AND THE COMING OF THE
ANTI-MEDICAL MARIHUANA LAWS
1934 THE YEAR OF CHANGE
THE CAMPAIGN STARTS IN ERNEST
The year 1934 marked the beginning of a new phase in the Reefer Madness campaign. Previous to that was the era of the Mexican Bandito (the very word “Marihuana” refers to a brown skin Mexican), or something that those colored people over there liked to use.
Now enters Harry Anslinger and his Bureau of Narcotics, and everything quickly changes. While he didn’t create the Reefer Madness campaign (as we have seen it was in existence long before he became our first drug czar), still he quickly high-jacked it for his own sinister purposes. NOTE HOWEVER, that while his bureau was now orchestrating the campaign, it was impossible for even him to control every aspect of it. In fact from what we can tell it appears that (at least in regards to films) the Reefer Madness campaign seems to have taken a life of its own.
WARNING: For the most part we have NOT actually seen the films mentioned below and are relying on the words of others. Thus some of these movies, newsreels etc., may NOT EVEN have any reefer madness content associated with them. In addition (as in other cases) no pretense is made that this listing is in any way complete. In fact it should be seen solely as a starting point for scholars of the era.
1936 - MARIHUANA
aka: MARIJUANA - THE DEVIL'S WEED
aka: THE DEVIL'S WEED
aka: THE WEED WITH ROOTS IN HELL
Skinny dipping, illegitimate children, and of course, the devil's weed highlight this exploitation "documentary" that illustrates how good girls go bad after smoking the devil's weed. One of the classic exploitation films of the era, director Dwayne Esper does it again, and Anslinger must have been proud of this government-produced extravaganza. The foreword states: "For centuries the world has been aware of the narcotic menace. We have complacently watched Asiatic countries attempt to rid themselves of DRUGS CURSE, and attributed their failure to lack of education. We consider ourselves enlightened, and think that never could we succumb to such a fate. But--did you know that-the use of Marihuana is steadily increasing among the youth of this country? Did you know that---the youthful criminal is our greatest problem today? And that---Marihuana gives the user false courage and destroys conscience; thereby making crime alluring, smart? That is the price we are paying for our lack of interest in the narcotic situation. This story is drawn from an actual case history on file in the police records of one of our large cities. Note: MARIHUANA, Hashish of the Orient, is commonly distributed as a doped cigarette. Its most terrifying effect is that it fires the user to extreme cruelty
1936 - MARIHUANA: ASSASSIN OF YOUTH
aka: Assassin Of Youth
BCM Productions. 1937; Prod: ended late Sep 1937 at Grand National Studios
MARIHUANA: ASSASSIN OF YOUTH
Exploitation is the name of the game as this film explores the evils that await those who indulge in marihuana. The story attempts to illustrate the sins produced by marihuana, and this film indeed begins with sin, when the elderly Elizabeth Barrie is struck and killed by a youth who, while driving and smoking marihuana, kisses a girl, causing the accident. It seems the evil of marihuana is merged here with the evil of pre-marital kissing. Can it get any worse? YES!
Nov 24, 1936 - HEARST METROTONE NEWSREEL
[Vol. 8, no. 220]
Title: NEWS OF THE DAY.
MUSEUM COMMENT: The following info is taken directly from the UCLA film archive library index.
LIBRARY INDEX DATA: excerpt. U.S. pushes war on dope--Washington, D.C.] Author: Anslinger, H. J Author(s): Anslinger, H. J.; 1892- ; (Harry Jacob), Corp Author(s): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Publication: United States : A Metro-Goldwyn Mayer release, Year: 1936
Abstract: Includes footage of Treasury agents, furnace oven.
Contents: Shot description: Men unloading box of narcotics. Opening case of same. Box of heroin (close-up). Shoes in which heroin was concealed (close-up). Package of heroin (close-up). Opening case with ounce boxes of heroin. Various scenes of men throwing narcotics into furnace. Smoke coming out of chimney. Talk by Harry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of Narcotics. Various other silent takes (Hearst index card).
