Reefer Madness emerges as an important film owing to the fact that it highlights the blatant stereotypes that misrepresent the effects ascribed to the use of marijuana. In so doing, the film intimates that marijuana has lethal effects and can be more deadly than cocaine and heroin. As the film opens, a speaker is presented citing that marijuana is society’s biggest public enemy. The effects of marijuana, as presented in the film are; violent sexual demeanors, homicidal tendencies, hazardous driving and crazed. The information presented in the film is inaccurate. In contrast, aspirin, a drug that is regularly purchased over the counter, is responsible for hundreds of deaths annually. Marijuana is a social drug, not a devil weed; in its natural form, it is among the safest therapeutic substances (Sloman 44).
Restrictions and regulations ascribed to selling cannabis sativa as a drug started as early as 1619. Restrictions on the drug increased in many states as from 1906. Outright prohibitions of the drug started in the 1920s. Marijuana’s illegalization was motivated by monetary gains ascribed to the sale of the substance as an illegal substance. Influential individuals in the political arena saw a chance of making money out of marijuana by peddling it. Racism also had a role to pay. White people believed that marijuana made the black race stand up to them and saw it fit to make it illegal. At that time, the ban on alcohol had been lifted and lawmakers saw it fit to make marijuana illegal (Musto 66).
In the state of California, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal. Away from the authorization by law, an individual in possession of concentrated cannabis may be imposed for a period not exceeding one year or may be fined an amount that does not exceed five hundred dollars, or both. This legislation conflicts federal law in the US that preceded the Californian legislation. It illegalizes the sale of this drug. 21 states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical reasons. The following is a list of these stats with the year during which the legislation was passed; Alaska 1998, Arizona 2010, California 1996, Colorado 2000, Connecticut 2012, DC 2010, Delaware 2011, Hawaii 2000, Illinois 2013, Maine 1999, Massachusetts 2012, Michigan 2008, Montana 2004, Nevada 2000, New Hampshire 2013, New Jersey 2010, New Mexico 2007, Oregon 1998, Rhode Island 2006, Vermont 2004 and Washington 1998. In Colorado and Washington, marijuana can be used for recreational purposes (Schaler 2013).