Chapter 3
Old Time Radio Programs


While there is NO OFFICIAL definition as to what IS-IS NOT a Reefer Madness OTR. The museums own definition is:
“A radio program (between the years 1930-1969), claiming or implying that Medical Marihuana causes its (drug crazed addicts) to grab an axe and kill someone.”
Unfortunately using this definition means that the following OTR’s, while contain anti-Medical Marihuana references, just don’t qualify as part of the Reefer Madness campaign.

And while true that for the most part these are negative references, there either not provocative enough or are used only as part of a subplot.   Example:   The “Bob Hope Show,” treats the subject as a joke, but only as one of many.

But on the other hand, we simply can’t ignore these programs, ---take for example -- “The Adventures of Marco Polo”, which contains a few episodes dealing with the “Old Man of the Mountain” or the Assassins Myth.   Granted the word Hashish is only used a few times, but still, it helped to perpetuate the myth that Medical Marihuana incites people to crime and murder or worse.

  • "Burning Fortunes" [10-11-1954] - Not Reefer Madness, only a few mentions - Example: “See over there that’s . . . an Italian Marijuana dealer,“ etc.
  • ”Behind The Gold Curtain” [10-25-1954] 30 min - Program #5. A shipment of Gold and Reefers are being smuggled.
  • "Narcotics Intelligence Bureau [11-08-1954] - 30 min About Hashish smugglers in Egypt.
  • "The Black Book" [11-15-1954] 30 min long - A gang of smugglers kill a narc.
  • “A Thousand Nightmares” - [01-24-1955] - 30 min A gang of narc's but the squeezed on someone to help them trap a New York drug dealer.

    Perry Mason:  
  • June 13, 195. [title 1] On the trail of marijuana. [title 2] Raid On A Den Of Marijuana, [title 3] Mr. X., John Larkin, Erle Stanley Gardner (creator). 15 minutes -- Program can be downloaded from -- , but it's mix in with a suspense episode. Program seems to be one of an ongoing episode.

    The Jean Shepherd :  
  • December 1963. WOR, New York. The date is approximate - 45 Min. Talks a little about some mice in Los Angeles that are addicted to Marijuana, -- He is very negative about it.
  • August 1963. 45 Min. WOR, New York. Mr. Shepherd has unkind words to say about those who use marijuana.
  • #71 WOR-FM 90" August 1963 Hypnotism; Thinking Vs. Subconscious
  • Nov 63 WOR Show - Mice, Basements, and the Furnace [Have not heard]
  • Oct. 1971 WOR Show - Trivia, Pot News, a short (joke like) scratch about marihuana
  • Nov. 3,1972 WOR Show - Marijuana Soup, Chicken Plucking, Motor Pool (A beginning short about marihuana)
  • April 10, 1969 45 min long, WOR Show - Sort of joke against Marihuana.
  • 70813. July 1, 1964. WOR, New York. A joke about Marijuana in the Wheaties! [Have not heard]

  • Episodes 03, 04, 05, and 06 - A somewhat fictitious account of the “Old Man of the Mountain.” In this telling, Marco polo actually meets the Old man, who gives him Hashish (a.k.a. Medical Marihuana) which first sends him to heaven and then almost turns him into one of his assassin. - [Historical note: Marco Polo arrived on the seen well over 50 years after the sect was destroyed. In addition he specifically mentioned that the drug used by the old Man of the Mountain was Opium not Medical marihuana as claimed by this and many other telling of the story. This series has 52 episodes in all.

  • Title "Case Of The Queen Of Narcotics" - Apr 3, 1953 (Friday) About Heroin, marihuana is only mentioned a couple of times, but in a pretty negative light.

  • Title "The Red Snow" Program #61. The Party tells Cvetic to investigate the traffic in illegal drugs. Matt tries to make a "buy," but "sweet and innocent" Ellie may be a Communist trap! Dana Andrews, Truman Bradley (announcer). 27:18. Write up copyright David Goldin -- Marihuana is mentioned, but only in terms of all other drugs, Heroin, Cocaine, Marihuana, Morphine etc., --In general the story seems to be about Heroin, Ignore it in General.

  • Title "The Phantom Spoilers" (Episode #4) Jan. 20, 1934 (approximate date) - 13 1/2 minutes. Majestic Radios and Tubes syndication. Hashish is only made mentioned of once. The plot involves someone who has developed amnesia, which was caused by drinking a glass of Hashish (a.k.a. Medical Marihuana). Yah, right, but of interest is the fact that the sponsor of the program would like you to have a free sandalwood wooden Swastika, the oldest good luck charm known to man? Overall not worth listening too, ignore.

    THE PEPSODENT SHOW: 30 min long 
  • Title "Same as the Bob Hope Show"
    The Pepsodent Show [same as the bob hope show] Not Recommended April 11, 1939. Bob tells a joke about just returned from a trip to Mexico, making a passing reference to "Mexican cigarettes" (marijuana).

  • Title "Body in the Car Trunk" #18 Marihuana is only mentioned once and then only as a sort of joke. "There sure are a lot of cops on the road today" "Yes, I guess they must have been tipped off that some marihuana was going to be smuggled in from Mexico" etc.

    Dr. FELL by John Dickson Carr:  
  • Title "Below Suspicion" BBC Production - (Copy-right may Exist) - British production anyway 1 hr - Below Suspicion - Pulp book talks about the subject. Although a good story, not a reefer madness story. Marihuana is only mentioned once, if it were not for the pulp book (which also mentions marihuana).

  • Title "The Little Sister" BBC Production - (Copy-right may Exist) - British production anyway BBC Philip Marlowe “The Little Sister” by Raymond Chandler Parts 1, 2, and 3 (Story is taken from a Pulp Book, Reefers or marijuana are talked about but only in reference to a dump) Great if one is interested in gum shoe detective novels, but just not reefer madness


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