Suits: WA Legislature faithfully discharges duties of office rebranding ‘marijuana’ to ‘cannabis’

May 2, 2022, 10:35 AM | Updated: 10:51 am


(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Washington state passed a law axing the word “marijuana” and swapping it out for the term “cannabis.”

“It was a great day for lawmakers from the city to the state level,” KTTH host Bryan Suits said.

The bill — HB 1210 — was signed into law March 11 by Governor Jay Inslee after it was passed unanimously, with changes taking effect in June.

“I don’t know how this bill made it through the state legislature without us knowing about it,” Suits said.

“But the bill to change the reference to marijuana to cannabis in state law because marijuana is racist, that happened…

“So now officially it is going to be jazz cabbage,” Suits joked, referencing a century’s old slang term for cannabis users who also enjoy jazz.

The term “marijuana” is “pejorative and racist,” Washington State Rep. Melanie Morgan said during a testimony in 2021.

“As recreational marijuana use became more popular, it was negatively associated with Mexican immigrants.”

Other supporters say the bill changes how people discuss cannabis in Washington.

“Although we call it a technical fix, I think it does a lot to undo or at least correct in some effort, some of the serious harms around this language,” Rep. Emily Wicks said.

Listen to Suits’ takes on the Legislature, Seattle’s cop shortage, and more, here:

Listen to the Bryan Suits Show weekday mornings from 6–9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Suits: WA Legislature faithfully discharges duties of office rebranding ‘marijuana’ to ‘cannabis’