Don't Say Marijuana? Why Industry Officials Prefer the Term “Cannabis” When Talking Weed
In shaping our thoughts, beliefs and realities, the power of language is a force to be reckoned with. Just ask any constructivist theorist. You can utter a word and elicit utter contempt, while its closest synonym rings hollow.
Such is the case with cannabis and marijuana -- or weed, pot, herb, ganja, whatever. The word “marijuana” might conjure up images of Easy Rider, smoke-filled festivals, and Cheech and Chong. Say “cannabis” though and you might picture regulators hammering out rules in a stuffy office in Sacramento. It simply has a more legitimate tone. But there's quite a bit more to it than that.
In this interview from KUNR, some industry insiders explain why they prefer the term “cannabis” over marijuana. A grammar enthusiast also explains the linguistic history of both words. If you’re an etymology nerd, don’t miss this.