Pot? Why marijuana is called the same thing we cook soup in

How did the word for a common kitchen instrument become slang for marijuana?

Actually, the origin of pot has nothing to do with the culinary tools. The word came into use in America in the late 1930s. It is a shortening of the Spanish potiguaya or potaguaya that came from potación de guaya, a wine or brandy in which marijuana buds have been steeped. It literally means “the drink of grief.” Tonight, this grief drink will be the topic of hot debate when city council members in Oakland, California vote on a historic measure that would create licensed medical marijuana factories.

If the plan is approved, the city would license four production plants that would grow, package, and process medical marijuana. Supporters say the plan will provide the city with two things it direly needs: tax revenue and jobs. Opponents decry the wholesale legitimization of a substance that is a narcotic in most of the United States. Like pot, the word marijuana refers to cannabis, the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. The plant grows naturally in central Asia and other warm regions. Its uses vary from recreational to medicinal to religious.

Marijuana is the dried leaves and female flowers of the hemp plant. The word’s origin dates back to the late nineteenth century. It is an Americanism for the Mexican Spanish marihuana or mariguana, which is associated with the personal name María Juana. Another name for marijuana is Mary Jane, the English version of María Juana. Mary Jane also refers to a small, round sponge cake and a brand of young girls’ patent leather shoes.

The origin of the word “coffee” is much more mysterious than the names for marijuana. Learn the beautiful name for coffee in Arabic in this earlier post. Whatever you call it — ganja, weed, reefer, tea, bhang, leaf, or skunk — it may soon be legally factory farmed in record amounts in Oakland. What do you think?


  1. John -  September 19, 2015 - 1:25 pm

    It came from the word peyote ….pey=P
    O=O, te=T…

  2. harremovalpros.org -  August 19, 2013 - 9:46 pm

    Remarkable! Its in fact awesome piece of writing, I have got much clear idea regarding from this

  3. Snoring Game Cool Math -  June 30, 2013 - 4:33 am

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  4. Cedric -  May 25, 2013 - 10:32 am

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people about this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re
    talking about! Thanks

  5. CML -  July 21, 2012 - 6:04 am

    Just give your church some cash, tbey’ll forgive your “sins”

  6. How High -  April 20, 2012 - 5:11 am

    Let it burn, burn for the smokers, those who don’t smoke will smell it!

  7. Kaleb H. -  October 8, 2011 - 9:07 am

    The term marijuana does not just refer to cannabis sativa, it refers to cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and on rare occasions, cannabis ruderalis. Although it is not uncommon in the least bit to find hybrids combining sativa and indica, indica and ruderalis, or sativa and ruderalis.

  8. jason saul -  August 10, 2010 - 10:30 pm

    Hell ya my dad just got his medical marijuana card =)
    o ya bby.

  9. Bryon Feasel -  August 9, 2010 - 5:53 pm

    I am so very pleased at having read your article. Do post more entries in the future. I will be anticipating similar posts with avid interest. Bryon Feasel

  10. Robert -  July 25, 2010 - 10:17 am

    I biggest “win-win” would be to legalize it and tax it. Just like cigarettes or alcohol.

    • Glenn -  April 12, 2014 - 6:16 pm

      I can,t smoke pot myself anymore (get stooped)’ but I thoroughly agree with taxing it like alcohol and cigs.
      I think health and addiction issues are mush worse with alcohol or cigs!

  11. James L -  July 25, 2010 - 6:49 am

    I have a nasty, incurable lymphoma that attacks my skin and my organs (even my tongue). It causes large, ulcerated lesions to appear at random and persist for months upon end on my flesh. Treatment is astronomically expensive, debilitating, and inaffective. I have permanent bone, organ, and cerebral damage from the chemotherapy. Not only does marijuana contain compounds that may help my condition, give me an appetite, and relieve some of may pain…if it was legalized, it would be as FREE to grow as a cucumber. The ‘righteous’ people of this world are so greedy, crooked, and stupid. Glad I won’t be here with them as long as the rest of you. Oh, PS, pharmaceutical corporations in league with FDA cronies are witholding low-risk cancer treatments. The one that would cure me has been availabe in Germany since 1993. OH, MARIJUANA IS SO EVIL!

  12. M Wood -  July 24, 2010 - 11:01 am

    And to the fascists and bible thumpers who believe it is their right or obligation to tell others what is good for them,get a life. Make sure your own house is in order before considering criticizing others. To each his own is the best philosophy I have ever come across, and it is one I fervently uphold.

    • Julia Stoner -  June 18, 2016 - 1:48 pm

      I believe in the Bible but I am not a bible thumper. And i agree with you. To each his own as long as no body gets hurt.

  13. M Wood -  July 24, 2010 - 10:55 am

    Look, the bottom line is that, as a federal law, pot will not be legalized any time soon. The fact is the gov’t makes too much money off of it as it stands. They can’t regulate it the way they want. People will still grow it themselves, and others will still buy their dime bags.
    As much as I would like to see legalization, I don’t foresee it in the near future.

    • Glenn -  April 12, 2014 - 6:18 pm

      Well, watch the news …..as I hope you know it is happening in a few states allready.

  14. GracefulDave -  July 23, 2010 - 11:12 am

    How can any real progress be made when the information out there isn’t, well, right? I mean, I hold Dr. Dictionary pretty high up in terms of quality of information. Yet they’ve decided to leave out an entire strain. What about Cannabis indica? Does that have its own slang terms? Not that I’m super impressed by the ones offered here. Marijuana actually comes from the Americanization of “mariguana/marihuana” which literally means “intoxicant.” Close guys, close.

  15. magic texta -  July 22, 2010 - 1:42 pm

    @ Mike.

    I that case, why didn’t YOU tell us all something??!
    I’m thinking that was a biased comment!!!

    (…and its not crap…)

  16. dustydankbowlz -  July 22, 2010 - 8:54 am

    Keep it illegal many people will lose their jobs once this goes legal think of the people who grow for you right now most of this medicine comes from northern cal, commercial farming will ruin it all.

