Drug Policy

Drug Propaganda Thursday

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"The Terrible Truth," from 1951.

Apparently, there was a nasty drug called "marijuana" that was popular in the early 1950s.  Fortunately, aggressive government programs, tough policing, public service programs, and education were enough to rid America of "the reefer" forever.

NOTE:  The director of "The Terrible Truth," Sid Davis, passed away this month.  Check Jesse Walker's H&R obit here.  This video on predator homosexuals (it's a "disease of the mind!"), called "Boys Beware" is fun, too.

NEXT: He Yam What He Yam, Again

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  1. In a way, this film is marginally more enlightened than Traffic. At least it doesn’t play the race card by scaring the audience with the image of a white teenage girl in bed with a black man.

  2. Phyllis is Hot!

  3. I’m just surprised, that in fifty short years, the awesome accent and cadence of that narrating judge has died. I think I will adopt it.

    …they both smoked “pot”. That’s jive talk for marijuana.

    ROFL

  4. “In the far east a few years back they were lining up dope peddlers and shooting them in the back of the head. But it didn’t stop addiction!”

    Otherwise we would have totally implemented this strategy by now.

  5. Phyllis is Hot!

    Yeah it kind of pisses me off that they didn’t play up the “street-walker” angle a little more.

  6. So she and the peddeler were married. Right, cuz if they were potrayed as “shacking up” (that’s jive talk for living together), it would be scandalous.

  7. yeah see, it was the reds… that’s jive talk for the soviets.

  8. In a way, this film is marginally more enlightened than Traffic. At least it doesn’t play the race card by scaring the audience with the image of a white teenage girl in bed with a black man.

    Yeah, I thought her plunge into nailing dealers for heroin was a little much. Still, good movie until the lame ending. You had to love the drug tsar announcing that his job was pointless.

  9. I wonder what the judge would think of the death of Kathryn Johnston…

  10. I like how only the “socially inept” smoke pot – that is, the “guys with no backbone.”

    The Reds? I wonder what that anti-drug campaign that claim sounds like? Hmm, is it the one that tried to tie illicit drugs to terrorism? The more things change…

  11. This actually wasn’t as hysterical as I thought it would be. Sure it made the gateway drug argument and showed a complete lack of knowlege about what marijuana actually does (it feels like you’re going a million miles an hour???). But the stuff about heroin wasn’t completely off the mark.

    As for the comments about Traffic: It was funny how a film that tried to take an anti-drug war position still clung to so many cliches of the pro-drug war arsenal. The whole “drugs ruin the purity of young white women” theme is as old as the anti-drug crusade itself. There were movies in the early 1900s about chinese opium dens with pretty much the same premise.

  12. I thought Traffic was anti- Drug War. maybe I saw a different movie.

  13. I thought the ultimate conclusions of Traffic were very anti- Drug War, or at least spoke to how futile it is. The trafficker they caught gave a nice speech as to how easy it is to smuggle cocaine into the US and how NAFTA would only make it easier. At the same time, it didn’t pretend that a world of readily available heroin would be some sort of utopia.

  14. The only thing I can’t stand about this “debate” is the potheads I know who can not grasp the concepts of “I don’t care” and “no thank you”.

    When they try to convince me that I need to try whatever they are on I tell them “no thank you, I am full-up on money wasting bad habits, but I don’t care what you do.” Then they have to continue to bug me about it every time I see them (if I fail to avoid them) for weeks or months. “It is better for you than cigarettes.” Well, no I don’t think “better for you” is the right phrase to use, but you go ahead and do what you like and stop bothering me, etc.

    Their backup ‘argument’ is that I should support it being legal. I say I don’t care if it is legal or not and they have to keep going, as if they have a monologue prepared for J. Edgar Hoover.

    Actually, I will have to say that pot has affected my life since the small segment of the users that I am familiar with annoy me into wanting to crack them in the head with a barstool.

  15. Didn’t you see how different she looked before and after admitance to the hospital for her addiction? Her hair was at least a whole inch longer in the back. I think you can now lay down the ‘pot is not addictive’ card.

