These days, it is widely accepted that marijuana is not a taboo anymore and the plant is now used daily for medicinal purposes. Marijuana is gaining wide credibility and acceptance in popular media, business and academic environment. In the 20th century, there was a widespread propaganda against marijuana and a small part of this prejudice still lives on in the society.
In the 1930s, marijuana was a substance that was regarded as being consumed by jazz musicians, immigrants from Mexico and others who resided in the city apart from the general populace. People did not think it affected the mainstream population.
The commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), Harry Anslinger then created the marijuana drug scare to drive money into the accounts of his agency. This led to almost ten years long propaganda spearheaded by the anti-marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness. This spread the government’s message that the use of marijuana will lead to sexual promiscuity or even insanity.
The film released in 1936 showed the propaganda against cannabis in its initial iteration. The story highlights the case of a young man that smoked marijuana and found himself engaging in murder and other violence. This ultimately led to insanity and suicide. In the 1930s, Indian hemp and cannabis which had been grown for centuries in the United States even by founding fathers began to be called marijuana. This could even be in an effort to relate it with the Mexican immigrants. The great depression occurred around this period and the Mexicans were also accused of taking the jobs that belonged to Americans.
Here is the full Reefer Madness movie:
Here is another link to another propaganda movie released in 1936. It is titled Marijuana: The Devil’s Weed. In the film, the life of a high school girl is ruined after becoming friends with a drug dealer that invited her to a party at his beach house. This film tried to show the horrors of using cannabis.
Thankfully, things have changed today. We are no longer in the days of the government scaring people with anti-marijuana propaganda. Nowadays Cannabis is growing into a flourishing legal market with many different niches, cannabis seeds banks, marijuana infused edibles and lots more.
There is now a widespread public support on the issue of legalization of marijuana. A survey released by the University of Chicago and Associated Press showed that over 60% of adults in America supports the legalization of marijuana.
Categorised in: Horror Movies
This post was written by Nadia Vella