Reefer Madness Is Spreading! An Analysis of the Controversial Film of the late 1930's "Reefer Madness"

Essay by tankdogtfUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, October 2005

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In the late 1930's a film was released to supposedly educate society on the horrible epidemic that the drug marijuana had created. The film Reefer Madness hit the theaters in hopes to steer people away from using marijuana. The film starts by showing headlines about how marijuana abuse is spreading across the United States of America rapidly and must be halted. Parents are told to learn about the evils of marijuana and to steer their children from falling into its trap. Dr. Carroll who is played by Joseph Forte is holding a meeting about the ongoing reefer issue for the shocked parents of the students at his school. He tells them that marijuana is more addictive than heroin, and causes people to hallucinate. He even tells them that marijuana can lead to violent acts sometimes inappropriate sexual behavior. To demonstrate his points, he starts telling a story about a recent case involving students at their very own school.

Dr. Carroll tells the parents he knows the real facts regarding this case.

The use of tobacco is never questioned, but the horrors and abuse of using marijuana are very well illustrated in this film. Dr. Carroll's story is about an apartment which is owned by two marijuana dealers who entice gullible teenagers into their place. They are trying to get these kids addicted while they are still young in hopes to expand their clientele. Its funny because not once do you see anyone actually paying for drugs. They just hand out joints to these kids like their pieces of candy. Jack who is played by Carlton Young is the main deal. It shows a few scenes of him visiting his boss where he gets more marijuana and plots on getting more and more kids to start using the drug.

Three innocent...