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January 12, 2023 0 Comments

Reefer Madness: Will the Myth Ever End?

Reefer Madness was first circulated in 1936 as an American propaganda film about drugs. Also titled Tell Your Children, Doped Youth, The Burning Question, and Love Madness, the film did far more than warn youngsters about the risks of drugs, it created a paranoia among the American public that has lasted more than nine decades and even into current times.

The film features melodramatic events revolving around high school students who are lured by “pushers” and succumb to the temptation only to become addicted. They become participants in various crimes including hit-and-run accidents, manslaughter, murder, and conspiracy. From there, the former students descend into insanity, become involved in organized crime, and commit suicide.

By today’s standards, the entire thing is laughable and, armed with what we now know to be fact, a gross exaggeration and outright lies based on self-righteous myth. During the early 1970s, the film even made a resurgence and was shown in some theaters as an unintentional satire among advocates of cannabis policy reform. Critics have called it one of the worst films ever made. Today, the film still maintains a cult following within cannabis culture.

Since the movie is now public domain, here’s a link so you can make your own call about this unfortunate film. And, if you have streaming services, you can catch it on Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Paramont+, Plex, Tube, and Hulu, among others. Here’s the link for YouTube:

Reefer Madness

Just the introduction alone is worth watching. It’s packed with inaccuracies and falsehoods so dramatized that you might even get a good laugh out of it. Just an example, the scrolling text contains warnings like “the frightful toll of the new drug menace” and “soul-destroying effects” and “the dread marihauna.” Addiction is mentioned quite often as well.

What the film got wrong … just about everything

The number of things this film got wrong and then proceeded to poison the minds of an entire nation against a plant that had been used as a medicinal curative for hundreds of years are so numerous that it would require a book to adequately cover them all. However, I present here a short list of what was believed in 1939 to be true and what we now know to be true based on scientific research and anecdotal reports from patients.

  1. Addiction – In 1939, most drugs were considered addictive and, if addicted, a person could commit horrendous acts without even knowing what they’d done. Marijuana was included in that group of drugs. We now know that marijuana, in or of itself, is not physically addictive.
  2. Hallucinations – Though the film shows that hallucinations are a definite effect for all who use marijuana, the fact is that very few will have that side effect.
  3. Violence – Again, the film depicts users as violent psychopaths when, in fact, most who use marijuana experience a euphoria and a sense of relaxation.
  4. Turning to crime – with 37 states legalizing medical marijuana and 21 now offering recreational cannabis, turning to crime seems like an unnecessary part of cannabis use.

Things to know

To avoid even the smallest “Reefer Madness” in 2023, here are some things to keep in mind.

Avoid Over Consumption – Overconsumption of many things in this world can lead to unwanted side effects. If you experience any unusual effects, reduce the frequency of use and contact your medical marijuana pharmacist to adjust the dosage if necessary. Though no overdose has ever been reported or resulted in any death, there can still be unwanted results related to overconsumption.

Avoid Combining – Marijuana doesn’t cause violent behavior on its own. If any is noted after use, there’s another cause for this response. Consumption of other substances while consuming cannabis can also cause unexpected results, so please be sure and speak with your Louisiana Pharmacist about any unexpected results.

Adult Use – Marijuana consumption by children and teens should be delivered as medical marijuana and under the guidance of your Louisiana pharmacist after a referral by your child or teens Primary Care Provider and an evaluation by a physician to determine if medical marijuana may be of benefit for their qualifying condition.

Be Aware of Other Conditions – Using marijuana with other prescription drugs or for people with underlying mental health conditions can produce unexpected results. If you have any concerns about other conditions, speak with your Primary Care Physician or your Mental Health Provider. If you consume, be sure it’s under the guidance of your Louisiana pharmacist who can monitor doses and methods of delivery.

How to Get Started

Physicians at The Healing Clinics can evaluate you for the addition of medical marijuana for medicinal purposes to ensure you have the most positive experience possible. Click the button below to get started on your healing journey.