“Before Ronald Reagan’s crusade against crack, and Richard Nixon’s war on drugs, there was the ‘reefer madness’ campaign,” writes Sarah Hayley Barrett:
In the early 1900’s, cannabis was well-known as a plant with curative properties. It was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia as medicine for over 100 illnesses.
But in 1930, Harry J. Anslinger was appointed commissioner of an entirely new department: the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and he made it his job to take down the plant.
“He would drum up all kinds of scary stories,” says Martin Lee, author of Smoke Signals, A Social History of Marijuana. “About how smoking marijuana made white women lust for Black men or dark-skinned men, that it provoked a sexual contact along color lines.”
LatinoUSA’s Maria Hinojosa reports:
Here’s the REEFER MADNESS trailer:
Here’s REEFER MADNESS, complete film: