mar·i·jua·na | \ˌmer-ə-ˈwä-nə, ˌma-rə- also -ˈhwä-\
variants: or less commonly marihuana

Definition of marijuana 

1 : the psychoactive dried resinous flower buds and leaves of the female hemp or cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa or C. indica) that contain high levels of THC and are smoked, vaped, or ingested (as in baked goods) especially for their intoxicating effect : cannabis

Note: Several substances (as cannabidiol) lacking psychoactive properties are extracted from the flower buds of marijuana and are used medicinally.

— compare bhang, hashish — see also medical marijuana

Examples of marijuana in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The state has become one of the more active battlegrounds in a national conversation about legalizing marijuana. Marco Santana,, "Marijuana advocates promote education amidst growing legalization push," 14 July 2018 Oregon was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana in 1998, and in 2014 voters approved allowing recreational use. Washington Post, "Oregon’s medical marijuana program admits to problems," 13 July 2018 Many of them are calling for legalizing marijuana, releasing some inmates early, closing one or more prisons and ending parole and probation revocations for violating supervision rules. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "AG Brad Schimel: Democratic candidates' plans to cut prison population are 'deceiving the public'," 9 July 2018 In addition to their musical affiliation, both Nelson and O'Rourke are in favor of legalizing marijuana and have spoken out strongly against the Trump administration's family separation policies along the U.S.-Mexico border. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke Jams on Weed Anthems With Willie Nelson at Annual 4th of July Picnic," 6 July 2018 First, Mayor Rahm's resisted efforts to legalize marijuana. Ben Joravsky, Chicago Reader, "News / Politics Rahm makes a joke out of Quinn's term-limit push, but voters could have last laugh," 3 July 2018 Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana earlier this week, but residents who want to have a medical cannabis card and own a gun may see their hopes go up in smoke. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Medical marijuana or guns? Oklahoma latest state forced to choose," 29 June 2018 Since 1996, 29 states have legalized marijuana for medical use. Heidi Vogt, WSJ, "In a Twist, Marijuana Group Wants More Rules," 28 June 2018 Oklahoma is now the 30th state to legalize marijuana in some capacity. Tauhid Chappell,, "Supreme Courts decision could affect Pennsylvania politics, two casinos open in Atlantic city | Morning Newsletter," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'marijuana.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of marijuana

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for marijuana

Mexican Spanish mariguana, marihuana

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Statistics for marijuana

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for marijuana

The first known use of marijuana was in 1874

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English Language Learners Definition of marijuana

: the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant that are smoked as a drug


mar·i·jua·na | \ˌmer-ə-ˈwä-nə \

Kids Definition of marijuana

: dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant smoked as a drug


variants: also marihuana \ˌmar-ə-ˈwän-ə also -ˈhwän- \

Medical Definition of marijuana 

2 : the dried leaves and flowering tops of the pistillate hemp plant that yield THC and are typically smoked for their intoxicating effect — compare bhang, cannabis, hashish

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Comments on marijuana

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evasion of direct action or statement

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