Reefer Madness

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Reefer Madness is a 1936 American film about a group of young students whose tragic downfall is apparently caused by their marijuana use.

Directed by Louis Gasnier. Written by Arthur Hoerl.
It's Public Enemy, Number One! Taglines

Opening Scroll[edit]

  • The motion picture you are about to witness may startle you. It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly-increasing numbers. Marihuana is that drug - a violent narcotic - an unspeakable scourge - The Real Public Enemy Number One! Its first effect is sudden violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations - space expands - time slows down, almost stands still... .fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances - followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions... leading finally to acts of shocking violence... ending often in incurable insanity. In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt was made to equivocate. The scenes and incidents, while fictionized for the purposes of this story, are based upon actual research into the results of Marihuana addiction. If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the picture will not have failed in its purpose... . Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter... .or yours... .or YOURS!

Jack Perry[edit]

  • Oh, why don't you button up your lip? You're always squawkin' about something. You've got more static than a radio.


  • That's better! That's more like it. I know you'll like it. Really, you will. Just take a puff of that.

Dr. Carroll[edit]

  • It must be stopped! You and other parent groups around the country. And you must stand united on this and stamp out this frightful assassin of our youth.
  • I'm going to ask you a straightforward question: isn't it true that you have, perhaps unwillingly, acquired a certain habit through association with certain undesirable people?
  • It is only through enlightenment that this scourge can be wiped out. Out of the trafficking of these drugs, a lawlessness that we can scarcely estimate has grown and is now flourishing. It exist in almost every city and hamlet in the country.
  • We must work untiringly so that our children are obliged to learn the truth. Because, it is only through knowledge that we can safely protect them. Failing this, the next tragedy may be that of your daughter - or your son - or yours - or yours... [points to camera] or yours!


  • Prosecuting Attorney: Your Honor, in this case the State waves the trial of the defendant, Ralph Wiley. It is convinced that he is hopelessly and incurably insane - a condition caused by the drug marijuana, to which he was addicted. It is recommended, your Honor, that the defendant be placed in an institution for the criminally insane for the rest of his natural life.


Mae: What time is it?
Jack: Time to get up and give this place the goin' over. It looks like the Marines have landed.
Mae: Well, that bunch last night was high enough to take over the Marines and the Navy!

Jimmy: How about driving over to the... Joe's place with me? I'll buy you a soda!
Bill: I never drink the stuff!

[Jimmy finishes a reefer before driving.]
Jimmy: Let's go, Jack. I'm red-hot!
Jack: Better be careful how you drive, or the first thing you know you'll be ice-cold.

Bureau Official: Here is an example: A fifteen-year-old lad apprehended in the act of staging a holdup — fifteen years old and a marijuana addict. Here is a most tragic case.
Dr. Carroll: Yes, I remember. Just a young boy... under the influence of drugs... who killed his entire family with an axe.

Bill's Lawyer: Did you, during the last three months, notice any changes in the demeanor and attitude of your student, William Harper?
Dr. Carroll: Yes, in a number of things. For example, at times a disassociation of ideas. In another instance, I happened to attend the recent interscholastic tennis matches. And while Bill Harper had been considered an exceedingly good player, I saw him miss the ball by as much as three or four feet. This, I understand, could be contributed to the use of marijuana. It causes errors in time and space.


  • It's Public Enemy, Number One!
  • Women Cry For It - Men Die For It!
  • The Sweet "Pill" That Makes Life BITTER!
  • Adults Only!
  • Drug Crazed Abandon!
  • Sin - degradation - vice - insanity!
  • SEE youthful marijuana victims - what actually happens!
  • Tell your children!
  • 65 years later, audiences are still hooked!


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