Reefer Madness

 In the 1930s, there was a movie created to make people think about the negative effects of smoking weed. Originally, the film was titled Tell Your Children. It is sometimes referenced as The Burning Question or the Dope Addict. For those who are looking for a copy of the movie but have not found it, try Love Madness or Doped Youth.


This American propaganda film against marijuana use centred on the effects that could happen after a group of high school students gets lured by drug pushers to smoke weed. Melodramatic events ensued in the film, including manslaughter, attempted rape, suicide, hallucinations, and madness due to marijuana addiction.
Changes in the Film

Reefer Madness is directed by Louis Gasnier and most of the actors in the film were not very popular. Initially, the film was called Tell Your Children after a church group funded the making of the movie, which was intended to show parents how dangerous it could be for their children to use marijuana.

Dwain Esper, a producer, bought the movie after it was shot. He re-cut it and distributed it to succeed financially since marijuana was one of the trends at that time around the beginning of 1938 to 1939. Then later, the film was still in circulation from the 1940s to 1950s.

Early in the 70s, the film was rediscovered and was brought to life because of the cannabis policy reform. While some may have been appreciative of the film, many critics agree that it is one of the worst films ever made.

What is It About?

Reefer Madness is about Jack Perry and Mae Coleman who are a couple selling marijuana. While Mae just sells the weed to people her own age, Jack would deceitfully sell them to teenagers. A psychotic Ralph Wiley who did not finish college, along with his friend Blanche, would help Jack sell the weed to the young students, Jimmy Lane and Bill Harper.

The two youngsters were invited to the apartment of the couple. They went to a party later on but Jack ran out of weed. Jimmy let Jack borrow his car, so the latter could get more marijuana. When Jack came back, he gave Jimmy a joint. After that, unfortunate events start to happen, including Jimmy driving off dangerously where he ran over a pedestrian and died a few days later.

The Reefer Madness Today

Surprisingly, Reefer Madness was a hit back in the 70s despite its negative reviews. It is even considered a cult classic as many of the movie-goers embraced its dullness. At that time, the movie was just about the insanity that would result from smoking weed.

According to Urban Dictionary, Reefer Madness is now used as a humorous description of the stigma as well as the false beliefs that were enforced to those who are uneducated about marijuana.