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Monday, March 9, 2009

Ancient #marijuana propaganda 'Reefer Madness'

Reefer Madness (aka 'Tell Your Children') is a 1936 exploitation film revolving around the tragic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers to try "marijuana": a hit and run accident, manslaughter, suicide, rape, and descent into madness all ensue. The film was directed by Louis Gasnier and starred a cast composed of mostly unknown bit actors. It was originally financed by a church group and made under the title Tell Your Children.
The 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. The film never gained an audience until it was rediscovered in the 1970s and gained new life as a piece of unintentional comedy among cannabis smokers. Today, it is in the public domain in the United States and is considered a cult film. It inspired a musical satire, which premiered off-Broadway in 2001, and a Showtime film, Reefer Madness, based on the musical.

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