The Origin of the Word ‘Marijuana’

Anna Wilcox

The word “marijuana” plays a controversial role in cannabis culture. Many well-known organizations such as Oakland’s Harborside Heath Center have publicly denounced “the M word” in favor of our favorite plant’s Latinate name, cannabis. Even Salon Magazine, a major press outlet outside of the cannabis industry, published an article titled “Is the word ‘Marijuana’ racist?” last year.

As mainstream culture becomes a little more herb-friendly, the terminology used by the industry is coming to center stage. But, why exactly does the term “marijuana” cause so much debate? Even worse, why has the word gained publicity as a racist term?

To save you from reading those lengthy history books or some boring academic articles, we’ve created this brief timeline to give you the low-down on “marijuana”’s rise to popularity in the United States. Here’s what you need to know:

The Mexican Revolution

1840-1900:

Prior to 1910, “marijuana” didn’t exist as a word in American culture. Rather, “cannabis” was used, most often in reference to medicines and remedies for common household ailments. In the early 1900s, what have now become pharmaceutical giants—Bristol-Meyer’s Squib and Eli Lilly—used to include cannabis and cannabis extracts in their medicines.

During this time, Americans (particularly elite Americans) were going through a hashish trend. Glamorized by literary celebrities such as Alexander Dumas, experimenting with cannabis products became a fad among those wealthy enough to afford imported goods.

1910:

Between the years of 1910 and 1920, over 890,000 Mexicans legally immigrated into the United States seeking refuge from the wreckage of civil war. Though cannabis had been a part of U.S. history since the country’s beginnings, the idea of smoking the plant recreationally was not as common as other forms of consumption. The idea of smoking cannabis entered mainstream American consciousness after the arrival of immigrants who brought the smoking habit with them.

1913:

The first bill criminalizing the cultivation of “locoweed” was passed in California. The bill was a major push from the Board of Pharmacy as a way to regulate opiates and psychoactive pharmaceuticals, and seemingly did not stem from the “reefer madness” or racialized understanding of “marijuana” that paved the way to full-on prohibition in the 1930s.

The Aftermath

1930s:

The Great Depression had just hit the United States, and Americans were searching for someone to blame. Due to the influx of immigrants (particularly in the South) and the rise of suggestive jazz music, many white Americans began to treat cannabis (and, arguably, the Blacks and Mexican immigrants who consumed it) as a foreign substance used to corrupt the minds and bodies of low-class individuals.

In the time just before the federal criminalization of the plant, 29 states independently banned the herb that came to be known as “marijuana.”

Harry Anslinger:

It would not be an overstatement to say that Harry Anslinger was one of the primary individuals responsible for creating the stigma surrounding cannabis. Hired as the first director of the recently created Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930, Anslinger launched a vigilant campaign against cannabis that would hold steady for the three decades he remained in office.

A very outspoken man, Anslinger used the recent development of the movie theater to spread messages that racialized the plant for white audiences. In one documented incident, Anslinger testified before Congress, explaining:

“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.”

In another statement, Anslinger articulated: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

In retrospect, Anslinger’s efforts with the Bureau of Narcotics were the reason “marijuana” became a word known by Americans all over the country. When making public appearances and crafting propaganda films such as Reefer Madness, Anslinger specifically used the term “marijuana” when campaigning against the plant, adding to the development of the herb’s new “foreign” identity.

Cannabis was no longer the plant substance found in medicines and consumed unanimously by American’s all over the country.

1937:

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was the culmination of Anslinger’s work and the first step to all-out prohibition. The bill federally criminalized the cannabis plant in every U.S. state. In order to discourage the production of cannabis use, the Tax Act of 1937 placed a one dollar tax on anyone who sold or cultivated the cannabis plant.

On top of the tax itself, the bill mandated that all individuals comply with certain enforcement provisions. Violation of the provisions would result in imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

Though the word “marijuana” is the most common name for cannabis in the United States today, its history is deeply steeped in race, politics, and a complicated cultural revolution. Some argue that using the word ignores a history of oppression against Mexican immigrants and African Americans, while others insist that the term has now lost its prejudiced bite. Regardless of whether or not you decide to use the word yourself, it’s impossible to deny the magnitude and racial implications of its introduction to the American lexicon.

CONTINUE READING…

The Truth About Long Hair…

Originally posted Monday, March 31, 2014 …

This information about hair has been hidden from the public since the Vietnam War.