  16. steveintheknow,

    Yea, pot can’t be addictive because the burners I know have been doing it every day for many years and it has not affected them a bit. See previous post.

  17. GM:

    Lighten up. You probably are unlucky enough to be contact with the only zealot stoner cell in existence.

    All stoners I know are happy keeping to themselves. The smart ones keep their mouths shut and not call attention to themselves.

    Trying to “convert” a non-user is pointless. This is such a hugely divisive issue that people are already hard-set in their views.

    It’s also very bad form to force weed on someone who’s not cool with it. Plus I’m not aware of any stoner who has so much stash that they are willing to waste of any it.

  18. “The Heroin”.

    “The Habit”.

    “The Reefer”.

    I love how they name all this stuff in the singular.

    Streetwalking? Swiping car parts? Sounds good to me.

  19. “GM:
    Lighten up. You probably are unlucky enough to be contact with the only zealot stoner cell in existence.”

    Agreed. I have never observed the type of stoner behavior GM seems to be so familiar with. Stoner-nonstoner interactions that I observe tend to go something like this:

    Stoner: we’re gonna step into the bathroom and burn one, you care to join us?

    Nonstoner: Nah, that’s ok.

    Stoner: cool, cool. We’ll be back in 5.

  20. Partick,

    Must just be me and stoners like to harass me.

    Will try to improve myself and not be such a victim of the underground society.

  21. When they try to convince me that I need to try whatever they are on I tell them “no thank you, I am full-up on money wasting bad habits, but I don’t care what you do.” Then they have to continue to bug me about it every time I see them (if I fail to avoid them) for weeks or months.

    I personally question the truthfulness of this statement. (In as polite a way as possible) I don’t believe, not for a second, that pot-smokers are constantly harassing you get you to smoke up their stash despite your repeated refusals.

    Most pot-smokers have an ettiquite. If you are around when they are smoking (and aren’t considered a risk/narc) they will offer….if you decline that’s fine too….just don’t judge/preach.

    Furthermore, in your world these people are just dying to deplete their own stash to get you partake…I just don’t buy.

  22. Okay, I’m being very compulsive, but I can’t just let this go?

    .09 Go on, Sid! Spray the beast!
    .09 Nice “Loony Tunes” Font.
    .17 “We would like to thank the Judge in his bloated, pasty goodness!”
    .32 Brilliant typesetting. For a five-year-old.
    .32 “21” addicts? Isn’t the bag limit 10?
    .35 Wait a second. Are the cops “nabbing” or are they “grabbing”? Make up your mind!
    .35 Roger Daltry: “Teenage Dope Raid, oh yeah, Teenage Dope Raid! They’re AAALLL DOPING!”
    .39 I feel sorry for this particular “Dope”. A whole school is picking on him!
    .42 Um, your newspaper is upside-down, bud. Are you high?
    .42 Nice hair. Did you comb it with a towel?
    .53 Okay. There are no increments labeled on the x and y. And the whole thing is scrawled on an index card. But it’s SCIENTIFIC.
    1.07 Lexington and Fort Worth. Meccas of progressiveness.
    1.16 Now lookee here. You pop with these things. You smoke the other things here. And you stick your arm with this thingy here. Just don’t get them confused!
    1.16 Is chalk a controlled substance?
    2.06 Does this Poe “nightmare” involve banging your first cousin and passing out drunk in a gutter?
    2.24 Hair by Fredrick Douglas salons.
    2.27 Uh.. yeah.. it’s a picture allright. “Pretty”, though. Uh?.
    2.33 Mom: “You talk’n to ME? Hah? Are you talk’n to ME?!
    2.33 Alice from Brady Bunch wants her dress back, doll.
    2.43 Is it just me, or is the girl hotter now than in the picture?
    3.34 30-year old “teenagers”
    3.41 Jiiiivve talk’n! Tell’n me lies! Jiiivvve talk’n! Wear’n a disguise!
    3.41 “Jive”. Yep. It’s the blacks. And them damned mexi-cans.
    3.47 (Deep Voice): PeeWee Herman. Paging Mr. Herman?

