This item is actually copyright-free, meaning that you can get it for nothing on the internet, which is why there are so many distributors selling it (just like Night of the Living Dead). A year before the Marijuana Tax Act was ILLEGALLY passed by congress (the law was passed on the bases that the Medical Association of America agreed with the new Drug Tsar that marijuana should be made illegal - they where not in agreement) this little piece of shock horror was released to national theatres using government funding to raise the issue of the dangers of using marijuana and then went on to the double-feature B-movie circuit because it proclaimed to feature smut and so made a few bucks back in the end. Most pot-heads, and those who like to laugh themselves off the sofa, love this movie because of its extreme outrageousness (as a note during World War 2, the US government produced a short film called Hemp for Victory in order to promote marijuana to help with the war [If you do not know what I am talking about read The Cannabis Grow Bible by Greg Green and The Emperor has No Clothes by Jack Herer) and is packed with campy acting.
The movie itself is quite old and is suffering from lots of age artefacts and noise with problematic sound at times and jump cuts are frequent, but what else can you expect from a 1936 government sponsored marijuana prohibition movie. Although this version is colorized to be honest it is a silly gimmick like what they did with Night of the Living Dead - my advice is to pass on it and find a friend who has a good burner because this is a copyright-free movie. The original, old and battered in black and white is way this is supposed to be seen.
The film is slow to start, but one of the highlights is there in the first few minutes, as a doctor holding an anti-drug conference tells us that Heroin, Opium and Coke are safer than the dreaded marijuana (yes, folks this is a government sponsored film, a year before marijuana prohibition took place). Then he tells us a sad story about one of his star pupils and this is what the movie Reefer Madness is all about. Within the space of ten minutes we meet the dealer (a slick-looking gagster type who sells the dope in his dame's apartment, where her brings people around to buy the dope and party) who offers one young man to take him to meet his boss (a chap who looks like an accountant, hitting buttons on his accounting machine and complaining about how much more hop he needs to sell to kids). Within the space of five minutes, after that young mans first joint, he has managed to race down town at top speed where he murders a pedestrian... all because he had a spliff!!!... but that is not all!
Back at the marijuana hole, another man with blonde hair is slowly going crazy on the couch. Then he smokes a marijuana joint and proceeds to try and force himself quite violently on a woman. In the back bedroom a kid has cheated on his girlfriend and is feeling guilty about it not knowing that his woman is the one in the other room being assaulted... all because of the DREADED MARIJUANA. While all this is going on the Doctor at the start of the show is concerned that some of his students are using marijuana and is complaining to the head of a narcotics bureau and is grassing them all up. We learn in this conversation that a marijuana smoker had a joint and then axed his family to death... but shock horror!! That is not all! There is something even worse... a woman was found in a room with five other men smoking a reefer. Well now! Something MUST be done!
Back at the apartment someone gets shot and a guy is so stoned that he thinks he did it. In the meantime the rapist is sitting in the corner demanding more reefers. Eventually he goes insane and everyone goes to jail... but not before there is a bit of poker head action at the end with a blond dame giggling manically in the corner.... because he has the terrible...
The funny thing is that this piece of film actually worked and got people believing that marijuana is some crazy demon drug that will vaporize your life. In fact in the millions of years of evolution that we have been using this plant safely, it has only been made unsafe by crackpots in governments who come up with crazy schemes like this one to make everyone's life a misery. 0 people die from using cannabis every year. How many people die from all these DEA related marijuana drug busts every year? How much money ends up in the hands of terrorists? How much of the actual black market produce is mostly poison? Grow your own. And with that I leave you with - The Cannabis Grow Bible by Greg Green, Cannabis Cultivation by Mel Thomas, Marijuana Botany by Robert Clarke and Hashish by Robert Clarke. It is easy and more rewarding than you can imagine... ....actually imagine A+ reefer without the madness *wink*.
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