Time and time again we have individuals calling the laboratory and informing us that we have misspelled Marihuna (Marijuana). The most common way is noted with the “j”. However, the legal and scientific spelling is an “h”. This legal spelling dates to the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act in which the word is spelled with an “h” and hence became part of the common American spelling. While no one knows exactly why the spelling was changed, it is rumored that it was spelled with a “j” in order to make it sound more “dangerous” in the efforts to prevent people from its use. The hard pronunciation (and origin) of the word in Spanish, to someone just seemed to make it more fitting. Others believe it is because Americans began to adopt many of the Mexican derived words.
Depending on what you are reading or what law you reference in the United States Legal Codes relating to Marihuana, the spelling appears interchangeably. As a result you will often see marihuana (marijuana) spelled two ways.For more information check out the article written in the Washington post in 2016:'Marijuana' or 'marihuana'? It's all weed to the DE article