Washington state Rep. Melanie Morgan’s 2021 argument that “marijuana” is racist got another hearing this week after the word was banned from the law books.
“The term ‘marijuana’ itself is pejorative and racist,” Morgan said when introducing a bill changing the language in the state code in 2021.
- “As recreational marijuana use became more popular, it was negatively associated with Mexican immigrants,” she argued, adding that the word was “racist terminology to lock up Black and brown people.”
- Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill into law on March 11, and it will take effect in June.
- The change is part of the state’s efforts to improve “equity” in cannabis policy, a push that has included the creation of a “Washington Task Force on Social Equity in Cannabis” that will make recommendations for aiding minority applicants for cannabis licenses.
Some conservative commentators have warned that the increasing legalization of cannabis could accelerate they see as America’s social decline.