Old Time Radio
THE DARK SIDE OF O.T.R.
---- And its use as a Propaganda Tool.
It's an ugly but true fact that as the "Golden age of Radio" was just starting up, so was a massive hysteria campaign against the use of medical marihuana. Some people are now referring to it as the "snow job of the century," but most just call it the Reefer Madness Campaign. And Harry Anslinger (Americans first drug czar) made sure that radio would play a major role in it. In his own words:
"On radio and at major forums . . . I told the story of this evil weed. . . . our agents gave hundreds of lectures to parents, educators, social and civic leaders. In network broadcasts I reported on the growing list of crimes, including murder and rape. I described the nature of marijuana and its close kinship to hashish. I continued to hammer at the facts."And hammer away, he did. One can only guess at how many live radio talks were given by his agents throughout the country. Or at their urging, at how many news programs carried horror stories about the "weed of madness" etc. So effective was the campaign, that it soon took on a life of its own. Station managers (ever interested in their ratings) began going out of their way to invite the so-called experts on the subject; "to come and give a simple talk about the marihuana evil," etc.
Program producers (both network and syndicated), scriptwriters etc., also began fighting with each other over who could produce the most outlandish (yet supposedly true) account about of some poor so and so, and what fiendish acts he had committed while under its evil influence. And on and on it went . . . .
So come and journey back with us now, to the golden age of yesterday, to a time when all families lived like "Ozzie and Harriet" and Medical Marihuana was known as the "Assassin of Youth".
3.1 - Index Of Old Time Radio Programs:
Part I: What follows is the museum's main index of Audio "Reefer Madness" Old Time Radio Programs that the museum has been able to physically locate and hear OR for which we have strong reason to believe that it contained a Reefer Madness theme. . . . . [more]
3.2 - Broadcast Speeches From The Reefer Madness Era:
Part II: What is it about a voice that mesmerizes? - Great Reefer Madness Era Broadcast Speeches, with titles such as, "The Marihuana Menace", "We Battle Against A Beast" etc. . . . . [more]
3.3 - Music Magazines During the Reefer Madness Era:
Part III: One could expect the Reefer Madness conspirators to have targeted music publications. But here their little tricks didnít work; the music magazines publishers simply knew the musicians too well, and were not about to stab their friends in the back. Thus pure Reefer Madness articles were few and far between. . . . . [more]
3.4 - Marihuana Mention, BUT Non-Reefer Madness OTR's:
Part IV: Various OTR's making mention of Medical Marihuana, yet not considered Reefer Madness recordings. . . . . [more]
3.5 - Index Of Possible Reefer Madness OTRs:
Part V: An index of Old Time Radio Programs that MAY OR MAY NOT be Reefer Madness Recordings. . . . . [more]
3.6 - NONE Reefer Madness OTR Recordings:
Part VI: OTR Programs that sound about right, but DON'T actual contain Reefer Madness material. . . . . [more]
3.7 - Behind The Voices Of Evil:
Who were these voices of Evil? Unfortunately most listeners of Reefer Madness Era propaganda will come away greatly disappointed. Yes, I too like most historians somehow expect to hear a Joseph Goebbel's (Hitler's minister of propaganda) like sinister voices. Voices that can take on a warm fatherly tone yet also have a forceful purpose about them. Voices that given the absence of opposing voices could easily inspire one to join the crusade against "The Killer Weed."
3.8 - Dr. Fu Manchu:
Dr. Fu Manchu To understand the full implication of Fu Manchu and his role in the Reefer Madness campaign, one must have an understanding of the times. According to the D.E.A. (then known as the Bureau of Narcotics):. . . . . [more]
3.9 - The (Marco Polo) Assassins Myth:
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 cold blooded assassin. . . . . [more]
- Sound Clips:
short sound clips taken from actual Reefer Madness Era Old Time Radio programs . .
- Letter of Concern:
[PERSONAL OPINION] A letter of concern to the OTR community.
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