Reefer Madness Museum


I'm not sure how long it's been around or why I never came across it before, but the Reefer Madness Museum, a quirky collection of anti-pot images and text from newspapers, magazines, schoolbooks, comic books, paperback novels, and movies, is well worth a visit. The site focuses on the decades just before and after the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, illuminating the fears underlying cannabis prohibition. Some of the material, such as the 1937 movie Reefer Madness and Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry Anslinger's 1937 American Magazine article "Marihuana: Assassin of Youth," is familiar, but there are plenty of weird cultural artifacts I'd never seen before, such as the 1949 Green Hornet issue featuring "The Case of the Marijuana Racket" and a 1940 editorial cartoon from an Indiana newspaper whose message the site sums up this way: "Marihuana turns Mexicans into Nazis." The site also sifts through the contents of Anslinger's "Gore File"–accounts of violent and frequently gruesome crimes he attributed to marijuana–and tries to figure out which cases were invented from whole cloth, which were real crimes with a fictional marijuana nexus, and which were real crimes involving real pot smokers where marijuana's causal role was simply assumed.