America feared Mexicans
Have you heard of Mexican Repatriation? Not coincidentally America was forcing out hundreds of thousands of hispanic Americans to “reduce the number of needy families using federal welfare funds and free up jobs for those perceived as ‘Real Americans’ ”. Yikes.
At the time, America was churning out research linking marijuana use with violence, crime and other socially deviant behaviors, often tying it to hispanic communities. Worse, the media were publishing false accounts of Mexican Americans becoming homicidal because of its use.
So that’s why they called it Marihuana instead of Cannabis. An attempt to ‘colour’ the conversation on cannabis by linking it to Mexican culture.
But why ban it?
Hemp may be an excellent alternative to pulp paper and nylon
It’s disputed, and who’s to think there’s clean lines in the ‘30s, but scholars believe that the goal was to destroy the hemp industry as an effort to protect the wealth of William Hearst (Deadwood lovers know this guy), Andrew Mellon, and the Du Pont Family. These guys had a lot of money to lose if hemp took off.
Imagine that, an industry crushed in its infancy by the incumbents.
So that’s your history lesson for today folks. Stop calling it marijuana and call it by its proper name.