  23. Most pot-smokers have an ettiquite. If you are around when they are smoking (and aren’t considered a risk/narc) they will offer….if you decline that’s fine too….just don’t judge/preach.

    I’ve added emphasis to what I think are the key words here.

    Mind you, for some, any negative comment is perceived as preaching.

  24. Greg:
    At the same time, [Traffic] didn’t pretend that a world of readily available heroin would be some sort of utopia.

    I’ve never heard any anti-prohibitionist make that claim. Traffic is overrated as an antidote to drug-war propaganda. On the subject of heroin, it buys into what Jacob Sullum calls voodoo pharmacology.

  25. Mr Nice Guy, love the commentary! And it’s not just you, the girl is way hotter on film than in the picture (picture girl’s only real hope is alcohol, weed probably won’t help her much)

    They do seem to enjoy weed way more in the film than I’ve ever seen in real life, but maybe they had better drugs in the 50s.

  26. They do seem to enjoy weed way more in the film than I’ve ever seen in real life, but maybe they had better drugs in the 50s.

    That just can’t be true!! Every War on Drugs supporter keeps telling us that the reason we needed tougher laws and to be more vigilant about pot these days was because todays marijuana is so much stronger than it was in the old days.

    And they would never lie about it…I mean its to protect out children.

  27. Q:

    You’re right, the grass was definitely better in the 50s, from what I am told.

    Not only do you feel 100 feet tall and the world is a blur, you can play the piano at a hundred miles an hour.

    Faster….Faster….FASTER!!! HAHAHHAHAHAH! FASTER! C’mon! FASTER!!!

  28. I have a nominee for next week! I don’t think this was paid for by a govt agency, but the song is so bad (IMHO) it probably should have been.

    It is: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five; White Lines (Don’t Do It) (w/ Melle Mel)

  29. CT,

    I really don’t care if you and your buddy believe what the children over 30 yrs. old tell me, even though you qualified it as a possibility.

    Someone else touched on something that may be relevant, the issue of any comment being taken as preaching.

    Also, there seems to be a political component too as these folks who I know habitually vote for a different party than I usually do. How they munge that into the nonsense that comes out of their mouths, I have no idea.

    Oh, one more item, it does not matter how long we have not seen each other, they are still stuck on the same couple of conversations that we had years ago.

    Can’t be some local thing, most of them are in the DC area (mostly around Reston) and a few are in Knoxville (mostly around the campus).

    Not sure where you guys are dreaming me into being in the smoking area with them, or their offering to share anything with me either. They just keep babbling that I ought to do it, not “let’s split a joint”, just that I need to get some and try it.

    Since funding was mentioned, they do frequently want me to buy them beer after bragging about some expensive vacation, lots of smoke and some pretty unbelievable salary revelations. Of course, I tell them that they can buy their own if everything they said was true.

    Kind of amazing where your fertile imaginations went while I was at lunch.

  30. Maybe Guy is so damn uptight that anybody who is ever around him who has ever smoked up says, “Please try this. It will do you some good.” Maybe it’s an in-joke with people who know him. “When’s the last time you talked to Guy? Did you try to get him to try reefer? Ha ha ha! That one never gets old.”

    Guy Montag,
    I don’t know you one little bit, and I am just mouthing off and being a smart-ass, so please don’t take offense. My experience with the reefer and its “addicts” has been like the other commenters. No one gives a good goddamn if someone else smokes or has ever smoked it. Leave ’em alone and let ’em smoke in peace.

  31. highnumber,

    LOL, okay, but the leave them alone thing is a bit off. Not kidding when I say I don’t care what they do (well, qualifier is as long as it is not on my property).

  32. 2.43 Is it just me, or is the girl hotter now than in the picture?

    I noticed that too. The only difference between the two is the hairstyle. In the picture she has some kind of then-trendy but now kitchsy hairstyle, after the “ravages” of her addiction she merely brushes it back (which looks much better). This is supposed to show how far she’s let herself go or something.

    Another highlights: “a full-blown heroin habit can cost as much as $30 a day!” Ahh, inflation…

  33. …they both smoked “pot”. That’s jive talk for marijuana.

    You don’t need to tell me that. I speak jive.

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