  17. Jordan -  July 22, 2010 - 7:36 am

    Also, I’m sure big tobacco and big alcohol want weed to remain illegal. I guarantee they would see sales drop sharply.

  18. Jordan -  July 22, 2010 - 7:33 am

    I can’t believe it took us this long to realize prohibition never really works. Prohibition funded Capone and numerous criminal elements back in the 20s, and now it’s funding cartels and drug barons across the border. Just end this silliness. You sell me alcohol and all the problems that go with it. You sell me cancer causing deathsticks (cigs). But when you sell me sticky green bud that is one of the most mild drugs we know of, it’s suddenly a big deal….

    Just goes to show you, the government looks out for itself and not its people

  19. ? -  July 22, 2010 - 7:09 am

    @this is stupid

    it is only the time for you americans. Thomas probably comes from elsewhere and there IS a time difference.!?

  20. sober -  July 22, 2010 - 5:01 am

    immersion in life, then the blind could become other than the idiot, to you Tarru

  21. Vanessa -  July 22, 2010 - 1:49 am

    So it’s just a coincidence that it give users an expression like they’ve been hit over the head with a pot (or frying pan)?

    • Glenn -  April 12, 2014 - 6:21 pm

      That’s hilarious! You must smoke pot.

  22. Tarru -  July 22, 2010 - 1:47 am

    Okay, then someone needs to write an article: “Dope: Why marijuana and an Idiot Share a Name”

  23. Third -  July 22, 2010 - 1:43 am

    They censor meaningful posts here but leave something as vapid as “first, and yes” for all to see. Why?

  24. Mike -  July 22, 2010 - 1:37 am

    MLJ and magic texta, this is a news article… not a place to preach crap.

  25. magic texta -  July 21, 2010 - 10:36 pm


  26. M.L.J. -  July 21, 2010 - 8:23 pm

    kbman,ur comment is still posted.i disagree with a lot of ur facts.wiscecile,ouidad,rob and sauls have a lot right.everyone reacts differently to an individual drug.some people will be more affected then others.the best way to feel good:eat healthy,think positive,be giving,laugh,love all,and believe in yourself.i’ve been there with the idea that pot helped me escape my problems.it only added to them.clean up ur act and see life through clear eyes and a pure heart!

  27. kbman -  July 21, 2010 - 6:01 pm

    Thank you for restoring my earlier comment. Appreciated.

  28. kbman -  July 21, 2010 - 5:14 pm

    What happened to my comment? It was a point-by-point rebuttal of the anti-marijuana myths being propagated in the comment from Ouida D. Sauls. My comment was posted at 11:15 this morning and remained there for a while. Now it is gone. There was nothing derogatory, no profanity, simply facts to rebut the fearmongering mythology being parroted here.

    Sad …

  29. magic texta -  July 21, 2010 - 4:22 pm

    @ Schmoo
    great thought! Keep it up!

  30. D@niel -  July 21, 2010 - 3:31 pm

    I am completely in favour of weed being legal.. finally somebody in the government did SOMETHING good!!!!.. Everyone who thinks weed is bad is an idiot.. it is not weed that is bad.. it is the user.. if you’re a bad person you will be bad whether you are high or not… so there.. stuff it!!!

    Legal Pot Growing… i can’t wait till the other states catch the ganjah-fever.. woo hoo!!!

  31. vrknoise -  July 21, 2010 - 3:27 pm

    We evolved with this plant for millions of years. It has never killed a single person, has never been the root cause of domestic disturbance resulting in police dispatch, it is not physically addictive (referring to the clinical definition of addiction which means when you remove the substance there is a physical withdrawal), we can regulate it just like alcohol, tax it, sell it, increase GDP, create jobs, manufacture clothing, paper products and fuel… The benefits seem limitless. We would also wipe out the criminal element which would free our public servants to focus on issues that are emergent rather than use tax money to incarcerate “offenders” of this ridiculous cannabis prohibition. What are the negatives to this?

  32. schmoo -  July 21, 2010 - 3:02 pm

    @ Thomas,
    Good for you! I agree!

  33. magic texta -  July 21, 2010 - 12:37 pm

    @ Thomas, I fully agree. Theres many scriptures that back that up.

  34. NoLo -  July 21, 2010 - 12:08 pm

    Legalize it, make it on a par with alcohol to drive under the influence, make it equal to smoking cigarettes in re: secondhand smoke or smoking in public in general, make it available with food stamps for people who can’t cope and just generally don’t have the capacity to get by on their own, make it freely available to chronic users who become otherwise worthless to society. In short, we’ve got an excess of people here and we should make it comfortable on the extra ones by keeping them in a passive stupor until they are out of their/our misery.

  35. me! -  July 21, 2010 - 11:37 am

    Well, first off, any drug is bad for you; there is no such thing as a “safe drug”. It doesn’t matter if it is legal or illegal, people are still going use and abuse drugs. Legalizing pot to help people is an awesome idea, but it will only work for good in an idealistic world and sadly, our world is anything but!

  36. kbman -  July 21, 2010 - 11:15 am

    @ Ouida D. Sauls – A lot of misinformation and myth here…

    Negative Effects of Marijuana.
    Physical effects

    increase in the heart rate – gee, I guess all forms of physical exertion are also bad for you since they increase heart rate far more than pot.

    bloodshot eyes – aside from concerns of appearance how is this bad? Seriously, this is a natural phenomenon which causes no long term harm. The only possible harm is caused by prohibition which causes some people to use eye drops like Visine – something that may cause long term harm.

    dry mouth and throat – Wow, how can we ever cope with this calamity? Oh yeah, water … Sheesh!

    increased appetite – For many medical marijuana patients, particularly those fighting cancers, this is a lief-saver. And again, exercise also increases appetite, should we prohibit jogging for this reason?

    Reduced coordination – This is a very minor effect in inexperienced users. People who conflate the effects of marijuana with those of other drugs such as alcohol assume this effect to be far more dramatic than it is in reality. Hollywood BS helps perpetuate this myth.

    Pulmonary system damage and lung cancer – The first part, pulmonary system damage, is minor. The second part, lung cancer, is not only wrong, it is worse than wrong. The researcher who initially postulated this based on the content of marijuana smoke, Dr. Donald Tashkin, went looking for the cancers. They aren’t there. In fact, what medical research is finding is that marijuana has a protective effect against cancer.

    Psychological effects – What a broad brush … the biggest scare story on this front was the British claim a few years ago that pot caused schizophrenia. That has been thoroughly debunked. Despite significant increases in the percentage of the population smoking pot, there has been NO corresponding increase in the percentage of the population suffering from schizophrenia. Other claimed psychological effects are quite difficult to sort out from the effects caused by prohibition, and from effects caused by adolescence, hormones, and the angst of life in western society.

    impair short-term memory, – you mean like forgetting that you’ve been listing items without a comma at the end of each line??? Seriously, this so-called negative effect is quite minor and is way overblown in movies and popular comedy. There are also trade-offs involving long term memory. Research is now suggesting that there are compounds in marijuana smoke which protect against the plaques which cause Alzheimer’s Disease.

    Impaired learning and comprehension – an enormous canard. I know many people who’ve performed at exceptional levels of achievement while also being regular pot smokers. This includes a friend who graduated from an elite east coast university with a 3.95 cumulative GPA in Chemistry. He studied with a bong in his hand. I’ve personally experienced significant increases in my ability to construct computer code when high on pot, being able to generate 3 to 4 TIMES as much clean, working code in a given time frame.

    Reduced concentration – simply false.

    Reduced motivation – another myth. Just because lazy teens use pot doesn’t mean that it was the pot that made them lazy. People who are generally motivated in life remain motivated when high and in some cases become even more driven to accomplish.

    paranoia and psychosis – well ya know, there’s a pretty good reason for pot smokers to be paranoid because the forces of government ARE out to get them. End prohibition and there will be no reason for pot smokers to worry about this. As far as psychosis, this is another case where you are simply wrong. There is no evidence of marijuana smoking CAUSING psychosis. It may be possible that if someone in a psychotic state smoked pot it would cause his state of mind/being to change, not sure if that change would be negative though …

    Psychological dependence and tolerance – Bing, bing, bing, we finally have a winner – you are right, pot does cause each of these conditions. And the “withdrawal symptoms” are irritability, difficulty falling asleep and lack of appetite. These last for a few days. But to put things in context, there are many substances and items which give rise to psychological dependence, coffee, sugar, fats, TV, automobiles, running, etc. We are all also far more dependent on other things such as food, water and air. Your point with this comment is pointless.

    • TNT -  March 13, 2016 - 11:33 pm

      Well said.

  37. 70's girl -  July 21, 2010 - 11:10 am

    Alcohol comes in various combinations,strengths, etc. Mary Jane could be considered the same, there are so many varied options, not limited to but, including the oportunity to ‘lace’ it with another harsher drug.

    So…the ‘simple’ statement it’s better for you than……. can’t be made.

    Whatever it might be, alcohol, Mary Jane, cigs, redbull, we the people are finding a reason to ‘feel the need’ to sucumb to sometype of physical addiction. Government regulation?? not sure if that is the best…we still have ‘many’ alcoholics and people dying of lung cancer.

    As more and more stuff becomes available for consumption their needs to be less freedom given to the corporations and ‘more’ information given to the public. We need to ‘understand’ these things (including the pesticides on our fruits and veggies)…how they are currently and long term affecting our health.

    Just like anything else we need to find a ‘balance’ and ‘not’ think that we can be a society that functions well in a state of euphoria and that life will be ‘all good’.

    Whatever comes of this, I just pray that our youth understand what is meant by having a ‘clear mind’ and understand on ‘all’ levels that our body should be treated like a temple (and this is again in ‘all’ ways).

    Peace, balance and Truth

  38. Jayne Walters -  July 21, 2010 - 10:38 am

    I think it’s a great choice. That’s what the people want,choices.It doesn’t guarantee we make the right ones. Take alcohol for example…I don’t know how many times I’ve woken with deathly hangovers SWEARING OFF ALCOHOL FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! I think Cannabis is one of many new Green Alternatives for this generation of consciousness.

  39. VANdyke -  July 21, 2010 - 10:28 am

    Heather Schmidt’s comment about drunk driving and tobacco use is valid. BUT do we need another substance that impairs a person mentally, physically,and etc., etc., etc.,?
    Also, if other states prohibit and classify it a narcotic(or if you want to hide behind the term(s) “medical marijuana”),then what happens when you buy it in California, and cross the state border, into a state where it is ILLEGAL?
    California must have a large population of liberals and over aged “HIPPIES” from a bygone era. HA HA HA…!

  40. gaiasue -  July 21, 2010 - 10:25 am

    Maybe the woman who reported her son developing psychosis and blaming the pot should look to his upbringing. Sounds to me like he is self medicating because of his psychosis not the other way around. The FDA tried to smear kombucha by pointing out two ladies died while drinking it when in fact they were hoping it would help stop the diseases that were killing them. Don’t make assumptions. The Sumerians had a prayer thanking the gods for this plant. It provides fuel, paper, clothing, food (interesting article on ice cream substitute from hemp seed in my latest health food mag) and medicine from a weed and we make it illegal because some pleasure can come from it? Best of all, if you sprinkle the leaves around your fruit trees and roses, the deer will not harm them. I guess they just don’t like the smell. I had tried everything and only this works.

  41. Lucia -  July 21, 2010 - 10:22 am

    LIVE AND LET LIVE (we are each responsible for ourselves)

  42. Lucia -  July 21, 2010 - 10:17 am

    YES on IT ALL and in any ORDER that gets us there.
    Decriminalize it
    Legalize it
    Farm it (individually and in factories)
    Demystify it (everyone has their opinion)

  43. Razor -  July 21, 2010 - 9:59 am

    Since 2001, over 6 million Americans have been convicted of a marijuana offense. 700,000 Americans annually are convicted of a marijuana offense constituting almost 90% of all illegal drug related convictions. Of these convictions the vast majority are for possession of minor amounts of the drug with only 1 in 18 resulting in a felony conviction.

    I believe it is an absolute travesty to have otherwise law abiding citizens labeled criminals for doing something that over 120 million Americans have done.

