Language has been used to control populations for centuries. Slang and derogatory words have been twisted to offend entire cultures. One of these terms was marijuana used to criminalize cannabis. Thankfully, the plant (cannabis or marijuana) regained some medical traction several decades later, but is cannabis not medicinal?

“…medical marihuana defines varying programs…”

Propaganda against cannabis or marijuana openly thrives

Entire groups of activists continue to fall victim to the marijuana rhetoric born decades ago. There is a possibility the word was intentionally created to possess phonetic relations with mallihuan, an old Aztecan word for prisoner. Upon a larger inspection, however, it appears more likely that marijuana has innocent Semitic roots buried in China. Regardless of its exact origin, the term was later popularized in the 1930s during Harry Anslinger‘s ruthless and racist assault against cannabis. As the First Commissioner of his own Federal Bureau of Narcotics, he successfully labelled the plant a sinister agent of crime, murder, and general evil.

cannabis or marijuana
Harry Anslinger (right) with President John F. Kennedy (center).

Marijuana was twisted into a racial slur. But, the term is still regularly recited by the media since it became household language on both sides, laminated not only in governing acts (MMAR) but also in reform parties. Commonplace is the same reason the populous still searches for cannabis through propaganda inspired vocabulary. A cycle was born that normalized the derogatory slur years ago, immortalizing its intent to sound notorious. So, what about cannabis defined as something vaguely medical?

Medical intervention or medicine

Medicinal plants, including cannabis, function as a variety of medicines. Whereas, medical instead defines a treatment or the practice of medicine. CPR, for example, is a life-saving form of medical intervention. So, by medical marijuana’s definition, the community has unanimously agreed that cannabis is the practice, not the medicine.

As a further example, a medical ward is an area that administers medication and treatment. Does cannabis resemble a hospital ward more than a therapeutic plant?

Marijuana treatment programs

To be blunt, medical marihuana defines varying programs penned by different government organizations. Medicinal plants are sold through medical marihuana licenses to offer treatment to those in need. Typically, these programs were drafted into law after patients and reform activists rightfully demanded access to proper healthcare for decades. Programs and treatment wards can be defined as medical but neither are medicines.

marijuana as medicinal plant

Anything that is either owned or regulated by the associated operating organization, Health Canada for example, is their liable responsibility. So, it is their entitled right to define any property held under those regulations at their discretion, Canada’s entire legal cannabis supply included.

medical marijuana programs already paved the road to this passivity.

Language owners

Remember that it is an offence for those in the business of selling cannabis in Canada to call their products recreational. For the general market, any language beyond adult-use or non-medical is off-limits to producers and store owners. They also cannot refer to their storefronts as dispensaries. Therefore, regulators will naturally prefer words like medical marihuana for cannabis under ACMPR guidelines since they refuse to accept the plant’s viable medicinal properties.

Who agrees that non-medicinal cannabis is an entirely illogical phrase? Unless that describes a bud with her active ingredients mostly burnt away from nitrogen and irradiation before spending one year in an airy plastic bottle.

Dubious intent, sterilizing a medical market

It appears that governing bodies have silently projected another rhetoric that became accepted and relayed by the majority. Right and wrong have faded into something nearly as grey as Canada’s medicinal cannabis industry itself. At the end of the day, does terminology like medical marijuana threaten our belief in the plant as a viable medicine?

In contrast, a court case within the European Union recently reverted its decision to classify hemp-derived CBD in the same penalty box as severe narcotics.

Perhaps language designed for political theatre has rather misled the populous into a false belief. It appears that the plant was liberated with legal medical marijuana programs in place. In reality, that is far from the truth. These false hopes endanger the plant’s future as much as propaganda inspired words like marijuana. As a medicine, would veterans have suffered the same budget cuts for their medical marijuana program?

A grave fate will be met if recognition for the plant’s viability is not insisted upon by its consumers, patients, and investors. Cannabis will remain a treatment never to be approved as medicinal by individual nations. Producers will not work towards consistency without consumer demand. The FDA will continue to outright reject cannabis as a viable medicine if this occurs. Sadly, the granting of medical marijuana programs already paved the road to this passivity.

Tell us how you phrase the medical marijuana market ie Cannabis or Marijuana in the comments. Do any patients have preferences on how their medicine is defined by outside groups?

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