America VS Mary Jane

Marley Utzig &+ Chelsea Ann Smith​
NHD Project, Q3BM.
Fire Stream

Annotated Bib:

Louis, Gasnier, dir. Reefer Madness. 1936. Film.
Reefer Madness was a movie put out in 1936. The movie shows the ill effects of marijuana, as an anti marijuana propaganda. The characters are drug dealers through out the movie they are smoking and other characters are smoking. The characters becoming violent including running over people with a car, the characters also change their entire personality, full blown hallucinations like would be seen from taking LSD, and shooting people. The movie ends with the characters dead or insane from smoking marijuana. The last scene is much like a PSA announcement. This movie is a prime example of what people during this time thought about marijuana.

Teen Drug Use PSA. Film. <>.
PSA about teens doing drugs from the 1960’s. It is a short 8 minute video about taking drugs and popping pills “why” the students do them and eventually why marijuana is a gate way drug and what it does to you. The PSA talks about how the kids slowly take more and more drugs because they either become addicted or think they can handle the drugs. This video shows the basic stuff that kids are influenced by other kids and that if done once it will be done again so the kids do stuff to be cool or “groovy”. Bad kids influence good kids to take drugs because they also take drugs or they are drug dealers. The video talks about students being “square” which is bad, the main boy in the video drinks to much at a party and ends up doing drugs because he is not thinking.

N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan 2012. < j. anslinger>.
These are quotes from Harry J. Anslinger. He was the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. With him at the lead they began to arrest people for using drugs. They had little money though to pay for what they needed to do so Harry created a PSA and fought drugs by using scare tactics and alerting the public how dangerous this new drug was and why people should not do it. These quotes are only a few of the racist slurs and lies he has told. He discredited research done on the drug that went against his PSA’s and made sure the world was to afraid to even smoke the drug believing that they would become violent.

"Gore Files." Reefer Madness video. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan 2012. <
One of Harry J. Anslinger’s Anti-drug propaganda was called the Gore File. In his Gore File stories are told about people on marijuana who have done horrible acts generally rape and murder. Many children and people under the influence of marijuana are said to of stabbed people while under the influence of marijuana. There are also bits about people selling marijuna while not as scary as thinking about someone stabbing you while high this was still effective for parents because this meant anyone could be selling drugs to their children. The quotes are from newspapers with short blurbs of what happened while said person did what they did on marijuana. In fact many people tried to claim insanity because they were on marijuana. the first ten are ture the rest are myths but at the time were considered true at least so said the PSA’s and Gore Files.

Nixon announces war on drugs. News, Film. <>.
June 17, 1972 Nixon announces the War on Drugs. He explains that he will be upping the funding that is going to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and taking down drugs because in his opinion Drugs are public enemy number one. This is a short video but apparently Nixon wanted to crack down on laws but the only one that was a full federal law was the war on drugs so he took to it. This became his presidential “thing”, he was going to take down drugs and drug users, the people who push drugs and the ones who are corrupted by them. Other presidents have backed the war on drugs but Nixon started it.

Mann, Ron, dir. Grass: History of marijuana. 1999. Film

This is a documentary about the history of marijuana. In the documentary multiple PSA’s and other scare tactics from the government are shown. The film shows both sides of the history, the whole story with facts and historical references. It talks about how the Mexicans from across the border brought the weed into the states. They say that a Mexican who was high went crazy and killed a bunch of people so the El Paso Ordinance 1914. Harry J. Anslinger is introduced as taking down drugs. The whole movie is filled with primary sources mostly videos and pictures from different times. The anti drugs campaign seems to be the one with the most PSA’s.

Rudgley, Richard. "Cannabis." Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances. Little, Brown and Company, 1998. Web. 2 Jan 2012. <>.

This source also talks about how the drug was originally grown in one certain location because of the environment it needed, thinking maybe around Central Asia and around Afghanistan area. It isn’t certain because of how widely it has spread and how fast it happened too. This site is also very useful because it talks about the plant and what type it is, for example it is a dioecious plant meaning it can have either the male or the female reproduction system. For cannabis the female systems produce the best. Cannabis was also present during the time of the Silk Road and was commonly traded. Many smoked it because it was believed that it helped release one from their anxiety, which is still a common belief.