    I strongly believe that marijuana should be decriminalized and every single marijuana conviction be expunged and erased as if no arrest or conviction had ever occurred.

  44. Harold -  July 21, 2010 - 9:58 am

    To get high, and forget life?
    And yes pot does lead to other drugs, but then again alcohol kills lots and lots of more people now we’re not going to have just drunks but also people in the clouds wondering where their unicorn is.

  45. Everyman -  July 21, 2010 - 9:55 am

    Synthetic weed is legal in almost every state and easily obtainable. It has near the same effect. The only difference is unlike naturally grown marijuana its privately created in labs that are owned by few individuals, is a research chemical, and is possibly cancerous (big tobacco all over again). Yet almost the entire country is embracing this substance due its legality. This is bootleging again we need to make marijuana legal so we don’t risk letting so many people ingest a chemical that we have no idea what the long term effects will be. we all know marijuana is not harmful, and while illegal mainly funds criminal enterprise. Lets follow California and let or people have what they want.

  46. Liza -  July 21, 2010 - 9:38 am

    man i dont know legalize it then we wont be having this argument

  47. SeaGee -  July 21, 2010 - 9:30 am

    WHAT medical purposes are being proposed as part of the research plan?? Does anyone know?

  48. Delta -  July 21, 2010 - 8:35 am

    We can’t afford to legalize marijuana, that would send the wrong message to the youth of this nation. If we were to legalize it kids would get the message this country bases it’s laws on science, logic, and common sense, which could not be further from the truth. Our laws are the result of people in power negotiating with people who have money to make a mutual exchange of power for money.

  49. Craig -  July 21, 2010 - 8:30 am

    “The drug war” is nothing but an ever increasing encroachment in the continental US of the military that works with local and state police (thus contravening Posse Commitatus) and thereby producing an American Police State, which it now is (thank you very much, Mr. Uncle Sam).

    There is no “victory” in this “war” on drugs. Besides, marijuana is innocuous, harmless, and for people to be put into prison or fined for its use is the only despicable crime happening.

  50. Robbin -  July 21, 2010 - 8:27 am

    Not exactly harmless. But it’s a choice a person should be able to make.

  51. shiznit -  July 21, 2010 - 8:18 am

    Legalize and tax it.

  52. Echo -  July 21, 2010 - 8:13 am

    why not create jobs and tax revenue, if its not done legally it will be done illegally somehow! marijuana is a much safer and effective medicine than many they have out there.

  53. jess -  July 21, 2010 - 8:12 am

    California’s budget crisis could be solved by two things: legalize marijuana and gay marriage! Think of the revenue generated, the money spent in California if both were legalized?

  54. Botanista -  July 21, 2010 - 7:53 am

    I’m glad it’s being legalised. I am neither a fan nor a opponent of marijuana, seeing as how it is merely a plant with a myriad of uses. I do find it absurd that many peoples’ lives have been ruined from the legal ramifications over this particular drug, which sews so little grief and has far more medicinal uses than say alcohol. Alcohol is much more addictive and harmful to the body yet it is morally accepted by society at large. It’s all in the way we perceive a drug. Many idiots believe marijuana will make them stupid, yet Alcohol for example is known to destroy brain material much more efficiently than weed. Yeah, I think legalisation is a step in the right direction for this country. Go Cali!

  55. ala -  July 21, 2010 - 7:45 am

    i would go for marijuana

  56. Chiva -  July 21, 2010 - 7:43 am

    Coffee word origin is “kOpi”. It is a Tamil word(1 of the 3 oldest languages still spoken).

    It is a popular name still used in India, Ceylon, Indonesia etc.

    Initially, Coffee was used as medicine to stop bleeding, diahreah etc.

  57. j. michael -  July 21, 2010 - 7:41 am

    the issues are not quite so clear or easily addressed as some believe. they touch on individual rights, the gov’t's responsibity for the health/safety of citizens (even if misguided),the effect of criminalizing a commonly-used (and available) drug, the consequential support to criminal enterprises from illegal sales, the true long term health effects (a stoner who claims mj is wholly benign is strong evidence in itself that it isn’t, at least on reasoning. in fact, we don’t know), the social costs from prosecution, imprisonment of otherwise law-abiding citizens and whether abuse is likely, serious and treatable. but the basic underlying questions are: will legalization’s effect on society be positive or negative and, if negative, to what degree?

    the fact is we know little its social consequences b/c there’s no country with enough data. holland comes closest and their experience should guide us. but each country is unique and the u.s. has a tendency to frame cultural issues as moral ones–and that usually means religion–with some texual basis (usually the christian bible) so that contrary opinion becomes anti-god. if calif prop 19 passes its experience will determine future direction of mj laws.

    many rights have been chipped away over the years as people accept the certainty, better organization and better-spokespersons of the religious right so they tend to be highly influential in such matters. not long ago reproductive rights, sex ed, gender equality and separation of church/state were settled issues, but all resurfacing in 2010 where we’re arguing again about creationism, sex, bible-based morality, “intelligent” design and even stem-cell research. when cultural divides become too deep it results in the 1960s or, more recently, the prior two elections of red v. blue states, where one imbecilic VP candidate condemns nearly every cultural change in moral terms, including any legalization or decriminalizing drug laws (who will place quotes around the word “science” and believes dinosaurs are recently extinct).

    my advice: proceed cautiously, find credible people for support, look to western europe’s laws as potential models, know the issues and arguments and leave out moral judgments (tho my own message is rife with them)– otherwise, even if successful, you can expect to revisit this every election. j. michael

  58. AMERIKAN BELLWETHER -  July 21, 2010 - 7:40 am

    People, pot is illegal because it is beneficial and easy to cultivate. The whole rap is about money. If pot were legal, publically-traded drug companies would lose money. Period. Nuff said? They have the government in their pockets. Ever hear of the Food and Drug Administration? Read the book “None Dare Call It Conspiracy”, and enlighten yourself.

