Marijuana and Anti-Propaganda Movies

Throughout the decades, marijuana has been viewed by most people as the devil’s advocate, since it is the drug that causes destruction and potential death to the ones who abused it over time. In the said early decades, many countries and their governing bodies have attempted to get rid of marijuana partially or totally if possible. They bypass various laws and regulations that either partially or fully ban the distribution, sale, and usage of the said plant and the products produced from it.

However, as those decades slowly but eventually passed over time, bit by bit, various countries around the world have gradually eased the usage of much of all marijuana-related stuff. They allow the usage of both medical and recreational marijuana for people who need it, most noticeably in first-world countries such as the United States and its northern neighbor of Canada.

History cannot deny the dark beginnings of marijuana in the past, as various anti-propaganda stuff has been made during those times to make the usage of marijuana evil and akin to committing a grave sin to the god of one’s religion. It ranges from simple newspaper advertisements and highlights, television commercial ads, propaganda speeches against illegal substances such as marijuana made by politicians, famous people, and actors/actresses in the entertainment industry. So, until the creation of specific movies that use propaganda against marijuana as their plot device, usually called marijuana movies by most of the viewing public.

Today, we are going to look into one of those movies, and talk about the facts and information surrounding the said film, and some new facts about the usage of marijuana and related products in today’s age and market.

Reefer Madness - Overview and Facts

There is a film made in 1936 by Louis J. Gasnier composed of a cast that hasn’t been well-known during its production. This film was first sponsored and financed by a church group that aims to teach children, specifically teenagers, during that era, the evils of using marijuana in their everyday lives in the style of a morality tale.

The film depicts tragic and unfortunate events such as the following listed below:

  • Hit and run accident
  • Manslaughter
  • Suicide
  • Attempted rape
  • Hallucinations
  • Madness from marijuana addiction

Those events are considered controversial by that era and raised eyebrows from the critics to the main public.

After the film’s production, it was then purchased and exploited by the producer, named Dwain Esper, and re-cut and redistributed the film in the exploitation film market. Other sensitive and controversial topics and genres, such as porn, nudity, gore, explicit sex, and other taboo issues considered during that era, are shown. They were used as plot devices for most films shown in that film area, wherein censorship is mostly lax.

However, it was rediscovered ever since in the 70s, and most critics from that decade up to this day are calling it one of the worst films made throughout film history. Additionally, advocates for the decriminalization of cannabis in most countries find this film an unintentional satire to their leading cause of advocacy throughout the years that have passed since then.

Reefer Madness - The Plot

Being a propaganda movie against the usage of drugs, the plot of this movie revolves around a group of teenagers that used marijuana under the influences of marijuana pushers that they have met somehow when one of those said pushers attempted to sell marijuana to the teenagers.

Unfortunately, after the said purchase, the teenagers involved in that activity got into a series of troubling events like the final destination (without the gore, fortunately), wherein most of the involved teenagers either dies a few days after some are imprisoned. Some of the dealers are becoming mentally insane due to their guilt and conscience over time.

Eventually, the drug dealers and its boss are all arrested, after a botched attempt in killing one of its dealers that got involved with the teenagers during that said sale a few days prior. Once the film reaches its end, it broke the fourth wall by one of its actors pointing out directly to the camera (and in essence, to the audiences who are watching the said film). That their children (and possibly the other people they know) will be the next in those series of unfortunate events if they take marijuana.

Reefer Madness - Its Aftermath and Effects

As mentioned earlier, most movie critics say that this film is one of the worst made over time, no thanks to its propaganda motives, campy production, and overall quality of the said movie. 

However, this movie also became a cult classic to small groups of viewers and has been a favorite in most United States channel stations as a midnight movie during their late-night programming block.

Additionally, most online movie reviews and critics somehow gave the said move an average rating overall, such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Counter to those ratings given those online platforms, some publishing media bodies such as the Los Angeles Times and critics like Leonard Maltin have given this marijuana movie the title of “the worst (movie),” and “the granddaddy of all worst (movie)” respectively.

Moreover, many said that the movie is an exaggeration of what marijuana does to the body, especially if you factor in how the United States government went all guns blazing against marijuana and other illegal substances during the 70s. This caused an intense battle of the United States government under former president Richard Nixon, who allowed this campaign to run during his term. This primarily targets illegal drug trade in their country called the “war on drugs,” where many people, innocent civilians, multiple bodies of authorities, and various criminals, were involved heavily in this internal war within the country.

The said war eventually spread out internationally, wherein the United States tried to root out the main source of drug production. Within its global power and dominance and is still currently fighting it in the current century, along with its global paramilitary and military activities around the world.

Unfortunately, even in modern times wherein its current science and medicine have proven that marijuana and its byproducts are not purely evil and have excellent benefits for humankind. Many still see it as how it was seen during those early decades of the old. Still, the push of various people, groups, and organizations are making an effect in the current century for the reform and decriminalization of marijuana and cannabis usage in most countries that are around as of today.

Marijuana Today - The Correct Facts About It

Thanks to many careful studies and experiments done by various medical experts and their respective institutions around the world, modern science and medicine have proven that marijuana is not deadly as conceived during the early decades against marijuana and other illegal substances.

Thanks to modern science, marijuana has now been used as both medical and recreational drugs in the form of cannabis and other cannabis-related products and materials. The public can easily purchase from various online cannabis dispensaries that have been legally allowed to sell those kinds of products.

As proven, marijuana/cannabis can help various known illness to man today, which are listed below:

Additionally, there are various diseases and ailments medical marijuana can help with, such as cancer. Furthermore, the recreational use of marijuana/cannabis can help people suffering from multiple conditions such as sleep disorder conditions that most are suffering from around the world in this current age.

Currently, there is a number that legalized the usage of marijuana/cannabis for most medical and some recreational usage, with their variations and restrictions on their laws about usage (either partial or full usage), are listed below:

  1. Australia
  2. Brazil
  3. Canada
  4. Chile
  5. Colombia
  6. Croatia
  7. Cyprus
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Finland
  10. Germany
  11. Greece
  12. Israel
  13. Italy
  14. Jamaica
  15. Lebanon
  16. Luxembourg
  17. North Macedonia
  18. Malta
  19. The Netherlands
  20. New Zealand
  21. Peru
  22. Poland
  23. Portugal
  24. Sri Lanka
  25. Thailand
  26. United Kingdom
  27. United States
  28. Uruguay

Note that for some countries like the United States, the law around marijuana/cannabis differs significantly from state to state. At the same time, some like Mexico have a purchase limit per person.

Overall Conclusion

As we have seen in this article today, past decades of this century have been very different (and mostly biased for today’s standards) when it comes to handling marijuana/cannabis and its known byproducts. Thankfully, those views have slowly but surely changed over the past few decades, up until the current decade of this present century, wherein the possible huge benefits coming from it has been conclusively proven that it will be beneficial for humanity in the long run.

Hopefully, in the upcoming years, we will see a massive leap in how the whole world recognizes marijuana/cannabis, wherein it will instead be used for the greater good by giving out its benefits for humanity, both medical and recreational, respectively.

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