Marijuana is legal.  Calling it marijuana is now illegal.  In one of the most politically correct decisions in recent American history, state legislators in Washington and Governor Jay Inslee have called the word marijuana racist.  The name will be replaced in all state documents and laws by cannabis.  The rationale is that the Spanish word creates the impression Mexicans are responsible for the drug, which isn’t criminal in the state but is used recreationally and for medicinal purposes.

Cannabis Has a History Too

The name cannabis is of Greek and Latin origins.  I’m waiting on complaints from the Mediterranean people!  The stories I’ve read about the Washington changes don’t say if anyone of Hispanic ancestry took offense.

A Famed Newspaperman Framed the Story

The use of the word marijuana originated with newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.  He was a teetotaler.  Visitors to his palatial estate came from the world of politics, letters, and acting.  He forbade alcohol and drugs on his property and guests would be ejected if they were found imbibing or smoking.  Hearst decided weed needed an exotic name to frighten the American people.  His papers adopted marijuana for use on the editorial page and warned Americans it was dangerous.  It worked!

A Gang of Dopes Smoking Rope Made the Decision

I’m not sure politicians in Washington State have a clue about history.  Not many people remember the name of William Randolph Hearst.  The decision to strike the name is the dopiest thing I’ve ever heard about dope from dopes.

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.
 

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