Apparently, the term marijuana is racist because it has racist roots. While the word itself may not be racist, the meaning behind the name could explain the reason why some people believe Americans should refrain from using the word.
The elite has used cannabis since the 1840s. At one point, it was sold over the counter to treat ailments such as migraines, joint pain, insomnia, and mental disorders. It didn’t become controversial until the 1900s when millions of Mexicans came to the United States after the Mexican revolution.
When the Mexicans came to America, they brought marijuana. It was popularized by Harry Anslinger, who served as the director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to 1962. He believed that marijuana caused people to commit murder and other violent crimes. He decided to launch a campaign against cannabis and suggested that only inferior races and social deviants used the drug.
According to Now This, Harry managed to convince Congress to pass the Marijuana Tax Act, which made the drug illegal on the federal level. Since the 1930s, some people connected the drug to violent crime.
In the 1980s, the government tried to convince America that using marijuana led to other drugs. They called it the gateway drug, claiming that after you use weed, it would eventually lead to using cocaine, crack, and heroin.
Before prohibition, the term used for marijuana was cannabis. Anslinger came up with the word marijuana, even stooping to pronouncing the word with a Spanish accent, to make the substance seem foreign.
Harry claimed that “brown people” brought marijuana to America and it was “overtaking” the country. He made the elite class fear the drug, blaming the problem with violence on cannabis. Anslinger went as far as to suggest that marijuana use could lead to death. To date, no person has died as a result of cannabis overdose.
When you use the word marijuana, you are ignoring a long history of oppression against Mexican immigrants and African Americans.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed that he planned to force a war on marijuana, as he suggested that good people don’t use the drug. He disclosed that he intends to halt the legalization of cannabis.
While many probably won’t consider marijuana a racist term, when you look back at history, it has definite racist roots. Do you think using the word marijuana could be considered racist?