Marijuana or Marihuana

Posted on November 17, 2022 View all news

Joe Tilton

February 1, 2018

Thank you for being interested in what Michigan is doing with the subject of cannabis. Articles are meant to inform so when facing the issue in the ballot box, you are decided rather than confused.

Calls to the Lakeview Area News about the spelling needs to be cleared up with reasons why we have been using “marihuana” rather than “marijuana.”

The Cannabis Attorneys of Michigan released a statement that reads; “So why does Michigan (and Cannabis Attorneys of Michigan) spell marihuana with an “h” anyway? Michigan’s spelling is primarily sourced from the original spelling of the word, which first appears in U.S. law in the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, drafted by the infamous Harry Anslinger, head of the Bureau of Narcotics under President Franklin Roosevelt. Its origins are in Mexican-Spanish and the later modern spelling using a “h” was an uniquely American one. Canada spells it with an “h” as well, as does the federal government on occasion. Our firm uses the “h” spelling out of deference to the Michigan spelling. Both “j” and “h” spellings are equally accurate and acceptable, but if you are conflicted, you can always just use “cannabis.”

Reason one for our use of “h” in the spelling in our stories is that we are in Michigan, and when in Michigan do what Michigan does. Two, the attorneys are correct, the “j” use is Mexican Spanish. And in Spanish, the “j” is pronounced like “h.” So even when we use the “j” the pronunciation is still “h.” We are an English newspaper, so we write in English, which is not a regional thing, but English is the dominant language used in our nation, and regardless of the spelling, is an issue of major importance. A vote on this issue may be in order as well. Perhaps “marijuana” is more exotic, or more people are speaking Spanish.

Somebody make up a good joke about H or J and send it to us.

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