Is the Word ‘Marijuana’ Racist?


Weed, pot, mary jane, marijuana, bud, catnip, trees, flower, and kush are just a handful of of the lots of option names for cannabis. You may perhaps have heard of all of these and extra, but did you know marijuana is a nick-name that was adopted to additional oppress people today of colour (predominantly black people today and Mexicans)?

Marijuana is described in lots of techniques. Some say that it refers to the whole cannabis plant whilst other individuals say that marijuana is just the components of the cannabis plant that has tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in it. The initially records of the use of cannabis date way back to ancient Asia about 500 B.C! Right after that, it was gradually introduced across the planet more than a extended period considering the fact that the plant was effortless to cultivate and exceptionally speedy-expanding. Hemp fiber, as we know right here at Hemp Aids, is made use of for a wide range of factors. In the early 1600s in colonial America, you had to have some type of hemp on your farm to survive. 

When the initially term was introduced to the US in the 1930s, it was generally spelled as “marihuanna” or “mariguanna.” According to the oxford dictionary, the term may perhaps come from the “nahuatl mallihan” which suggests “prisoner.” While this is not officially identified, we delve back into the early 1900s and see exactly where we began utilizing this term and what objective it served for its time. 


At this time in America, cannabis was made use of in more than the counter medicines. There was no word like “marijuana,” and the common public only knew it as cannabis, an ingredient in medicine. Moving into the 1900s, lots of elite/higher-class Americans began participating in a trend known as “hashish.” This was produced preferred by celebrities and authors alike, a notable a single getting Alexander Dumas, a french author. Hashish was taking the concentrated resin of the cannabis plant and consuming it by means of consuming, drinking, or smoking it. 


In the course of the Mexican Civil War, which began in 1910, lots of Mexican people today sought refuge from the horrors of war in their nation. From 1910-1920 more than 890,000 Mexicans legally immigrated into the United States of America. In the course of this time, cannabis was made use of as an ingredient, and the notion of smoking it recreationally wasn’t exceptionally preferred. Some people today who immigrated introduced recreationally smoking, but it was nonetheless in the early stages of recognition. 


Rumors of “locoweed” began to spread across the papers in the U.S. Stories have been fabricated to demonize Mexicans and black people today, saying that they want to corrupt our white young children with this drug that tends to make them crazy and violent. This is when the initially bill to ban “locoweed” was introduced in the state of California. It was extra directed towards the opioid and pharmaceutical abuse that was taking place, but they have been capable to slip in bans towards this mysterious “locoweed.” 


The fantastic depression had just hit the United States, and people today have been hunting for somebody to blame. With the current mass immigration and the rise of jazz music (yes… people today believed jazz music was the devil’s music), people today began hunting at people today of colour to blame for every thing. At this time, there have been lots of stories about “locoweed” that was brought more than by Mexicans that will corrupt the white youth and make them crazy aggressive. An instance of how white people today made use of this drug to oppress and demonize POC is this 1925 The New York Occasions Post: “Mexican, Crazed by Marihuana, Runs Amuck With Butcher Knife!”. The story was utterly fabricated and began the tailspin of rumors and false information of cannabis

At this time, Harry Anslinger began operating his campaign for the Bureau of Narcotics, a single of the considerable aspects that played into the outlaw of cannabis. He was the dominant player that introduced “Marijuana” to the common public prior to it was just identified as cannabis. It is significant right here to note that he intentionally known as it marijuana to add the scary “exotic” issue that he knew would add worry to these afraid and angry about the current mass immigration.

Anslinger testified prior to congress, “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, outcome from marijuana usage.”

In an additional statement, Anslinger explained, “Reefer tends to make darkies consider they’re as great as white men…the key cause to outlaw marijuana is its impact on the degenerate races.”

As you can see, his campaign was constructed on the worry and hatred of people today of colour, which is why we would contemplate marijuana a racist term. 


Right after a number of years of creating this campaign, The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed. This suggests that it criminalized the cannabis plant in each and every US state. On top rated of this, the Tax Act of 1937 added a $1 tax to any one who sold or cultivated the plant. In 2019, $1 is equivalent to $15.36. That explains why practically everybody was forced to quit expanding and promoting it simply because it became also pricey for what it was worth.


The ‘War on Drugs’ became the most important issue top the US into ‘The Controlled Substance Act of 1970”. Richard Nixon repealed the Marihuana Tax Act and added cannabis to the Schedule I drug list, such as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. In 1972 a report from the National Commission on Marijuana and Drugs released a report titled “Marijuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding.” This report explained how the marijuana was not as hazardous as they produced it out to be and recommended performing a partial prohibition which would reduced penalties for possession of compact amounts of marijuana. Nevertheless, Nixon and other government officials chose to ignore it and ignore all of the report’s findings. 


As of 2019, lots of US states have been difficult the laws on cannabis and have been moving forward to legalize it after extra. Right after the Farm Bill of 2018, hemp became legal once again, which produced the hemp and CBD sector spike. You can click HERE to see an updated map of the present legality of cannabis in your state. 


If you appear at the history behind the term marijuana, it is not quite. With racist roots and initially made use of to oppress minorities, no wonder so lots of people today are calling to start off utilizing the term cannabis solely. On the flip side, lots of people today claim that the term has created away from its racist history and receiving rid of the term will just discredit what element Mexicans had in the cultivation of it. What are your thoughts? Is marijuana’s racist history adequate to quit utilizing it now? Or has it moved previous that and turn into its personal point that now there is no cause to stray from the term.

Let us know what you consider beneath!


Latest posts