Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reefer Madness: Great Propaganda or Greatest Propaganda?

I finally sat down and watched one of the most famous propaganda movies of all time - Reefer Madness. Shortest review ever - great! Reefer Madness  is a hilarious romp through the paranoid and uneducated minds of 1930's America. If you have ever picked up a joint or hit a bowl, chances are you have at least heard, if not seen, this now cult classic.

Made in 1936 as an anti-marijuana propaganda film, Reefer Madness portrays marijuana users as sex crazed and violent drug fiends, on par with the likes of heroin and other hard drug users. The story tells a tale of seedy drug pushers in business suits hunting high school children to get hooked. They bring these kids to Mae's apartment, one of the pushers though she prefers to sell to adults.

This marijuana den is a non-stop party for young and old alike. This good Christian film takes a turn for the decidedly dark when one of the pushers - and marijuana addict - attempts to rape one of the high school girls. This attempted rape causes a chain reaction of events, including a murder, that ends with one man's permanent insanity.

These marijuana smokers also commit hit and runs and have sex like it's the 1970's. To add to the truth of this film, the filmmakers (I use that term loosely) add in accounts of marijuana users ax murdering their families and having group sex. These filmmakers were a church group that made this film to educate parents on the dangers of marijuana use.

To be completely honest, as extreme as these claims are, they are not much more out there than some recent claims.

We all know that marijuana kills brain cells, right? And that was found to be completely true:

Of course, if you don't care about your brain, you have to care about your country...

Both of these claims are untrue, of course. Video one explains itself and any search on marijuana production shows that it is such a widely grown crop domestically that importing would just be too expensive to supply the entire country.

Another great similarity to today's War on Drugs is the importance of protecting the kids. The original title of the film was Tell Your Children and geared at parents. A big chunk of arguments by today's anti marijuana voices want to keep it illegal to protect the children, which is a flimsy argument as well. But I digress...

I definitely suggest watching Reefer Madness  and maybe even picking up a copy cheap somewhere to show around. It is a great film for a night of tokin' and munchin'.

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