The "M-word" Stigma: Marijuana is Bad, mmkay? "NO Cannabis" to "PRO-CANNABIS" (mini-series no.02)
Is the term "Marijuana" Bad?
That is one helluva subjective question, right? Bad, to whom? For whom? what is the definition of "bad"? This rabbit hole can be endless, so let's just do the reasonable thing and learn the history. That usually drives us to a much more clear understanding.
How information is presented determines how it will be received. But, who the hell am I to tell you what to say or do, right? I'm not speaking on this topic to talk down to anyone, but rather elevate the plant that many of us agree is incredible and beneficial. Cannabis has taken on a bad name since the early 1900s. "Marijuana" or "Marihuana" as some archaic laws still, to this day, have it titled, is a word laced with some nasty shit!
I'm hoping to clear the air a little and share a quick snapshot of the past 120 years to give us all a bit of clarity on how the word "marijuana" came to be. Let's dig into history real quick and discover how the Latinate name, "Cannabis", is making a comeback and why that is so.
The OED traces the etymology to the New Latin botanical term cannabis – proposed in 1728 and standardized in Carl Linnaeus's (1753) Species Plantarum – from an earlier Latin cannabis, coming from Greek kánnabis. source:
• 1910 and prior: the term "Marijuana" did not exist. Interesting fact: Oxford English Dictionary cites/records earliest usages of "cannabis" back in 1548!
• 1913: The first criminalization of what they called the "locoweed" then, was passed in California. source: Leafly.com
• 1930s: Meet Harry Anslinger, the first root of the stigma that has grown ever since - censuring Cannabis for decades as a result.
The man testified before Congress, as Leafly.com explains here, stating:
“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.”
And so it began, this wrongful blame game and war against weed. Anslinger went on to pass a bill which was the one that is at fault for the Cannabis stigma, it was called "The Marihuana Act of 1937". This law mandated a $1 tax on anyone who grew or sold the plant. Violating the law, back then, came with a hefty price to pay - imprisonment and/or fine of up to $2,000. Fun Fact: in 1937 $1 had the inflation-adjusted purchasing power of $17.44 today. That means a $2000 fine back in 1937 would cost you roughly $35,890.43 today, double check me here
I thought Leafly.com author, Anna Wilcox, did a great job of giving a nice timeline so please check out the article - here. I cited the article because I feel that it presents a TON of info in a digestible way.
Want to know more about the history of Cannabis? Here are some starting points to dive into if you are too eager to wait for the next part of this mini-series.
Etymology of Cannabis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymology_of_cannabis
History of the word Marijuana: https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/where-did-the-word-marijuana-come-from-anyway-01fb
For the serious and academics in the crowd:
Should we say "Cannabis" or "Marijuana"?
If you enjoy the content, don't be scared to let me know! Thanks for reading and supporting my content and remember to blaze responsibly...OK, that made me sound like your Dad. /mic drop
On MEDIUM @ https://medium.com/@brandonholsey/
On Steemit @ https://steemit.com/@grow-pro
On Narrative.org @ https://www.narrative.org/m/shrimp2whales
On Trybe.one @ https://trybe.one/user/334