Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness is a 1936-1939 American propaganda film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana. It shows how the drug leads to a hit and run accident, manslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, and even to a descent into madness. The film directed by Louis Gasnier and starred a cast composed of mostly unknown bit actors was financed by a church group under the title "Tell Your Children" and was intended to be shown to parents as a morality tale attempting to teach them about the dangers of using this drug.
This Is The Root Of Many Myths!

We should not underestimate how the propaganda film, Reefer Madness has greatly and quietly influenced the views of a whole generation of Americans towards marijuana also known as cannabis. The film strongly promoted the idea that if a person used or tried marijuana even once they would be hooked on it and that it was highly addictive. This has caused society to view marijuana as a gateway drug and fear it will be the pathway to even worse and more dangerous drugs. As a result of this film, we have generated laws throwing a large number of people that have cultivated, sold, possessed and even used marijuana in prison.

Now with prisons across America bursting at the seams we are finally beginning to question the wisdom of these costly policies. Society is changing and the legalization of marijuana by states in a rush to get tax revenue will most likely have ramifications on other social norms and laws.  Expect the debate to spill over into areas such as laws governing the smoking of cigarettes and age limitations on drinking. For years many people have sought the legalization of marijuana or viewed its use as a victimless crime, this is about to become a reality.

With states hungry for tax revenue expect a rush to clear away legal roadblocks to mainstream it into American life and society. Other taboos may also be rolled back as we become more tolerant and open. Even cities are jumping on the bandwagon and leaping in front of action taken by individual states. This will massively muddy the water as conflicting jurisdictions must hash out what is legal and constitutional. The next few years should end the influence of "Reefer Madness" the silly little film that has held our culture hostage and sparked needless fear of a plant that grows everywhere.

Footnote; The trailer for "Reefer Madness" and the entire movie is available on U-Tube for those interested. As always comments are encouraged. If you have time you might also be interested in a post about how Indiana is going against this trend and toughening laws against this drug, or the cost of our war on drugs. The links are below.


  1. Reefer Madness is really an eye-opening film. Its cinematography looks excellent too.
    -Foreign Earned Income Tax Credit

  2. It is rather interesting to watch. What is most surprising is the influence it garnered in those who saw it as a true look into the influence of marijuana.