Reefer Madness (originally made as Tell Your Children….and sometimes titled as The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, and Love Madness) is a 1936 American propaganda film revolving around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana…..which includes such events as a hit and run accident…..to manslaughter…. to suicide …. to attempted rape…..with hallucinations and descent into madness due to marijuana addiction. The film was directed by Louis Gasnier and featured a cast of mainly little-known actors.
Originally financed by a church group under the title Tell Your Children….this film was intended to be shown to parents as a morality tale attempting to teach them about the dangers of cannabis use. However, soon after the film was shot….it was purchased by producer Dwain Esper….who re-cut the film for distribution on the exploitation film circuit beginning in 1938 – 1939….and on through the 1940’s and 1950’s.
The film was “rediscovered” in the early 1970’s….and gained new life as an unintentional satire among advocates of cannabis policy reform. Critics, however, have panned it as one of the worst films ever made…for today, it is in the public domain in the United States….but to we a ImaSportsphile….Reefer Madness is a piece of history regarding the accepted use of marijuana in the world in 2018….as more and more States in the USA are legalizing the use. Simply put….this movie video is a “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories…..as it is well worth the watch….not so much for the quality of the movie….but more for how far the subject of smoking marijuana has come….even though it has taken 80 years….so, this movie is pure history.