Is ‘Marijuana’ A Racist Word? Experts Have An Unexpected AnswerPosted by On

By Rebecca Rivas via Missouri Independent. You can read the article in Spanish here.

I was talking to a cannabis business owner I’ve known for a while and respect. The man, who is white, told me he refused to use the term “marijuana” because it’s racist. 

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It was one of my first conversations on the cannabis beat, which I’ve been on for a month now. And my mind was bursting with questions. 

Should I be offended by the word marijuana??!!

This Chicana journalist has been on a mission to get answers ever since.

Immediately, I turned to Google and realized that he was talking about the numerous accounts saying that in the 1930s, American politicians leading the charge of prohibition popularized the term “marijuana” in the U.S. to paint the drug as a “Mexican vice” and to have an excuse to persecute Mexican immigrants.

Yet now after talking to scholars, lawmakers, fellow Latino journalists and even my parents, I’ve learned that — yes — race is involved, but not in the way I expected. 

First, I spoke with Isaac Campos, a professor of Latin American History at the University of Cincinnati and author of Home Grown: Marijuana and the Origins of Mexico’s War on Drugs.  

About a month ago, Campos published findings online of his long study on the history of cannabis terminology, and it’s compelling work.

Bottom line: He said the claim that politicians intentionally popularized the term during prohibition is false — because the word was being used…

Original Author Link click here to read complete story..


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