Originally, Reefer Madness was the title of a 1930s American propaganda film that told the story of how an entire high school student body was introduced to smoking marijuana cigarettes (also known as, reefers).  However, while the film was intentioned as a cautionary tale to parents about the grave and immoral consequences of allowing their kids to smoke marijuana (i.e. murder, kidnapping, rape, automotive homicide), it was soon made satire by critics and advocates alike. Following its release, a series of Reefer Madness-provoked images, novels, songs, and movie posters became popular. Many of these images and posters were distinctly labeled with Adult Only warnings, featured explicit images of devilish creatures and seduced females, distressed male and female figures, and satirical text describing the wrecked lives and shattered hopes of those who smoke marijuana (e.g. Marijuana Girl, Marijuana Insanity, Reefer Blues ). The caricatures on the fronts of these advertisements were drawn with dramatic and popping colors of red, blue, and yellow (e.g. the clown in The Circus of Reefer Madness ), large block-shaped text (e.g. Road to Ruin), and the fiery red background motif resembling assorted items including fire, danger, the Devil, passion, etc. Characteristically, the contents of the posters drew from the original films other names, including: The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, and Love Madness.  Additionally, the aftermath of Reefer Madness spanned new productions such as Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical and the song Reefer man. Thus, Reefer Madness, as well as the influence of two other films Marihuana (1936) and Assassin of Youth (1937) dictated the public perception of marijuana in the 1960s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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