OLYMPIA, Wash. — “Pot,” “weed,” “grass,” “Mary Jane,” “flower” — there is no shortage of terms to describe cannabis. However, Washington state is taking one word officially off the table: “marijuana.”
Legislators recently passed a law that changes every Revised Code of Washington with the word “marijuana.” The change gets rid of the term, swapping it out for the word “cannabis.”
Supporters say the word “marijuana” has a long history of racism.
“The term ‘marijuana’ itself is pejorative and racist,” said Washington state Rep. Melanie Morgan during testimony in 2021. Morgan is a Democrat representing the 29th Legislative District and sponsored the bill — House Bill 1210. Morgan discussed the history of the word, which originates from Spanish.
“As recreational marijuana use became more popular, it was negatively associated with Mexican immigrants,” Morgan said.