Ask Ars: Should you stop using the word “marijuana”?

Ask Ars: Should you stop using the word “marijuana”?



Do words matter? The “Marijuana” versus “cannabis” debate.


Confession time: the debate was initiated by yours truly. I find it hard not to be pedantic, and since the actual names of the plants that people smoke (or vape, or eat) are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, I think that’s what we should use when we write about the topic at Ars. The word “marijuana” is also specific to North America, and while our audience is predominantly North American, it’s not exclusively so.

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