In this week’s edition of how you might be a racist without even knowing it, our attention is drawn yet again to the state of Washington, where legislators have stepped up to combat racism in all its forms. Their latest action will ban the use of a particular racist term for marijuana which has been prevalent for a long time, serving as an insult to Black and Latino people. Well, we certainly wouldn’t want to go around insulting people needlessly, right? So what is this racist word, so we can all be on the lookout for it? The word is… marijuana. (Damnit! Now I’m a racist again!) Okay, someone is going to have to help us figure out what’s going on here. For that, we’ll turn to Josh Christenson at the Free Beacon. Take it away, Josh.
Washington State is banning the use of the word “marijuana” in state law, citing its historically racist connotations.
“The term ‘marijuana’ itself is pejorative and racist,” Democratic state representative Melanie Morgan said after the bill was introduced in January 2021. “As recreational marijuana use became more popular, it was negatively associated with Mexican immigrants.” She, along with other Washington Democrats and drug legalization activists, has blamed marijuana criminalization for creating the negative association, alleging the word “was used as a racist terminology to lock up black and brown people,” according to KIRO 7 News, a CBS affiliate.
House Bill 1210, which passed the state House and Senate in February, will replace the term with the word “cannabis” throughout Washington’s legal code. Gov. Jay Inslee (D.) signed the bill into law in March, but it won’t take effect until June.
So Washington isn’t going to be locking up anyone for saying the word or even writing it. Even Washington’s Democrats haven’t reached the point (yet) where they think they can regulate your speech to that degree. They’re just striking it from all of the state’s legal codes and documentation.
But the underlying rationale – if you can call it that – for this move is dizzying. So the state legislators believe that the word marijuana was “negatively associated with Mexican immigrants.” Did state representative Melanie Morgan learn everything she knows about pot from watching Cheech and Chong movies? Is she aware that huge amounts of pot are grown right here in the United State, particularly in California, frequently by white people? Does she know that even on a per capita basis, white people are more likely to smoke weed than Black or Hispanic people in the United States?
If the state government is going to save the world in this fashion they’re going to need to act fast. Data shows that there’s a lot of marij… err… cannabis activity going on at the moment in their own back yard.
Washington has the fourth-highest number of cannabis cultivation licenses in the United States, according to Statista. In 2020, the state formed a task force for “social equity in cannabis,” promising to diversify the industry with grants and financial assistance for minority marijuana purveyors.
How will Washington Democrats protect the rest of the country from this vile, endemic racist trend? After all, every dictionary available today includes a definition for marijuana, as well as cannabis and hemp. Our federal laws are flooded with the word, for better or worse. There is an entire industry surging across the country now that revolves around “medical marijuana.”
Let me guess… we’re going to need to stop saying “crack cocaine” too, right? I mean, I’m sure you can find someone who will be offended by it if you bother to ask enough people. Maybe we can all start calling it “processed cocaine” or something.
I should probably start monitoring my own speech more closely. Elon Musk hasn’t officially finished taking over Twitter yet. If the current Twitter overlords hear about this they’ll probably start banning every account that mentions medical marijuana. Darn it! There I go again. I’m really in trouble now.