Letter: Stop using 'marijuana' (the word)

Published July 25, 2014 5:30 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Some things are better left behind. Some terms and popular expressions need to be retired when the culture determines those slang names and catch phrases are derogatory. Now I think it is high time the media weeds out the use of the name marijuana and especially the term medical marijuana.

Cannabis supporters are burned out on the defamatory reference of pot. The name marijuana was intentionally made mainstream to evoke a negative connotation. It was used in the early twentieth century to play off anti-immigrant sentiment and underscore its "Mexican-ness." (I guess we have a Central American influx these days we still need to underscore!)

As an unbiased source of news and information, it is the responsibility of the media to objectively refer to cannabis by a scientific name, or at least a more current and socially acceptable slang name. I would like to recommend using cannabis (literally and figuratively), and for the medical field I suggest the use of clinical cannabis (also literally and figuratively). I concede that weed, reefer, and grass can be tacky. Pot should be a good standby. But you really can't go wrong using cannabis.

Robert Andrach


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