Our culture leads people to believe that hair style is a matter of personal preference, that hair style is a matter of fashion and/or convenience, and that how people wear their hair is simply a cosmetic issue. Back in the Vietnam war, however, an entirely different picture emerged, one that has been carefully covered up and hidden from public view.

In the early nineties, Sally [name changed to protect privacy] was married to a licensed psychologist who worked at a VA medical hospital. He worked with combat veterans with PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. Most of them had served in Vietnam. Sally said, “I remember clearly an evening when my husband came back to our apartment on Doctor’s Circle carrying a thick official looking folder in his hands. Inside were hundreds of pages of certain studies commissioned by the government.

He was in shock from the contents. What he read in those documents completely changed his life. From that moment on my conservative, middle-of-the-road husband grew his hair and beard and never cut them again. What is more, the VA Medical Center let him do it, and other very conservative men in the staff followed his example. As I read the documents, I learned why.

It seems that during the Vietnam War, special forces in the war department had sent undercover experts to comb American Indian Reservations looking for talented scouts, for tough young men trained to move stealthily through rough terrain. They were especially looking for men with outstanding, almost supernatural tracking abilities. Before being approached, these carefully selected men were extensively documented as experts in tracking and survival. With the usual enticements, the well-proven smooth phrases used to enroll new recruits, some of these Indian trackers were then enlisted.

Once enlisted, an amazing thing happened. Whatever talents and skills they had possessed on the reservation seemed to mysteriously disappear, as recruit after recruit failed to perform as expected in the field.

Serious causalities and failures of performance led the government to contract expensive testing of these recruits, and this is what was found. When questioned about their failure to perform as expected, the older recruits replied consistently that when they received their required military haircuts, they could no longer ‘sense’ the enemy, they could no longer access a ‘sixth sense,’ their ‘intuition’ no longer was reliable, they couldn’t ‘read’ subtle signs as well or access subtle extrasensory information. So the testing institute recruited more Indian trackers, let them keep their long hair, and tested them in multiple areas. Then they would pair two men together who had received the same scores on all the tests. They would let one man in the pair keep his hair long, and gave the other man a military haircut. Then the two men retook the tests.

Time after time the man with long hair kept making high scores. Time after time, the man with the short hair failed the tests in which he had previously scored high scores.

Here is a Typical Test The recruit is sleeping out in the woods. An armed ‘enemy’ approaches the sleeping man. The long haired man is awakened out of his sleep by a strong sense of danger and gets away long before the enemy is close, long before any sounds from the approaching enemy are audible. In another version of this test, the long haired man senses an approach and somehow intuits that the enemy will perform a physical attack. He follows his ‘sixth sense’ and stays still, pretending to be sleeping, but quickly grabs the attacker and ‘kills’ him as the attacker reaches down to strangle him. This same man, after having passed these and other tests, then received a military haircut and consistently failed these tests, and many other tests that he had previously passed.

So the document recommended that all Indian trackers be exempt from military haircuts. In fact, it required that trackers keep their hair long.

The mammalian body has evolved over millions of years. Survival skills of human and animal at times seem almost supernatural. Science is constantly coming up with more discoveries about the amazing abilities of man and animal to survive. Each part of the body has highly sensitive work to perform for the survival and well being of the body as a whole.

The body has a reason for every part of itself. Hair is an extension of the nervous system, it can be correctly seen as exteriorized nerves, a type of highly evolved ‘feelers’ or ‘antennae’ that transmit vast amounts of important information to the brain stem, the limbic system, and the neocortex. Not only does hair in people, including facial hair in men, provide an information highway reaching the brain, hair also emits energy, the electromagnetic energy emitted by the brain into the outer environment.

This has been seen in Kirlian photography when a person is photographed with long hair and then rephotographed after the hair is cut. When hair is cut, receiving and sending transmissions to and from the environment are greatly hampered. This results in numbing out. Cutting of hair is a contributing factor to unawareness of environmental distress in local ecosystems. It is also a contributing factor to insensitivity in relationships of all kinds. It contributes to sexual frustration.

Conclusion In searching for solutions for the distress in our world, it may be time for us to consider that many of our most basic assumptions about reality are in error. It may be that a major part of the solution is looking at us in the face each morning when we see ourselves in the mirror.

The story of Samson and Delilah in the Bible has a lot of encoded truth to tell us.  When Delilah cut Samson’s hair, the once undefeatable Samson was defeated.

Credits: C. Young, United Truth Seekers via Spirit Science and Metaphysics …

Read More: http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2014/03/the-truth-about-long-hair.html?m=1