  59. POT | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  July 21, 2010 - 7:36 am

    [...] “POT!” What it is and what is not — we hope that’s not all we got. We do know the Myth that Johnny Apple Seed Chapman wore his cook pot on his head. — However we must admit Andrea Gomez gave the pot a better fit — in the water color story board she painted. — Years of homeless deprivation and lack of communication “Take a Bite of the Apple” still is not. — The HOT WORD for literacy we had hoped for — though it grows fresher every day — wees got picture, story, lyrics, music whatdya say. — Though we think it should be legal and not sniffed out by some stoner Beagle — the only thing we ain’t got besides money is some POT.–Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  60. AMERIKAN BELLWETHER -  July 21, 2010 - 7:32 am

    Abecedarian wannabes attention~~~if you wanna use big words learn to spell them, otherwise stick to ones you know.

  61. Johann -  July 21, 2010 - 7:23 am

    Technically, it’s not a narcotic in any of the 50 states. It’s not a narcotic in any country in the world, or anywhere on planet earth.

    It’s only called a narcotic by those who are keeping the prices up.

    The first prohibition didn’t work, and produced the same results (smaller scale) than the violence we see now.

    Remember the definition of “crazy” – doing the same thing and expecting different results. The drug war is “crazy.”

  62. AnaSA -  July 21, 2010 - 7:14 am

    Interesting! in South Africa its called Dagga. I’d be interested to know what the origin of the other names (ganja, skunk…) are!! anyone know???

    Generally I’d agree with some of the comments – alcohol is more dangerous than pot. The only problem in SA that we have is that there is a higher incidence of Schizophrenia in pot-smokers than those who don’t smoke it. And you never know if you are one of the ones that will go nuts when you smoke…

  63. Momma M -  July 21, 2010 - 6:45 am

    I’m a 52 year old woman who, after a horrific automobile crash five years ago, have been left with chronic pain. The Doctors actually should have removed the entire leg, but they “saved it” for me… How RUDE! I have two choices, I can go to a pain-management specialist (and I tried this route, so I know) and they’ll load me up with loritab, percocet, morphine… and a host of other drugs to counteract the opiates they’ve just given me….
    Or I can cut my pain meds down by 75% and use MJ….
    Now, lets just think about this… I KNOW the meds are tearing up my organs, specifically my kidneys…. I also KNOW MJ helps my pain, cramps and spasms and doesn’t require additional meds to “counter” its effects…
    SO… Now you think about it… If you were in chronic PAIN, (And I don’t just mean discomfort here folks)- What would you choose???

  64. Sarahhhh -  July 21, 2010 - 6:36 am

    Haha If they opened a marijuana factory that would bring us the next step closer to legalization. Hell Yeah.

  65. Wizbee -  July 21, 2010 - 6:31 am

    AMEN to Thomas’s post!

  66. Wizbee -  July 21, 2010 - 6:27 am

    Hey, I haven’t read any comments about the effects of second hand smoke “contact buzzes” as they were referred to as years ago. I’m not so sure it is a good idea to legalize marijuana because I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where I’m in the area of someone smoking and after inadverntantly inhaling the second hand smoke finding myself walking around high. Like anything, people will find a way to abuse it and who knows what situation we will find ourselves in.

  67. Rednartso -  July 21, 2010 - 6:23 am

    The only reason weed is illegal is simply control. The government wants control over everything we do. Take this new health care proposal, this makes it so we do not get to choose how we are treated.

  68. this is stupid -  July 21, 2010 - 6:16 am

    Thomas on July 21, 2010 at 3:33 am
    The Bible declares “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end is the destruction of the man” I feel that although the plants of the earth were formed by God, we lost their true purpose along the way. The Bible declares that “The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” we are not to ingest anything that would hurt or harm it. The book of Genesis declares that “God has given every herb bearing seed” He didn’t hand out matches and lighters, He didn’t say sniff it or inject it, but He gave these for our bodies to protect it. Many people use it and many think it’s right, but I place the issue of marijuana under God’s Holy light. Please don’t seek marijuana’s pleasure hold it up to God, and see if it measures, God has for His world so many treasures and you are one of them, God’s love and purpose of His own pleasure. God bless you all.

    I like how this guy is trying to speak the ‘word of god’ on here. MY QUESTION TO YOU bible thumper is: how and why did you come to this topic? You out looking for some fellow POT smokers? hahhaha
    I do not smoke. (anything) So as for me, this topic is stupid. im not going to try and change what others are doing to themselves. non of my damn beezwax. PLUS WHY THE HELL WAS THIS PERSON UP AT 3 AM????? looking at porn prolly.

  69. Sherpa123 -  July 21, 2010 - 6:08 am

    Many years ago life was far more crude than it is today. Only a small percentage of the population had heating inside their house during winter times, and no one had air conditioning. Relationships with others were also nearly intolerable for many because of the way society was organized. Could it be that the reason these substances were used, was to relieve the hardships rather than ‘obtain a high’?

  70. Mick -  July 21, 2010 - 5:31 am

    Does anyone see the irony in this sentence:

    “peach6972 on July 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm
    Nooottttt stop smokin thats not good for you slow ur mind n makes you dumb”

    In the end as Chris Rock says it’s illegal because the best weed doesn’t grow in America. Maybe Oakland, California is a way to test what quality of crops American scientists can grow on their own soil.
    Have to agree I wouldn’t like to see it commercialised like ciggarettes. For one thing personal abuse would be far too easy, the strengths would have to be kept to a ridulously low level and probably mixed with any chemical they like to make it more addictive just as the tobacco companies do.

  71. mark -  July 21, 2010 - 5:18 am

    i totaly agree with what, “indi” had to say i feel that this legilization is “To Good to be True” i feel that the government is in such a state of debt that they will abuse this approtunity. Also if they think they can controle this then there very wroung, budd will allways be around no mater what. And im sry but if your growing in factories, and make the weed someking community mad then they should hire some good security. Unless someone wants to walk in the next day and see theres no more production.

  72. Denny -  July 21, 2010 - 4:11 am

    Adorable how few comments these entries generally garner, but when it’s something controversial and hip like CURSE words, ooooh, and drugs, they come in droves.

