTOBER 1970 NUMBER 6
– The Consumers Union Report – Licit and Illicit Drugs
by Edward M. Brecher and the Editors of Consumer Reports Magazine
– The History of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937
By David F. Musto, M.D., New Haven, Conn.
Originally published in Arch. Gen. Psychiat. Volume 26, February, 1972
– The Report of the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse
I. Control of Marijuana, Alcohol and Tobacco.
History of Marijuana Legislation
– The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
The history of how the Marijuana Tax Act came to be the law of the land.
– Marijuana – The First Twelve Thousand Years by Ernest L. Abel, 1980