This is the original 1938 version of REEFER MADNESS. The climate in America at that time saw the end of alcohol prohibition in 1933.
The government needed a new scapegoat to ban. Enter pot.
It was convenient and fairly easy to demonize the plant. Many people used it, in part because alcohol was not available.
Although, it was well known that poor neighborhoods, which included many minorities had rampant marijuana use.
This movie is clearly geared to upper class, educated young white people. Which is revealing in itself.
REEFER MADNESS was and still is considered the archetypal sensationalized anti-drug movie.
It’s also exploitive. It was made to capitalize on the new and super hot marijuana taboo. Which they successful employed.
They avoided the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 which forbade the use of immoral acts such as drug use.
This Public Domain Video Courtesy:
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