    Like we seriously need another venue to fill up with everyone’s worthless two-cents. Give it a rest folks, it loses its meaning.

  73. Thomas -  July 21, 2010 - 3:33 am

    The Bible declares “There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end is the destruction of the man” I feel that although the plants of the earth were formed by God, we lost their true purpose along the way. The Bible declares that “The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” we are not to ingest anything that would hurt or harm it. The book of Genesis declares that “God has given every herb bearing seed” He didn’t hand out matches and lighters, He didn’t say sniff it or inject it, but He gave these for our bodies to protect it. Many people use it and many think it’s right, but I place the issue of marijuana under God’s Holy light. Please don’t seek marijuana’s pleasure hold it up to God, and see if it measures, God has for His world so many treasures and you are one of them, God’s love and purpose of His own pleasure. God bless you all.

    • Jacbo -  March 14, 2015 - 10:51 am

      Mary Jane isnt a drug yall, it was placed here as light. And if the bibles right, we gettin high tonight I wanna chill with the satellites.

  74. Prem D Menon -  July 21, 2010 - 3:13 am

    Legalizing cannabis would be a better decision than cigarettes!

  75. Maria Theobald -  July 21, 2010 - 2:30 am

    Personally, a few years ago on a Friday morning at 9.30 a.m. on live t.v. news they told us all we were economically doomed that we might as well enjoy ourselves. I have always been a responsible woman, however when they said you might as well be dead, so enjoy yourself, i decided to chill out and please myself basically,people should not worry about other peoples choices in any event, it is not for any one of us to make another person’s choices. I accept people whatever they might have done or what they might choose to do. I am the last person to give advice in any event.

  76. Maria Theobald -  July 21, 2010 - 2:17 am

    You was looking up a word then i blew my brains out at the word i was looking up rhinotillexomania and to sum up the issue of decrim on the subject my sentiments entirely of the word meaning i was looking up, its absolutely true as soon as they do anything right it will cost us all money, they are only in it for the money – they will always be neophytes as far as i am concerned.

  77. Naomi -  July 21, 2010 - 1:54 am

    It’s not called the, ‘drink of grief’ for nothing.

  78. Antonio D'Alfonso -  July 21, 2010 - 1:09 am

    it is about time, no? How else to counter a war on lords who make more money than bankers? Thousands of years of smiles versus seconds of violence under the influence of a few ounces of alcohol? Besides being a fine stimulus to hyper-fascination of all kinds, it is a decent tool for amourous activity. In fact, does one really make love drunk?

  79. Papiya -  July 21, 2010 - 12:50 am

    awesome news… legalizing it will solve so many issues man… all the nations will be at Peace… Boom Shankar… :-)

  80. Dave Brast -  July 20, 2010 - 11:38 pm

    I wonder how much effort the drug cartels are putting into defeating moves to legalize marijuana. Anybody heard anything about that?

  81. Barney -  July 20, 2010 - 10:32 pm

    I am high right now (alledgely) looking up the word “segue.” That was a fun thing to stumble across on-line. Cheers!

  82. Rob -  July 20, 2010 - 10:08 pm

    Many of these comments are just plain retarded.
    There are only two options: ban it so thoroughly so that nobody can use it or legalize and regulate it.
    People will be getting Pot either way, at least when it is legalized:

    1. The government can regulate its use and conduct proper studies into its long term health effects. Of course it is detrimental, but the government needs to inform the population exactly what the consequences will be if you use it, which will not happen when it is illegal. When the government can inform each citizens of all its negative effects, then people can make a more informed decision about whether to use it or not.
    2. It is no worse for your health and public safety than drinking and smoking tobacco.. or firearms for that matter. If I walked into bar at 4 in the morning full of weed-tokers Im sure there would be alot less violence than any run-of-the-mill bar in averageville.
    3. Take out the criminal element – do you want bandit drug lords or a supervised government agency taking responsibility for something you put into your body?
    4. Tax it to offset the negative social consequences – Now we are still getting the negative social consequences without users paying their dues.
    5. People who are dying of cancer – how can you tell them that they aren’t allowed to smoke pot because it is bad for their health? They are dying, nothing is going to change that.

    I dont smoke pot because it turns you into an moron and is detrimental for your health – fact. But so is alcoholism, smoking tobacco, getting punched in the head everyday (being a boxer), breathing in paint fumes, working in a coal mine, eating excessive amounts of fatty foods etc, all things which are accepted by society.

  83. Ouida D. Sauls -  July 20, 2010 - 9:54 pm

    Negative Effects of Marijuana
    Physical effects
    increase in the heart rate
    bloodshot eyes
    dry mouth and throat
    increased appetite
    Reduced coordination
    Pulmonary system damage and lung cancer
    Psychological effects
    impair short-term memory,
    Impaired learning and comprehension
    Reduced concentration
    Reduced motivation
    paranoia and psychosis
    Psychological dependence and tolerance

  84. Heather Schmidt -  July 20, 2010 - 9:28 pm

    FYI guys, in 5,000 years of recorded history, NO ONE has EVER died from marijuana overdose, look it up seriously I did a report on it for college. Furthermore, those who are anti-marijuana need to keep in mind how many hundreds of thousands of people die either from driving drunk or getting hit by a drunk driver, and how many hundreds of thousands more die from tobacco, but hell those things are perfectly legal!! Does this make sense to anyone else?…

  85. smokebong -  July 20, 2010 - 9:24 pm

    however if it is legalized, it will be monitered like alcohol
    making it alot more harder to obtain for minors than it is
    right now.. you can just call up your guy and he’ll be there momentarily
    but legalized on the contrary.. gotta find someone with an id to buy it
    for you.
    it will be eminently benefitual for the ill yay

  86. smokebong -  July 20, 2010 - 9:17 pm

    Legalize It, Don’t Criticize It.

  87. Paulzzy -  July 20, 2010 - 9:03 pm

    The government legalizes it, does away with the black market, then does to the pot smokers what they’ve done to the cigarette smokers-decide it’s a public health hazard and raise the taxes (and prices) astronomically. Or maybe decide it’s too strong and they start producing garbage weed.

