Hold on, Mary Jane: Now 'marijuana' is banned for being 'racist'


Math is racist, COVID is racist, history is racist, politicians (of a specific persuasion) are racist. Now “marijuana” is racist.

That’s according to officials in the state of Washington who have banned the use of that word in state law, claiming it is historically racist.

KIRO 7 News, a CBS affiliate, has reported there are other words to describe cannabis, from “pot” and “weed” to “grass” and “Mary Jane.”

So it’s likely “marijuana” will be missed little.

The report said lawmakers have adopted a plan to change “every Revised Code of Washington” that contains “marijuana” to now indicate the word “cannabis.”

“The term ‘marijuana’ itself is pejorative and racist,” claimed Washington state Rep. Melanie Morgan during testimony in 2021. A Democrat, she sponsored House Bill 1210 to make the change. It was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee recently and takes effect in June.

Morgan said, “As recreational marijuana use became more popular, it was negatively associated with Mexican immigrants. Even though it seems simple because it’s just one word, the reality is we’re healing the wrongs that were committed against black and brown people around cannabis.”

Barack Obama smoking in his youth
Barack Obama smoking in his youth

Morgan explained some of the concerns, citing Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, later the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Morgan said, “It was … Anslinger that said and I quote, ‘Marijuana is the most violent causing drug in the history of mankind. And most marijuana users are Negroes, Hispanic, Caribbean, and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing results from marijuana usage.”

Lawmakers also cited the film called “Reefer Madness” to support their condemnation of “marijuana.”

A trailer for that film states, “In this startling film, you will see dopesters lure children to destruction. A new and deadly menace lurking behind closed doors: Marijuana! The burning weed with its roots in hell.”

Morgan said the “racist terminology” was used to “lock up black and brown people.”

The report said in 2020 the ACLU said blacks were 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people.

Rep. Emily Wicks explained, “Although we call it a technical fix, I think it does a lot to undo or at least correct in some effort, some of the serious harms around this language.”

The Washington Free Beacon explained the name change “comes as states have pushed marijuana decriminalization measures and record expungement for past crimes involving the drug. In 2012, Washington became one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use. More than 40 U.S. states have passed laws to clear criminal records for offenses involving cannabis.”

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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