Note(s): Incorporates the following Hearst production footage: Narcotic story, Washington, D.C., HCOc781r1, HNRv8n220./ Story was shot November 24, 1936 according to Hearst index card./ Rights held by UCLA Film and Television Archive. General Info: Version: Released sound track version.
Other Titles: Narcotic story, Washington, D.C. Hearst production footage, HCOc781r1, HNRv8n220. Accession No: OCLC: 79192903
1936 - MARIHUANA, EL MONSTRUO VERDE
A Mexican film (Marihuana, the Green Monster) was released in Jun Directed by José Bohr - Release date: 4 June 1936 (Mexico)
Also Known As: - Mariguana Monstruo verde, El (Mexico)
Runtime: 90 min - Language: Spanish
Title Marijuana : la venganza de la sombra.
Language Spanish - UC Los Angeles - FilmTV M19598
[AS PER THE BLOG SITE]
Mariguana: el monstruo verde (1936) de José Bohr es un claro ejemplo de la idiosincrasia del creador metomentodo, pues en esta cinta es director, actor, productor, guionista y compositor. Nada menos.
Cinta mexicana que narra la desgracia de un policia, el mismo Bohr, que se vuelve adicto a la marihuana y que sólo le comportará frecuentar malas compañías. El protagonista terminará formando parte de una de las mafias que intentarán abonar la sociedad con la monstruosa hierba verde. Haciéndose pasar por el "gringo Daniel", dará la vuelta a todas las expectativas vitales que tenía por delante.
Por cierto, la imagen es del propio director.
[ENGLISH TRANSLATION] (more or less)
MARIGUANA: The Green Monster (1936) by Joe Bohr is a clear example idiosyncrasy of the creator familiarity as (in this Mexican film) he serves as director, actor, producer, screenwriter and composer. (For him), nothing less (will do).
A Mexican movie that narrates (the story) of a disgraced police official (played by Bohr himself) who becomes addicted to the Marihuana and (thereafter) solely (begins to) associate with bad company. The protagonist (it turns out) forms part of a Mafia with intentions to addict ALL of society with the monstrous green herb. (the plot than goes on about) . . .To make sure that the return trip of the Gringo (American) “Daniel” goes well, all the vital (paper work) paper work is done in advanced?
For certain, (the whole movie) is all the imagination of the director.
1937 - TELL YOUR CHILDREN
aka: Re-released in 1939 as THE BURNING QUESTION
aka: Re-released in 1947 as REEFER MADNESS
TELL YOUR CHILDREN
What makes Reefer Madness so notorious is its utter disregard for truth, and over-the-top dramatization. It should be noted however that the movie was made with the complete cooperation of the DEA then known as the Bureau of Narcotics.
The narrator [theoretically a high school principal, Dr. Alfred Carroll] warns parents about the dangers . . . "Marihuana is... an unspeakable scourge --the Real Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is sudden violent, uncontrollable laughter, then come dangerous hallucinations, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions, leading finally to acts of shocking violence…ending often in incurable insanity." He tells us how "time slows down…almost stops," that it is "worse than heroin." Can it get any worse? Oh yes, oh yes.
MUSEUM COMMENT: - The entire movie script can be obtained on line via various websites such as the one below:
1938 - PAROLED FROM THE BIG HOUSE:
PAROLED FROM THE BIG HOUSE
Not really a reefer madness film. The story has more to do with an outlaw gang and a protection racket. If it wasn't for the fact that one of the main characters (while at a police station) meets a marihuana addict, Binnie Bell, who is on good terms with the gang, and who talks her into taking a job at a gangster hangout. The movie would probably not be worth mentioning.
1938 - THE WAGES OF SIN
(Real Life Dramas; 14 Jul 1939; LP8177)
THE WAGES OF SIN
The good girl is this flick is Marjorie, who is poor but works hard in a laundry to support her no-good parents and older brothers. Being poor, she is unkempt, and shunned by her co-workers. However, when her co-worker Florence invites her on a double date, Marjorie is able to borrow clothes and have her hair done. The girls are taken to one of those notorious cafes where booze and drugs flow and anything goes. Marjorie gets drunk and tries a marihuana cigarette --- it's all downhill from there. . . .
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