Reefer Madness, and Marijuana Prohibition

by Justin Morrone on November 12, 2020

History Of Reefer Madness

Somewhere around half a century ago, a film was produced called, "Reefer Madness" which was essentially a falsehood, and propaganda video, most likely shot on behalf of the current United States government at the time. The film was made to show the public, "the dangers of smoking marijuana" when, in reality, it was nothing more than an anti-marijuana video put out spreading lies about the effects of marijuana on the human mind, and implied that rather than making you hungry and happy, that smoking 

marijuana would turn you into a dangerous criminal, murderer, or somehow otherwise effect, you in an extremely negative way. This message as a whole, was a falsehood, and was nothing more than their attempt to reinforce the public behind their position, whether what they were saying was true or not. The truth however, wasn't that marijuana was dangerous, or turned you into some type of violent psycho, the truth is that it's relatively harmless, there has NEVER been a marijuana overdose death, and from time to time, there are those whom would try to relate shameful or violent behavior to marijuana use still to this day, despite scientific evidence saying the exact opposite, and that it is now becoming commonly seen as a great medicine for people to control just those type of violent, psychotic, or other mentally unstable conditions, and recent studies have shown

that reefer madness couldn't have been more misleading, and that marijuana, rather than being a dangerous, gateway drug as it's sometimes called, is actually a great medicine to treat a wide variety of mental, and physical conditions, quite effectively. What's most shameful about this whole topic, is that the makers of reefer madness, along with the officials

 from the government of the time that put them up to the task, knew exactly what they were doing, and intentionally mislead the public for more than 50 years afterwards, not because they even believed their own propaganda, but because of the money they were making by doing so, which ultimately trickled from large lumber companies, through 

those said government officials, that were being paid large amounts of money by these lumber companies to keep marijuana illegal. Again, not because marijuana was dangerous or harmful, but simply because it grows four times faster than trees, can be used for paper amongst many other products, and would have put these companies out of business.

So naturally, rather than what was right for the public, they did what line their pockets, and lied through their teeth.

Marijuana Prohibition

Once upon a time in 1937, in a southern government official's office, sat a man named Harold Anslinger. If you've ever had a legal issue with marijuana, this man is to blame with no equal. Over the years, especially after reefer madness, marijuana has had many other opponents rise. Some with a genuine axe they believed they had to grind, and others like Anslinger, who knew exactly what he was doing, and simply stood to make immense personal gain, as well as rumored revenge, the rumor being that his wife left him for a habitual marijuana user, furthering his hatred for the substance. Anslinger had ties to the lumber 

industry and knew what marijuana would do to his personal financial status, and in contrast, knew that these companies would "donate" to him handsomely, or just out right pay him to do it, back then when it couldn't be traced and proven, to campaign as hard as possible against marijuana, whether it was the right thing to do, or not. So, going against our own founding fathers, who made it a federal requirement, back in colonial times, to at least attempt to grow hemp for each allowing season, as so to contribute to the need for it in the community to sustain making a variety of products, Anslinger created marijuana prohibition federally. Also not to mention, that the founders themselves, were personal hemp users. To quote one Thomas Jefferson, "Some of my finest evenings have been spent, sitting, upon my back porch, watching the sun set, smoking hemp." The only difference was that back then, there wasn't mass amounts of money to be made, by lying to the public, and then robbing them of, and illegalizing an invaluable asset to our nation, and people. Luckily science, alongwith the new technology to communicate with each other on a mass scale in the modern world, has been shining light upon this subject, and the truth has finally been freed, and now, the general public, as they're further educated, are coming around to the truth. Which is that we were lied to by men who had their OWN best interest, and bank accounts at heart, with the power to create an atrocious, anit-marijuana policy federally, that we are struggling to be rid of still today. Marijuana prohibition has been a tragedy from the very beginning, the people just didn't have the scientific knowledge to know that back then. Reefer madness helped to spread exactly the opposite message, and that's why the public has been so ill informed on the subject for half a century. But since the 1990's when real science began on marijuana, luckily we've been enlightened, and now, we know better, and exactly how we got here. 


Marijuana was never illegalized because it was dangerous, or, "bad", it was outlawed because companies stood to make money, and the public wasn't as educated and aware as we are today, to be able to say anything, or stop it. So something that, in the past, was a part of our daily living in multiple ways, was outlawed, regardless the result it had on our country. Which was the destruction of our forests, when there was a known, better way, the prohibition of what is now possibly the most widely used medicine for

pains, and mental illnesses, and the incarceration, and demonization of those who dared to go against "public knowledge" on the topic. So many people have been hurt, and so many lives have been destroyed, not by marijuana, but by the prohibition of marijuana. As it stands even today, our prisons are overcrowded by people who shouldn't even be there, for simple "marijuana charges". However, the recent changes in our government have brought a little hope, that soon, with any amount of luck, and decency winning out the day, federal marijuana prohibition, and the uninformed stigma that comes with it, will be nothing more than a memory in the very near future. Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there! 


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