    “That’s the real problem, some people have the twisted notion that it’s their right to tell other people what to do and how to live.”

    Like a tax on non-diet sodas? Obesity report cards physicians are required to report on all patients? Forcing all citizens to pay for health insurance. Telling people who and who not to listen to on the TV/radio? Notice how the $$$ road/bridge tolls and registering cars have gone up-because “they” want us to all use public transportation (run by government agencies).

    “They” won’t tell you how to live, “they” will just make it too expensive for you to live the way you want.

  88. ahoov -  July 20, 2010 - 8:55 pm

    Actually the Constitution was not written on Hemp paper. It was actually written on parchment, which is treated animal skin.

  89. magic texta -  July 20, 2010 - 8:54 pm

    @ Phil Kitchen. You have problems. Period.

    Phil: “That’s the real problem, some people have the twisted notion that it’s their right to tell other people what to do and how to live.”
    Me: Freedom of speech does give us that right. I have a feeling you were wanting the word RESPONSIBILTY.

    And as to your previous post…

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa CLONK!

  90. Mark Miller -  July 20, 2010 - 8:46 pm

    M Wood has it absolutely right, IMHO. And “Its uses vary from recreational to medicinal to religious. . .” is a pretty inadequate statement. Its uses are nearly endless! Try wearing some hemp clothing — it’s the most comfortable, breathable, long-wearing, skin-friendly fabric made, if you can find it. Hemp is a very useful plant, and Reagan had the taxpayers fund eradication efforts by DEA officers to uproot the stuff wherever it appeared. How dumb.

  91. wiscecile -  July 20, 2010 - 8:45 pm

    I find it interesting that people say marijuana is not harmful. My son may have developed
    psychosis due to daily usage over the last year. For some people, marijuana is extremely
    harmful. Also, some people posting are saying that it’s not our business to tell people
    what they can put into their bodies. The fall-out from alcohol and marijuana
    use must cost taxpayers and consumers millions, though, because of accidents and rehab
    programs.It affects many more people than just the person using. Worst of all, you can lose a loved one because of its use or abuse.

  92. Phil Kitchen -  July 20, 2010 - 8:05 pm

    I’m just adding this because I was looking over some of the other comments that have been posted. Some people made some statements saying that it will make you stupid or they’re not fans of smoking weed. Well im not a fan of drinking alcohol until I black out but if someone wants to get a 5th of rot-gut and drink themselves into a coma that’s their choice. Hell, if they want to drink gasoline and eat a match its not my place to stop them. That’s the real problem, some people have the twisted notion that it’s their right to tell other people what to do and how to live.

  93. Fiend -  July 20, 2010 - 8:03 pm

    Producing it for medical use would be a great step but it could also mean that it will get too expensive for the poor. I agree with some of the other comments here, Marijuana is harmless while alcohol and tobacco are not. And I also agree with the comment by Dan J, I would also hate to see it commercialized the way tobacco is. If they legalize it, not only will they be able to tax it but they will be able to prevent kids from smoking. Unfortunately right now kids do not have to show their IDs to buy weed…anyone with $10 can buy. Legalize it!!

  94. M Wood -  July 20, 2010 - 8:02 pm

    The reason marijuana is illegal is because William Randolph Hearst ran a smear campaign against hemp because it was poised to take over in the paper and textile industries. The prohibition of this substance never really had anything to do with the smoking of it. Once again we can thank wealthy businessmen for taking things away from everyone else in order to keep their pockets fat.

  95. Phil Kitchen -  July 20, 2010 - 7:41 pm

    NO ONE has the right to tell other people what to put in their body. The War On Drugs is not only wrong, it is completely insane. It’s not working, it never has worked and it never will work. People like to get high now just like they have throughout history. When I see cops on one of these DEA shows on T.V. busting some poor guy for selling or growing some weed it makes me want to vomit. It is truely sickening to see these guys with no talent or actual skill of some kind giving each other high-fives and pretending they’re doing important work. It is not only a violation of someones civil liberties, it is a crime against humanity.

  96. Michelle Moreno -  July 20, 2010 - 7:29 pm

    YES on legalizing Marijuana… Tax revenues, jobs.. and TAKE THE BUSINESS FORM THE MAFIAS… LOWER THE PRICE.. ELIMINATE DE PROHIBITION..



  97. flipfloppy -  July 20, 2010 - 7:19 pm

    i think that i love this site and Maria Juana, its time for a revolution
    legalize it

  98. John -  July 20, 2010 - 7:18 pm

    FINALLY, people will repudiate William Randolph Hearst’s smear campaign.

  99. Greg -  July 20, 2010 - 6:52 pm

    I never touch the stuff (anymore ;-) ), but I am a firm believer in decriminalising its recreational use and fully legalising its medical uses. Good for Oakland! Oh, and yes: The gov’t can and should regulate and tax it.

  100. Symbie -  July 20, 2010 - 6:48 pm

    Yes! I love it. Decriminalize it, legalize it and then tax it to death!

  101. Wayne -  July 20, 2010 - 6:48 pm

    Great article, thanks. Like many who’ve posted on here, I have mixed feelings about ‘the message’ legalizing marijuana would send to our young people. However, the so-called war on drugs has been, and will continue to be, a dismal failure. Bottom line: at minimum we should decriminalize the possession of marijuana; and I see no real harm in legalizing it. This is a country founded on individual freedom and liberty — let the individual decide whether or not to smoke marijuana. The harder drugs should remain illegal.

  102. just passing through -  July 20, 2010 - 6:40 pm

    the government taking control of anything is scary. take a look at health care.

  103. Micheal Jordan -  July 20, 2010 - 6:35 pm

    Its great that one of the most trafficked drugs are going medical, practically making MJ drug dealers obsolete, but that doesn’t mean it should be abused more than it already is. I can already see people getting pulled over by cops and pleading innocent for being high, cause its not as “dangerous” as alcohol, or others toking in public areas claiming it is “safer” than tobacco. Many people don’t know the adverse effects of inhaling marijuana smoke and getting high, mostly because they have been high for too long. I remember this one high school student who had red, bloodshot eyes telling me that marijuana is not harmful and actually is helpful. 20 minutes later he forgot our conversation and argued with me about the effects of marijuana again. shows just a handful of the short term side effects of marijuana usage, but you should educate yourselves on whether or not marijuana is harmful or helpful.