"Mexican Weed of Madness." Miami News 25 June 1914, n. pag. Web. 5 Jan. 2012. <,3549925&dq=marihuana insane&hl=en>.

This newspaper article is from 1914 and talks about the crazy outbreaks smoking marijuana causes a person to have. It highlights one story about one guy that smoked marijuana and then killed a cop and badly injured three other men. He stated that he was crazy and he was put in a strait jacket. They also talk about how smoking marijuana causes a person to lose their mind and they will never became to recover it again after that. The article raised the issue of soldiers in camps smoking marijuana and how it had to be smuggled and was illegal, smoking it caused a headache at first and then caused hallucinations involving seeing things that weren’t there. This newspaper article is helpful because it shows the thought people believed about weed and shows the causes that later down the road helped make marijuana illegal in the United States and Mexico.


Guither, Pete . "Why is Marijuana Illegal? ." Drug WarRant . WordPress , n.d. Web. 2 Jan 2012. <>.

This source talks about why exactly marijuana is illegal today and what caused it to get that way. For example it has a lot to do with racism, greed and companies profits, which isn’t what most people think. Most people get the idea that just because its illegal it means it’s bad, which the site also talks about, the level of ignorance. The site also talks about the basic history of marijuana and how it has been legal for most of its usage time, it has only been illegal for 1% of the time the plant has been in use. The site also has a section on the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which is important because it is obviously not enforced today and there is also a section about the relations that involved the Mexicans and also a section that talks about the prohibition laws in place. This helps learn the facts and how they have changed with the fact that make up the background to give us a good base of understanding.

"Hemp History ." . Hemp House Paia, 1998 . Web. 2 Jan 2012. <>.

This source is very important because it helps give a good idea of how things involving marijuana started to become more popular and how things exactly started to spread. This mainly outlines the use of hemp and when people started to learn new ways to use it. This site is a timeline that dates as far back as 8000 BC and goes all the way up unto 1998. This gives a basic idea and helps us be able to map things and understand the large issue and concept of this ongoing problem. The timeline includes facts and events from anything like someone eating a seed to help them stay alive to the word hempe being listed in the dictionary to when it became legal to have hemp farms and to mass grow.

"Marijuana Timeline ." BUSTED America's War on Marijuana. PBS, n.d. Web. 2 Jan 2012. <>.

The time line starts in the 1600’s talking about the growing of marijuana for hemp up to the 1890s. The 1920’s are when things become interesting as Mexicans who have crossed the border bring over Marijuana as a recreational drug. In the 1930’s drugs are making a rise in America and the fear is rising so in an effort to fight the new drugs the Federal Bureau of Narcotics is created.  The timeline talks about different PSA’s. There is an interesting tidbit from World War two where a program “Hemp For Hope” is program where people will grow hemp so that there is more rope and cloth for the war.

"Ancient Cannabis: Uncovering a 2,700-Year-Old Stash." Discovery News . Discovery Communications, n.d. Web. 2 Jan 2012. <>.

This source shows pictures with captions and little explanations of the Yanghai Tombs from over 2,700 years ago that contained marijuana in them. The tombs also contained other produces made from hemp. The site also has pictures of seeds and leafs of this 2,700 year old marijuana. This site helps show how far back marijuana could possibly go. The Yanghai people could have been the first people to have marijuana and use it in its many ways or maybe they weren’t. Its not certain if they smoked it or where it was grown or if they even were the ones that put it in the tombs, but it does answer some questions while it raised many more unanswerable questions.

Viegas, Jennifer. "Oldest Marijuana Stash Found ."Discovery News . Discovery Communications, 03 Dec 2008. Web. 2 Jan 2012. <>.

