The racist roots of the term "marijuana"

You can call it weed, grass, ganja, or pot, but it may be time to stop referring to cannabis as marijuana. According to The Guardian, the word has its origin in racist attempts to ban cannabis in the U.S. almost a hundred years ago.

"Harry Anslinger, the bureaucrat who led the prohibition effort, is credited as saying back then: "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 fact that "marijuana" sounded vaguely exotic made it the perfect choice for xenophobes and their chronic hatred of anything fun. The word comes from Mexico, but its exact origin is unknown.

The article quotes the website of Harborside, one of California's oldest dispensaries, on why the term "marijuana" should be thrown out like nasty bong water. 

"'Marijuana' has come to be associated with the idea that cannabis is a dangerous and addictive intoxicant, not a holistic, herbal medicine … This stigma has played a big part in stymying cannabis legalization efforts throughout the US."

According to Time Magazine, there are over 1,000 slang terms for cannabis, making it easy to 86 this questionable term for 420.

See also: Weed prohibitionists caught telling lies