Some people have wondered why I chose to begin using the word WEED so prominently, instead of the more “correct” terms cannabis or marijuana. That is easy….because WEED is cool.
Cannabis can be called many things, but most popularly it is called weed. By a long shot, the culture and society we live in has chosen the term “weed” to describe the cannabis plant in the context of it being used for enjoyable and adult uses, and even in the context of medical marijuana. WEED is a disarming term that is commonplace in our marketplace of ideas.
Nobody says, “My brother ingests cannabis.” Even a person far away from the cannabis culture knows that their brother “smokes weed.” That is the most common phrase for cannabis consumption in our society, and our community does a disservice to itself by not embracing this term more. We choose to try to confuse the issue, and in the same breath we seem like we are hiding something, when we choose to get all technical on people with the term cannabis. Are there places where that term is appropriate? You bet. Is a casual conversation discussing the failures of our nation’s policies on weed the place for that strict clinical term? In my opinion it is not.
I used to be on the “only say cannabis” bandwagon. I have lobbied many public officials over time and have had many conversations where the term cannabis was entirely appropriate. But I have also had that conversation with the neighbor down the street where I began rattling off the term cannabis over and over and have actually had the person stop me and say, “we are talking about weed, right?”
That is the issue. When we try to take this seemingly higher road position we often fail to reach our target audience. MOST of our society is not familiar with the term cannabis as a commonplace term for marijuana. Both the terms cannabis and marijuana are not simple and easy to digest words. They carry certain connotations in different circles, and can either come off as too aloof in their presentation, or often can bring reactions more accustomed to a rehab counselor than a person having a simple discussion about weed.
I say weed because I think people understand that more clearly. I do not think weed is a derogatory term by any means. I think it is an endearing term that embraces the real battle this plant has endured. Check out this definition for the term “weed:”
(noun) Any undesirable or troublesome plant, especially one that grows profusely where it is not wanted
A troubled plant that grows profusely where it is not wanted. That sounds exactly like cannabis to me.
I think the term WEED is a great term. But my real decision to outright embrace the term came after a discussion amongst my peers. The debate went something like this…
I do not call up a friend and ask him if he is “consuming cannabis.” When I speak to people I like about marijuana, I use the term weed. Why? Because it is a short, lively, and to the point way of getting them to know what I am talking about. “Hey, I am about to smoke some weed. you want to get in on this?” That is a real life conversation. That does not seem rehearsed or that it is a manufactured term aimed at masking the guilt of the slang term “weed” in fear of seeming like we are having too much fun. Well, I am having fun; and I am not going to let a bunch of possible haters looking down their nose at me because I use the term weed change that, or how I communicate with those in my community.
Here is a newsflash for you…any person who thinks you are a lesser person because you said the term “weed” instead of “cannabis” likely hates them both anyways and could give a shit what you call it in all reality. Weed has real enemies out there, but we are not going to reach them because we all pretend to straighten up and fly right in our lingo.
In the meantime, we risk sounding too stuffy or inpersonal in our approach when we use these out of place formal terms in everyday conversations with our friends, family, and neighbors. It just does not sound right in its delivery. It seems like a manufactured term in an everyday conversation and I think that can put people on the defensive. When you are just having a simple conversation about why smoking weed is not a big deal, and how taking people to jail for weed is ridiculous, chances are you want people to digest that message clearly and frankly. You want to hammer that point home as easily and openly as possible. If our society has embraced the term weed for describing casual cannabis use, then we should use the term that is most common to make our argument against weed prohibition. It does us no good to confuse the situation by speaking in unclear terms.
I also like the word weed. I think weed is a good word that is fun to say. WEED, WEED, WEED, WEEED, WEED…….I smoke weed. It makes me feel better and makes my world a better place. Ya’ dig? You can call it whatever you want…that is your prerogative. But do not be surprised if I call you on it if you ask me if I want to “smoke a cannabis cigarette with you.” I might even call you a narc. LOL.
I am with Snoop and Wiz on this one…..”SO WHAT? WE SMOKE WEED….”