Reefer Madness is a 1936 marijuana propaganda film.
Originally financed by a church group under the title Tell Your Children, the film was intended to be shown to parents as a morality tale attempting to teach them about the dangers of cannabis use. However, soon after the film was shot, it was purchased by producer Dwain Esper, who re-cut the film for distribution on the exploitation film circuit beginning in 1938/39 through the 40s and 50s.
The film was “rediscovered” in the early 1970s and gained new life as unintentional satire among advocates of cannabis policy reform. Despite its finding a popular audience as a cult film, critics have panned it asone of the worst films ever made. Today, it is in the public domain in the United States.
How did Reefer Madness Begin?
During Prohibition – an era also referred to as The Roaring Twenties – government corruption was rampant and police – a huge portion of them on “the take”–had no desire to see Prohibition end. The booze ran free at speakeasies, morals were loose, and jazz was the music of choice, performed predominantly by African-American musicians who also had a penchant for marijuana.
As the 1920’s moved into the 1930’s with gang wars becoming commonplace and public dissatisfaction with Prohibition at it’s peak, it became clear to even the most corrupt government officials and even organized crime that the Volstead Act had to go. But it would not go quietly, and something had to be created to take it’s place to keep law enforcement funds rolling in and organized crime in business.
Local and federal policing agencies had grown fat during Prohibition, and a repeal would put many of them flat out of work. At the same time, the tyrannical William Randolph Hearst, the most powerful newspaper owner in America, began printing falsified and exaggerated stories about the “evils of marijuana”. A blatant racist who despised Hispanics and Blacks, Hearst used his vast newspaper empire to create hysteria among white parents, alleging that “pushers” – most of them from the lowly ethnic minority class that Hearst despised– would be dealing marijuana to high school kids, turning them into addicts who would quit school, commit violent crimes like murder and rape as depicted in the laughable film “Reefer Madness“, produced in 1936.
Source: Reefer Madness
Lets get this strait…“Reefer Madness” was created out of false evidence to smear not only Marijuana but ethnic minority groups? I’ve seen the film a few times and all I can think about is how Marijuana has not one time made feel like any of the users in the movie and I’m part of the minority group they depict.
Its seems Race has always played a part in satire or way to scare the mass away from what is truth. How many times will blacks, Mexicans, Muslims be used to smear propaganda, has society reached its point of seeing through the lies or will we continue to listen to incompetent racist who only fear is not knowing the truth?
For Example Donald Trump Recently said
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.” According to NPR
Sure Race has played a part in the drug war from the start– pointing fingers at minority groups for the the increase of drug use in our nation is just pompous. Its obvious that the people of our nation have a desire for not only legalization nation wife of Marijuana but are now seeking further research into other drugs that have been labeled dangerous. Although Marijuana remains illegal on a federal level even states that once said No to Drugs are now saying yes to the booming Marijuana Industry, leaving them with no choice but to seek legalization.
Its proven that prohibition leads to more and more people seeking what ever has been prohibited, these only leads to black market businesses opening doors and bootleggers doing what they do best. Maybe all along the government just saw a way to steal money from hard working individuals that where only doing what what was once a very profitable legal market? Its clear that Mexicans and African Americans aren’t the only ones who desire the sweet taste and curing properties (Maryjane) Marijuana, so why not end the War on Drugs and let the Green Rush take over the economy?