When is a Weed not a Weed?

‘Weed’ is a funny word. We usually associate with a wild flower, which in most controlled gardening contexts would be classified as unwanted. Dictionary.com has two definitions of the word, the first being a wild plant that has no specific value, especially in a setting which is cultivated with planned plants and flowers. The second explanation is refers to it as undesirable and troublesome, especially if it is growing where is it not wanted. However, looking further down the list one would spot a fourth definition which mentions weed as ‘slang. A marijuana cigarette’, in which case, in certain contexts it might be wanted.

Generally speaking, a wild flower is classified as a weed simply because it was not planted there as part of the plan for the garden. Many gardeners love the look and appearance of the ‘morning glory’ flower, but others absolutely detest it simply because the seeds are self-propagating and even though the gardener may pull the dead plants up each year, the seeds will grow again in the same place next year, not necessarily a desired event.

Some plants are classified as controlled plants, such as marijuana. The cannabis plant is illegal in many states—until recently when Washington and Colorado both legalized the use of it—and it is forbidden to be grown in settings other than those licensed by the state. The federal government still insists that the substance is illegal but has agreed not to pursue prosecution when it is not necessary in those two states. Also around the country, despite what the law says people will wear weed t-shirts as a form of expression.

The Ritualistic Weed

Cannabis is a ritualistic weed which has been used since ancient times. The earliest recorded use of such drug was around 3000 B.C in South and Central Asia. In those days it was smoked and it also assumed that despite the plant not being indigenous to North America there were other strains of the plants which may have been used in the smoking of the ‘peace pipes’ of the native Americans.  Modern day pharmacological cults are determined to classify it as potentially dangerous or a gateway drug, but others believe the exact opposite and it is used in many countries for medicinal purposes with some excellent results.

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