Behind the “M Word”: The Forgotten Trans-Border History of Marijuana

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At the end of the 19th century, cannabis was widely prescribed by US doctors for maladies from diarrhea to alcohol addiction. But when General Pancho Villa commandeered thousands of acres of his land in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, US press magnate William Randolph Hearst became irate. The publisher used his considerable influence to launch a campaign against all things Mexican, and soon US media published article after article denouncing “marijuana,” a term that at the time sounded foreign to them. The drug was stripped of all connection to cannabis and presented as the gates to insanity – possibly even the source of the “‘bravery’ of ‘Greaser’ Bandits who defy the United States,’” as a 1905 Washington Post article suggested. “They cannot make a law against you as a race or as a culture.” But Isaac Campos is well aware of the word’s past. Behind the “M Word”: The Forgotten Trans-Border History of Marijuana

thumbnail courtesy of remezcla.com

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