For those of you who don’t spend time cruising the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, it shows how many searches occur each month for a given keyword. For example, people search for “Is marijuana a weed” over 7.5 million times each month. I had no idea so many of you had this question. Being that we are THE Weed Blog, I set out to answer the question once and for all.
I had always assumed ‘weed’ was just a slang term that started with prohibition, but had become a term of endearment. And, I had heard other growers say ganja is basically a weed because of how hardily it grows and spreads. I dug in. First, I turned to Google, and found this answer on wiki.anwers.com: “that’s just a slang term because it is a plant that comes from the ground.” True, but so are tulips, and roses. I get why and how the slang term started, but the question remains–is cannabis a weed by horticultural standards?
According to Wikipedia, “A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance. The word is normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm fields and gardens, but also lawns, parks, woods, and other areas…” Again, I’m not sure that answers the question. I personally don’t know any farmers or gardeners with excess ganja that just won’t go away. If you do, let’s talk. Next, Wikipedia says weeds are plants that “interfere with other cosmetic, decorative, or recreational goals, such as in lawns, landscape architecture, playing fields, and golf courses.” I’d love to see a world, sometime soon, where cannabis is used in landscape architecture, and on golf courses. Finally, this definition explains it well for me: “the term weed in its general sense is a subjective one, without any classification value, since a plant that is a weed in one context is not a weed when growing where it belongs or is wanted.”
Ultimately, it is as I first suspected: for those of us who love it, marijuana is not a weed in the strict sense of the word. We welcome it, nurture it, and risk our lives and freedom to ensure its survival. But, the term ‘weed’ is no longer negative. It’s our word now. By taking over derogatory terms, we take another arrow from our enemy’s quiver. I’ve heard weed activists debate the point, and I immediately tune them out–whether it’s weed, pot, grass, ganja, bud, marijuana, mota, cheeba, cannabis, or the chronic, I’ll take it. What’s your favorite slang term for weed?