The marijuana industry thinks the use of the word "pot" makes them look stupid — as if their mascots, Cheech & Chong, didn't already do that for them.
According to Anchorage Daily News, the marijuana industry has grown very self-conscious of the stereotypical image of "the stoner," typically pictured in a tie-dye shirt smoking joints all day in a 60's VW bus. Now that California and several other states have voted to legalize the drug's recreational use, the industry wants a new image.
"Marijuana still carries a stigma that surfaces with the use of old slang like pot and weed," reports ADN. "For many, the words evoke an image of lazy, not-so-bright people who puff their lives away."
The industry wishes people start using the more scientifically-minded name "Cannabis" instead.
"The image deeply bothers the marijuana industry, which is telling the public — sometimes gently, sometimes curtly — that they should use the word cannabis," ADN continued. "That's the scientific name for the plant from which marijuana is derived.
Chris Coogan, co-founder of Therapy Tonics & Provisions, a La Jolla cannabis drink company, says that more "sophisticated" references toward weed will kill the negativity.
"People are taking a more sophisticated approach to using cannabis, especially in using the right dosing," Coogan said. "We don't want people to think of it as negative."
The state of California has not done the best job of dispelling the stereotype, given that it enlisted "Cheech Marin of Cheech and Chong fame to help show Californians how to register their marijuana businesses."
Fast food restaurants have gotten in on the action too, with a San Diego-based Jack in the Box now promoting the "Merry Munchie Meal" in concert with Merry Jane, a marijuana news and lifestyle website.
For people who seek to make pot great again, the "merry munchie meal" will only reinforce the stereotype of the stoner rolling up to the drive-thru at 2:00 a.m after three joints and a bong hit.
B. Le Grand, the publisher for the Los Angeles-based Edibles List, which promotes edible marijuana, says the stereotype distracts from the drug's medicinal value.
"People in our industry and activists don't like the word pot because it doesn't focus on the medicinal value of the plant, which is what's important," said Le Grand. "We don't like the word marijuana, either."
Zach Lazarus, co-founder of A Green Alternative, a pot shop, concurs that the word enforces negative stereotypes.
"You hear newscasters referring to dispensaries as pot shops. You don't hear the same newscasters referring to a liquor store as a Booze Shop or an Alcoholic's Store," said Lazarus.
Who would have thought that weed would become the latest casualty of political correctness? Put that in your pipe and smoke it.