What's in a Name?
Marijuana, Grass, Chronic, Ganja, Weed. Just a few of the hundreds of nicknames Cannabis is called by. I always called it weed in my younger days, as in, "Hey, man. You got any weed?". These days, after much research, I have a tendency to call it Cannabis, especially when speaking to legislators and medical professionals. That is its proper name, after all.
Still, most Americans still call it marijuana, simply because that's what it's been called since the 1930s, thanks to The Marihuana Tax Act, so using the word Cannabis may serve to confuse some. In the end, I don't think it matters much, as long as we're talking about the issue.
"Recreational" vs Medicinal Use?
Is there really a difference? When I used "weed" in my early years this question wouldn't have crossed my mind. I just knew it made me feel good and I liked it. Then life put me in a position in which I had to stop, and I did for nearly 30 years.
I've only been back in the culture for about 5 years. When I was reintroduced, I found out that the "feeling good" part was even better than I'd remembered, not so much because of the mild euphoria (which is a plus), but because a lot of my aches and pains went away. I knew it beat the hell out of all the Pharma I was on, and cannabis helped me wean myself off all of it.
I've met a lot of folks who use cannabis since I stepped into this fight, and I've listened to them talk, heard their stories. Some are Moms and Dads, some are business owners, some are attorneys, some are teachers, some are medical professionals. Even the ones who don't realize it use it as medicine. Whether it's to help focus, or relax, or de-stress, or ease physical pain or calm their demons, there's a reason they choose it over other substances.
So these days, I'd have to say, "No, there's no difference".
Is the phrase "recreational use" slowing progress?
Should we stop using the term "recreational use"? Still pondering that.
The term certainly causes a lot of controversy in Georgia. Anti-marijuana groups here use it almost as a curse. Cannabidiol advocates still shy away from it, though that's changing somewhat. It certainly trips Law Enforcement's trigger.
On the other hand Millenials, the demographic we most need most active here in The Peach State would surely identify more with "recreational use" than with "medical use".
A Rose by any other name
In the end, I don't think it matters one way or the other what we call it. The important issue is, we are talking about it. The more we talk about it, educate about it, the further along the road we get. WHEN WE ARE TALKING, WE ARE WINNING!!
This is a marathon, not a sprint. The effects of 80 years of public condemnation of this plant by our government won't be changed overnight, so call it what you will. JUST KEEP TALKING.