Recently, a press conference was held where the government outlined its plans for legalization and took questions from the media. Those questions were peppered with mixed terminology—marijuana, pot, weed—but the politicians showed remarkable, purposeful restraint. In every answer, for nearly an hour, they responded using only the term “cannabis.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: His government uses ‘cannabis’ exclusively. (Enrique De La Osa, Pool photo via AP) “The Government of Canada deems that it is more appropriate to use the term ‘cannabis’ when engaging in a serious discussion about the new legal framework that would legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis,” explains Liberal party spokesperson Gary Holub. Marijuana, Holub says, “is a term that is not scientifically precise.” For cannabis advocates, this realization, after nearly a century of prohibition, is a welcomed change. “I’m glad they’re using “cannabis”—that’s the correct name of the plant—and it begins the process of telling the truth about this substance, which has been shrouded in myth and misinformation for far too long,” Craig Jones, the executive director of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada, writes in an email. Canada to Legalize Marijuana. Here’s What You Need to Know “Most other names were originally terms of derision or abuse—so I’m fine with the use of cannabis. About time.” Just as marijuana was once codified into law in America, changing the tone and tenor of the conversation, Canada is now experiencing its own lexical shift. It remains to be seen what broader changes will come as a result, but the groundwork is being laid. The Canadian legislation that would legalize cannabis nationwide is proposed to go in effect next July.