Steve Elliott nails it in The Great ‘Marijuana’ Debate: What’s In A Word?
There are those within the cannabis movement who will tell you with a straight face that the reason the plant is still illegal is because it is called Ã¢â‚¬Å“marijuana.Ã¢â‚¬Â ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s overreaching wildly.
And you have to ask yourself: How much chance do we stand of changing the minds of the general public about cannabis, when we spend most of our energy fighting amongst ourselves about what to call the damn stuff?
Yes, I personally know of activists that spend way more time and energy attacking other activists Ã¢â‚¬â€ with whom they should be strategizing Ã¢â‚¬â€ for using the word Ã¢â‚¬Å“marijuanaÃ¢â‚¬Â!
This creates another problem, as well. When members of the public at large see some members of the cannabis community shushing and shaming other members for using the word Ã¢â‚¬Å“marijuana,Ã¢â‚¬Â that sure makes the whole enterprise look iffy to an outsider.
Steve does a great job of looking at the history of the words and the silliness of fighting for one over another.
Yes, I try to use “cannabis” when I’m writing formally, but there’s no way I’m going to stop using “marijuana.”