Why does the Government of Canada still insist on calling it “Marihuana”?
As the debate about the place of cannabis in polite Canadian society has accelerated, along with steps to further legitimize its distribution for medicinal purposes, one specific quirk has seemed to draw an increasing amount of attention: How the government spells a certain nine-letter synonym.â€œMarihuanaâ€ has remained the standard in most federal communications, in order to remain consistent, even though the choice of more phonetic Mexican Spanish spelling preceded common recreational use and its regular appearance in the news media as â€œmarijuana.â€ The clash between the legal â€œhâ€ and casual â€œjâ€ has also persisted in several states south of the border. But a definitive answer about why has remained elusive â€” even to the High Times magazine editorial board. Nonetheless, the standard spelling dictated by The Canadian Press does not cut â€œmarihuanaâ€ any slack as â€œmarijuanaâ€ has long been established in the English language. As a result, journalists, politicians and others inclined to follow police departments on Twitter cannot avoid remarking upon how unusual it looks, whatever the context.Most recently, the spelling was featured in the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations that were introduced in late September. An inquiry about the aversion to the â€œjâ€ generated this official response from Health Canada: â€œMarihuana with an â€˜hâ€™ is one of a number of recognized spellings in the Oxford English Dictionary. While the spelling with a â€˜jâ€™ has been retained in US statute, the â€˜hâ€™ has been retained in European statutes, including in the U.K. and France. This is the spelling retained in Canadian statute.â€ But with new businesses seeking to take advantage of the legal status of marijuana has come an apparent difference of opinion about how it should be spelled in order to be taken seriously. National Access Canada, based in Vancouver, has introduced what it pointedly calls a Medical Marihuana Card â€” which is geared to ensuring that patients can efficiently access dispensaries that have implemented traditional pharmaceutical software. The service was developed by Alex Abellan, who determined that the â€œhâ€ was essential to distinguish his effort from anything recreational. But a pharmaceutical company seeking to draw a similar distinction, MediJean, has opted for the familiar spelling of marijuana as it launches a campaign to distinguish its medicinal offerings from what it calls â€œstreet potâ€ â€” which includes an effort to spread the message that unlicensed cannabis that is potentially sprayed with window cleaner is probably not good for your health. Anton Mattadeen, the chief strategy officer of MediJean, explains that the company did considerable research into its marketing effort â€” which includes the launch of a website designed to spark a national online debate â€” although a spelling that would seem strange to most Canadians was avoided. Nonetheless, he points out that any correspondence between the company and the government continues to involve spelling the stuff â€œmarihuanaâ€ â€” even as most of the nation wonders why.Original Source: http://o.canada.com/health/marijuana-marihuana-canada-spelling-what/