We all are waiting for the day of worldwide marijuana legalization. But have you ever mused about the power of words concerning cannabis?
Dale Jones, the Executive Chancellor at Oaksterdam University, states that our words have an enormous weight, they shape our feelings and thoughts, dictate our actions. That is the reason why the way we talk about cannabis has such great importance.
There are so many different names for weed: grass, pot, locoweed, maryjane, cannabis, and lots of others. There were times when cannabis was perceived as a plant and was widely used by pharmaceutical companies as a component of medicines to treat rheumatism, depression, insomnia, and migraines. But in the 1900s, when Mexicans immigrated to America, the world faced the word “marijuana.” The War on Drugs was declared in 1971 by the former President Nixon after the Controlled Substances Act became law and claimed cannabis illegal.
This period of America’s history is described as the time of youthful rebellion, social upheaval, and increased the power of drug control agencies. The program D.A.R.E. was aimed at the negative perception of drugs of the young generation. And in fact, this program perpetuated the perception of marijuana as a dangerous drug.
Nowadays, when cannabis is accepted by the public more calmly, Jones states that the drug industry is still a movement. It is proved by the fact that any other industry in the USA does not produce and trade illegal products as the cannabis industry does. Movement means a work in progress, and that is exactly what is happening. People still have some mental and emotional obstacles against weed, that is why it is time to change the usage of words describing weed, time to make them more specific to change people’s perception. Jones recommends to drop the collocation “recreational weed” from our vocabulary as it conjures up the images of stereotypes and does not allow us to move forward. Instead of “recreational,” it is more useful to use words “adult” or ”commercial.”
Remember the words of Dale Jones: “Choosing our words wisely advances our goal.”