Despite the image of the happily stoned woman, this 1938 movie was made to protect the American populace from its baser instincts. Intended as an anti-marijuana propaganda film, the film shows how high-school students, after smoking a little pot, might easily commit the most reprehensible crimes of rape and murder. After the establishment of the Production Code Administration in 1934, Hollywood movie studios released a number of moralistic tales depicting the inevitably dire consequences of any number of depraved activities. Not for the timid at heart, this "Adults Only" film makes the ravages of marijuana, "Public Enemy No. 1," appear particularly shocking. As with most of the era's moralizing tales, however, the film did not generate box-office records and resulted in no documented effect on viewers' behavior. Unlike other films of its kind, which tended not to survive beyond the year of release, Reefer Madness ironically developed a belated cult following, resurrected by the expanding drug culture in the '60s and '70s.


  • Title: Poster:Reefer Madness
  • Date Created: ca. 1945
  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Subject Keywords: marijuana, woman, motion picture
  • Type: Entertainment and Music
  • Medium: paper, silkscreened
  • Object ID: 93.742

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