Vocabulary and Oppression: Terms of Division

On August 3rd of this year, I was asked to write for a magazine. The name of that magazine is “Everything Medical Marijuana.”emm-septoct-cover

From the moment I began sharing both the news I had been hired as a writer for a new international magazine and articles from it on social media sites, I began receiving negative feedback about the word “marijuana” in the name of the magazine. This feedback was from members of our own community.

This is my reply:

The health benefits of the Cannabis Sativa plant are just barely beginning to be explored. What is NOT in its infancy is the contention in our communications regarding to this herb. Much has been written about the fact the word marijuana has been used by governments and propaganda pushers to defile the way that the cannabis plant is perceived. I don’t feel the need to repeat any of that discussion here.

Marijuana is still the name by which most people in the United States (especially in rural areas) know this plant. As I have traveled across this country for the past six years, I have noticed frequently when I have used the word “cannabis” to refer to my medicine, I am often looked at with confusion; until I repeat what I have just said, substituting the word, “marijuana.”

My personal concern is that there is a bigger issue here: When people are judged by the terms they use, this becomes yet another excuse to start and breed contention and division within an already volatile community. We are at a time in cannabis research and legality when it is more crucial than ever that we come together as a GLOBAL GANJA COMMUNITY focusing on the HEALTH of our families — THERE IS NO TIME TO MINCE WORDS!!!

Whether you choose to call it cannabis, ganja, weed, grass, pot, medicine, or marijuana, we ALL need to join together and stop criticizing each other over our vocabulary!

Love and Lighte,
Maggie Slighte


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