  104. Iksanihc -  July 20, 2010 - 6:24 pm

    They say “The plant grows naturally in central Asia and other warm regions”…
    It grew naturally in virtually every above arctic climate and was a staple in many creatures’ diets before sweeping eradication missions in the early 20th century, when it started becoming illegal. It was a common ingredient in many medications before this occured so”recent” discovories of its medicinal properties are bogus because we already knew… The reason it will never be legal is money. You can’t tax something that anyone can grow themselves. Growing pot is easy if you don’t have to worry about being arrested. Its a weed. The gov’t makes more money by keeping it illegal.

  105. sparky -  July 20, 2010 - 6:17 pm

    Several of the posters have referred to the founding fathers’ cultivation of hemp and its many uses, but it’s important to distinguish between the “industrial” variety they grew and the smokable variety to which the article refers. They are not the same. That being said, I’m not sure if full-blown legalization is in the cards for the foreseeable future, or if it should be. A more reasonable step would be decriminalization, where small amounts, say an ounce or so, would be allowed for person consumption, and law enforcement would be freed up to focus on more serious crimes, like jay-walking. But seriously, the “war on drugs” has been a fiasco, both in terms of money uselessly thrown at it to the tune of tens of BILLIONS of dollars, and lives destroyed because of mandatory minimum jail sentences for 1st time offenders, who often spent more time in jail than repeat violent offenders. This approach has been self-defeating from the start. And more people are smoking than ever.

    Decriminalize first, stop wasting money and lives, and eventually, tax the hell out of it.

  106. Mr. Concerned -  July 20, 2010 - 6:09 pm

    I’m not too sure if this is a good thing despite it might help California’s budget crisis, however this might fix the problem with the war on the drug cartels and drug lords in Mexico or at least reduce the power these cartels have by making this drug legal in some parts of the U.S. which is a big consumer of this drug.

  107. kit -  July 20, 2010 - 6:04 pm

    I agree with indi, while I do believe it ought to be legalized, I am not so sure that giving over control of it to the government is a good thing. Corporate and big pharmaceuticals will own it before it’s over. Wonder about privatization?

  108. Tabs -  July 20, 2010 - 6:02 pm

    like most things, there are good and bad ways to use it.
    bad: recreational. its not healthy. the same as alcohol and smokes are bad.
    good: paper or use ON the body (not in it) ie moisturizer.
    penalties for the bad and promotion of the good.

  109. matt matt -  July 20, 2010 - 6:01 pm

    I tell you what, Maria Juana is much more safe than alcohol, period.

  110. eja nla -  July 20, 2010 - 5:37 pm

    A very interesting article. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington knew the worth of marijuana and spoke in support of its cultivation.A wrap or two of marijuana cant be more deadly harmful than 2 pints or bottles of beer? To the hypocritical bureaucrats in the Pentagon: You are not more patriotic than your marijuana-smoking presidents who use ganja freely.By the way, how and when did marijuana become known and addressed as Indian hemp? Happy for Oakland, land of civil rights activism in the 70s. Let the stuff go round, men.

  111. RWash -  July 20, 2010 - 4:52 pm

    Never been a fan myself.

  112. peach6972 -  July 20, 2010 - 4:27 pm

    Nooottttt stop smokin thats not good for you slow ur mind n makes you dumb

  113. Michael Clear -  July 20, 2010 - 4:18 pm

    call it what you will: it is simply another arrow in the pharmacological quiver of civilization. humans have been developing this pharmacopia since they began to inhabit the earth: trial and error, death and discovery….it will not stop and cannot be stopped by laws or by social mores: it is part of our DNA to seek higher consciousness and progress. relax and enjoy, or not, depending on your own inner compass.

  114. DJ -  July 20, 2010 - 4:17 pm

    “Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country.”
    - Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President quote on Hemp
    “Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.”
    - George Washington, U.S. President quote on Hemp
    “Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?”
    - Henry Ford quote on Marijuana
    “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marihuana in private for personal use… Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marihuana.”
    - Jimmy Carter, U.S. President quote on Marijuana

  115. Dan J. -  July 20, 2010 - 4:03 pm

    They need to legalize it outright and stop hiding behind the “medical” use. The bottom line is that prohibition is wrong. At the same time, I would hate to see it commercialized the way tobacco is.

  116. M -  July 20, 2010 - 4:02 pm

    Interesting origin of the word.
    What is more interesting is how the hemp plant was a large part of the colonial cash crop. Many things are made from this plant, EVEN THE PAPER OF THE CONSTITUTION.

  117. Nathan -  July 20, 2010 - 3:55 pm

    Marijuana is harmless. It’s about time we change our completely asinine drug policy and legalize it. Legalize, regulate, tax.

  118. indi -  July 20, 2010 - 3:52 pm

    you forgot the indica marijuana plant.

    and sativa-indica hybrids.

    seeing how our first president grew cannabis plants with his tobacco, and several other presidents as well, i think it’s time for cannabis to have a proper comeback.

    weed is much safer than alcohol and cigarettes, so it’s ridiculous that it should be illegal.

    however i am concerned about what kind of regulations will be put on cannabis and what will happen to both the cost and the quality of plant strains once the government gets their hands on it. while it may very well save the economy, and make for a happier pot smoking population, i fear that the government will find a way to pervert the whole cannabis industry.

  119. meagain -  July 20, 2010 - 3:45 pm

    Cute pic!!

  120. Jinxy -  July 20, 2010 - 3:37 pm

    Yes!!! It’s gonna be legalized!!(:

  121. P -  July 20, 2010 - 3:36 pm

    “Hell, it’s about time.”

    End the drug war.

  122. Awgrey -  July 20, 2010 - 3:30 pm

    Stepstone of detriment.

  123. Alexand3rS -  July 20, 2010 - 3:18 pm

    first, and yes

  124. magic texta -  July 20, 2010 - 3:13 pm

    help us!!! what next


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