This source continues to talk about the Yanghai Tombs in much more detail. They used the hemp to make clothes and ropes. The site proves that the Yanghai people did indeed smoke the marijuana, but in the tomb and from what we know about the civilization it is unknown how exactly they smoked it. From inspecting it is known that marijuana is a complicated plant and took brains to create. The stuff they smoked was very similar to what we have today but if the stuff that was found was smoked there would be no effect because of the decomposition of the main chemicals including THC. This cite helps me to further understand the oldest dated back marijuana in detail.

"A Brief History of Cannabis ." The UK Cannabis Internet Activist. UKCIA Culture Section, n.d. Web. 2 Jan 2012. <>.

This source is useful to my project because it talks about how early traditions started, like people sitting around in a circle smoking and meeting in groups of people. Also as far back as 2737 BC marijuana has been used as a medicine, maybe even farther back.  Also the drug was referenced in Homer which helps date it back even more. The site also talked about how it was used as a punishment in an early form, people were made to smoke it until they passed out if they committed a misdeed, but on the flip side it was also encouraged to smoke because it gave lots of energy and made people work better. This site also proves as early as 1378 there were people that wanted cannabis destroyed, it worked but then eventually came back, which happens many more times in history and even to the present day.

Zimmer, Lynn. "Marijuana." Legalize Marijuana . N.p., 21 Oct 2007. Web. 2 Jan 2012. <>.

This source is useful because it talks about where the natural habit of marijuana and where it originated from. Cannabis homeland is just north of India and many of the early civilizations had to travel through that area on their way to settling and traveling to find and conquer new land. At this time is when most people found and picked on cannabis. This is most likely the reason that the plant spread so much and is now present and easily found everywhere. Early on the plant was referred to as the Mother of Agricultural Civilization because it had many helpful uses such as making ropes and fabric, medical uses and it contains vitamin B and protein. The writer of this cite is both a former user and a researcher who strongly feels that marijuana should be legal and talks about the many positive things that the plant and drug can be used and was used for. It is also mentioned that the use of the drug causes hallucinations and at a certain balance it can be good and that is what is believed to have started the ideas of many world religions today.

"Interviews ." BUSTED America's War on Marijuana. PBS , 1998 . Web. 2 Jan 2012. <>.
These are interviews from a PBS documentary called “Busted - America’s War on Marijuana”. Each man interviewed is from a different field of work. The men are on different sides of the issue. Some are fighting for the legalization of marijuana and because they are professionals in their field they are able to give good sturdy reasons and data to support their ideas. Reading the interviews gives you two strong sides of an argument. The men’s professions, which range from Teachers to Police officers, really add to the knowledge and give you different perspectives of marijuana besides just a full on supporter of marijuana or a person who is totally against it.

"Cannabis (drug)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Dec. 2012. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <>.
This is a Wikipedia article about Cannabis. This is a good page for the basic information on marijuana and is not biased stating only the facts of what is going on in this history and current affairs of marijuana. The Wikipedia page also talks about the chemicals in marijuana and their effects that make up marijuana as a drug. It is important to know this stuff because not many people think about the types of stuff marijuana is made of like THC and what it does to you exactly. This page gives all the basics about the classifications and different types of marijuana.

"Cal Biz Lit." : Just Say No! To Headless Class Actions. Cal Biz Lit, 28 Apr. 2011. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <>.
This article is about employers not accepting employees who have a prison record. The important part of the article is that a majority of the people who had a prison record had it because of marijuana related crimes. The people then sued Starbucks but it did not really workout in the end. We really only used this source for the outline of the marijuana pot leaf for our board but the story is interesting. It makes sense that the people were not allowed to work for Starbucks because of past crimes. There is a law though that excludes marijuana from this though in California

Rick. "Tfs." TheFreshScent » Marijuana Field. The Fresh Scent, 4 May 2009. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <>.
We used this source for the picture on our board. The whole page is short articles about marijuana fields. The one that we took the picture from was simply a short one about 890 plants all about ten feet tall being found in Denver, just shows you that this plant is still going strong. Another one, not a source on here is above the article about the marijuana field in Denver, the article is about a new tool built that would make it easier to find grow operations in houses. The tool would fly over houses and find heat signatures from grow operations.

