Please Stop Trying to Cancel “Marijuana”

Before brushing into a zeitgeist of parenthood when I illustrated a not-for-bedtime-story, Go the Fuck to Sleep, I wrote and illustrated a children’s book that was, for some, even more controversial. In 2005, I published It’s Just a Plant — A Children’s Story About Marijuana, a tool for parents to discuss a complicated plant with their kids. I recently released an updated edition. This time around, I was surprised to find an audience more sympathetic to my subject, but one that would also admonish me for using the word “marijuana” in its discussion. I received suggestions from pro-pot activists that we eradicate the word “marijuana,” all the while pushing to ensure safe and legal access to “cannabis.” As their story goes, the history of marijuana prohibition in the United States was born of racism when “cannabis” was transformed into “marijuana” to conflate its use with law-breaking Mexican immigrants. So why not cancel the problematic term?

all illustrations by the author

I draw, write, & sometimes publish books. Drug wars, oceans, jails, children's books. Rmcortes.com

I draw, write, & sometimes publish books. Drug wars, oceans, jails, children's books. Rmcortes.com