In response to my first formal Weed in Art piece, an anonymous commenter brought up the classic Reefer Madness, a borderline-propagandist short film from the 1930s that schools screened for students OVER DECADES, many of whose views were dictated by this now-hilariously over-the-top anti-drug PSA.
Even though anyone who’s ever actually tried weed immediately realize that Reefer Madness is full of shit, the strength of its continued influence on American culture is one of the reasons I launched Weed in Art 2018, explained in full here. Since I feel like some of my readers still need convincing as to the legitimacy behind this enterprise, I wanted to share with all of you my response to the aforementioned commenter, which details how Reefer Madness relates to Write All Nite‘s newest series:
Reefer Madness is hysterical, and stands as a testament to why so many people STILL have such weird perceptions of weed. At the same time, the fact that a movie can so profoundly impact society’s understanding of a given subject is exactly why I think it’s imperative that artists nowadays attempt to shed some much-needed enlightenment on the actual reality of drugs (thus the reason I decided to start this series). Since Reefer Madness made such a difference back in the day, art COLLECTIVELY can do the same today. No one movie or piece of theatre will reach as many eyeballs as Reefer Madness did, but if more art depicted weed realistically, there can be a cumulative effect that might counter Reefer Madness’ legacy. Also, if you’ve never seen the musical version that satirizes the original, I HIGHly recommend it.