"Decriminalizing Marijuana." Acupuncture School Massage School Miami Florida. 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 12 Mar. 2012. <>.
In this article our group used the picture for the sign over the actual work. The marijuana pot leaf looked really nice and showed off a marijuana well. This source is actually not a good one. The article talks about the reasons why marijuana would not be a good thing to make legal. The article is difficult to read, the first part talks about why marijuana should be made illegal and then the second part talks about California’s prop 19 that was voted on in 2010 after this article was written. This article is from an acupuncture clinic and is not well written.

Facts that are one the borad:

Harry J. Anslinger becomes head of the FBN (August 12, 1930)

Mexicans bring recreational smoking to America

Reefer Madness is released (1937)

Prop 215 is passed making medical marijuana legal in Califorina

June 14 1930 Federal Bureau of Narcotics is created

June 17 1971 President Richard Nixon declares war on drugs.

Norml an organization trying to repeal the prohibition of marijuana is created in 1970

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” - Harry J. Anslinger

In 1969 the UN estimated that there were between 200,000,000 and 250,000,000 cannabis users in the world.

Marijuana has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that it’s been in use.

America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. It was a law “ordering” all farmers to grow Indian hempseed.

Cannabis is a dioecious plant (i.e. an individual cannabis plant is either male or female)

Cannabis is a plant native to Central Asia that has spread all over the world and is probably the most widely used recreational and usually illegal drug in the world,

Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.” - Harry J. Anslinger

Approximately 0.6 percent (22.5 million) of people used cannabis daily.

Cannabis used medically has several well-documented beneficial effects. Among these are: the amelioration of nausea and vomiting, stimulation of hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, lowered intraocular eye pressure (shown to be effective for treating glaucoma), as well as general analgesic effects (pain reliever).

Modern Interpretation
Marijuana is no longer as hated as it originally was back in the 1930’s. Since then lots has changed, people no longer believe that by smoking marijuana you will stab someone to death and Reefer Madness is a funny movie. The most recent thing about Marijuana is the medical use that is becoming popular in the United States. The research done on marijuana has shown its medical uses. Cancer, glaucoma, and now even PSD in soldiers that come back from war. The next step for marijuana is its legalization.

Process Paper:
For this project we chose to do our project of the history of Marijuana and how it became illegal and then the start of it becoming legal again. We chose this because it was something we found ourselves interested in learning about and we also wanted a challenging and controversial topic. It makes the project that much harder and we wanted to tackle that extra milestone. Not only are you informing one on the subject but also you are forcing them to expect the facts and put their personal beliefs on the topic a side and take in new knowledge. 

Most of the research we did had to be outside of school on our own time. This is because while in school and using the Philadelphia School District Internet connection many useful and extremely informative websites are blocked because they are about Marijuana, which is an illegal drug. While doing research at home we searched for hours and peer edited each other ideas for “good sources” before we agreed that the source was useful. We used Google advance searches and also watched many documentaries either together or separately and then came back and talked about what was talked about. We also searched YouTube for different types of PSA that were made. We wanted to have a mix of all possible types of sources that way our information was engaging and gave us ideas on how to show our work as well.

This project is related to the NHD theme because Marijuana has a very interesting history, which includes a Reaction, Revolution and a Reform, which is still taking, place today. Marijuana use dates back to BC times, Marijuana has been around from the beginning, whether it was Hemp or Marijuana. Marijuana has a point where it hit America hard and mostly everyone was against it and thought the drug made one crazy, which caused many to fear it. This then lead into the Revolution of Marijuana being made illegal which until recent has held strong. Following that comes the Reform of people starting to understand the Marijuana doesn’t make one crazy and in some cases can be very helpful and needed. It has medical uses that are very seriously needed and even personal uses that many enjoy. Marijuana’s past, present and even future has been a bumpy and will continue to be bumpy adventure with many important events that need to be highlighted and learned about, including the repetition of the RRRs.