Stoner Dictionary | Marijuana
Marijuana: noun 1. also marihuana or mariguana, Spanish for Mary Jane; a nomenclature of the cannabis plant
Example: “Marijuana is the most amazing plant on the planet.”
Everyone calls the oh so famous cannabis plant marijuana. It seems to be a household name and a worldwide agreement that spans many languages. There are some people that prefer not to use the term because they claim that only law enforcement officers and authority figures (also known as “narcs”) use this slang. In actuality, the history behind the word is vast and could be pulled from many different instances and folklores. One being taken and changed from the Mexican-Spanish word maranguanquo which means “intoxicating plant.” This seems to be the most logical explanation for this word’s etymology but is still only a conjecture. The Oxford English Dictionary claims that this term comes from the Nahuatl (a dialect of the Uto-Aztecan language) word mallihuan meaning prisoner. This etymology was made popular in the 1930s as, yet another attempt, to campaign against cannabis in the idea of being a prisoner to drugs and substance abuse. The abbrevation of the name Maria Juana comes from a folklore etymology. While all of these speculations are very colorful, the majority of Mary Jane historians agree that the term marijuana was created around the 1930s by a group of men led by a man named DuPont who had an agenda to make cannabis and hemp illegal in attempts to save their paper producing business from going under. By introducing the word marijuana to characterize hemp, it induced fear in people’s minds by using vocabulary that they had never heard before.
It was given an exotic or foreign sounding name to give cannabis a negative connotation during a time of mass xenophobia (fear of foreigners).
The propaganda against marijuana began to snowball, leading to a litany of public service announcements, films and anti-marijuana programs. This ultimately led to the drawn out process of the criminalization of cannabis sativa. No need to wear the long face though, many states have their own clearly defined medicinal Mary Jane laws. There are many medical marijuana dispensaries available to legally dish out the green stuff.
While the term marijuana began as a slang term, it has actually become a standard name for the cannabis plant. It is used in many official federal and state bills and laws including the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 and its Title II Act, the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana has become a universal term spanning several different languages and backgrounds. Just like the evolution of politically correct racial terms, some believe that the term marijuana is outdated and almost derogatory, opting for the more scientific term “cannabis.” Many modern laws and acts have replaced the word marijuana with the word cannabis such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the Marijuana Policy Act (which is interesting considering the word marijuana is in both of the these titles). Whether or not the term marijuana is politically correct, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon and frankly, I think stoners are too preoccupied with enjoying life to care.
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