Drug and alcohol addiction used to be regarded as, if anything, a bad habit. It would be better if people did not do it, but there was not the concept of needing to get help or treatment for those that were battling with the terrible disease that is addiction. In the late nineteenth century the early parts of the twentieth century, the standpoint of needing to control addicts became more mainstream, and a bigger subject of concern for society and its citizens. By the 1920s, the idea of addicts needing help had grown to a full blown fear of addicts and that they would surely influence the other members of society with their addictive ways. It was with this understanding that the foundations for alcohol and drug prohibitions were laid.
There was also an array of “conspiracies” surrounding drug use. In the anti-drug material that was being distributed by the American government (mainly through the provocation of Harry Anslinger, chief of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics 1930-1962 (Anti Narcotic Campaigns)) there were implications that various drugs were coming from different regions of the world with the either purposeful or nonpurposeful intent of corrupting the social order of the United States, or even the ...
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... thought that marijuana could make you go crazy. Based almost entirely on perceptions, stereotypes and false information, the movie set out to discourage people from using marijuana by making it a scare tactic. They showed examples and clips of people acting insane and completely irrationally, and claimed that they were this way because of the influence marijuana had had on them. It would be more accurate to label “Reefer Madness” a sad attempt at a public relations stunt, than as an actual warning movie that should be taken seriously whatsoever. There were no actual, reliable scientific studies to back any of the information or claims being made in this movie.
Not only did Reefer Madness target potential users, but it also targeted the parents of potential users, and claimed that their children could essentially go insane if they got their hands on some marijuana.
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