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The Reefer Madness Collection



Reefer smoking has become major problem in all large U. S. cities since World War 2. Here are the startling facts: Use of marijuana cigarettes jumped 1000 times in last 10 years, is still rising rapidly. Large scale use in recent years first came to light during war. Army authorities found shocking number of Gl's using doped cigarettes to relieve war tensions, thousands of others being introduced to narcotics habit in dope hotspots of Europe and Pacific.

Today 80 percent of narcotics suspects arrested in Los Angeles smoke marijuana. New York cops say 15,000 teenage drug addicts in city nearly all start down dope trail by smoking marijuana for illicit thrills, graduate to heroin, cocaine.

BUT: deceptive statistics hide true picture of widespread use of reefers. Police estimate 100 reefer smokers exist for every addict caught. In 1948 Federal Narcotics Agents burned enough seven-leafed weed to make 900,000 cigarettes, predict figure may be doubled this year, reach 2,000,000. Reason: marijuana plant grows fast, wild in all parts of U.S. in nearly any soil or climate.

To show dangers of reefer smoking DARE presents composite case history based on latest scientific evidence.

Case No. I Reefer smokers react in many different ways. Some feel high after one cigarette, others need more drug for real kick. Terrific relaxing effect of drug makes people sprawl on bed, floor in weird positions, faces contorted in ecstatic thrill. Others feel need for action, dance slow sensuous steps to imagined music, or try to do super-human things like flying to moon. Reefer smoke is inhaled in deep gulps with lots of air. Smoker holds breath, swallows hard. Within minutes drug takes hold, pupils dilate, smoker may laugh hysterically. Some try to rip clothes from body for free movement. Stretching lazily intensifies relaxing feel of marijuana, makes smoker curl up like cat. Time, space, movement become distorted. Smoker thinks hours pass in minutes, says she's 200 years old. Person under effects of reefer can't judge distance, will miss doors and sit on floor, missing chair.

After few hours, drug starts to wear off. Reefer smoker depressed as tensions return, often gets angry, throws anything handy. Finally gets very sleepy, collapses on couch with crazy smile on lips, falls asleep to dream weird fantasies. Other case histories show frightening dangers of smoking reefers:

Case No. 2 Part-time actress, band singer, Lila Leeds and movie strong man Robert Mitchum were arrested when police broke in door on "tea party" in Lila's home in Laurel Canyon near Hollywood. Both were convicted on narcotics charge, served jail sentences.

Case No. 3 In Michigan mad-dog killer Alcide Benoit murdered State Trooper Richard Hammond in cold blood. Benoit bludgeoned Hammond unconscious, handcuffed him to post, waited calmly for trooper to regain consciousness before shooting him in back of head. Police testified at Benoit's trial that major crimes he committed (40 robberies, 2 murders) were done under marijuana influence.

Case No. 4 Quiet, likable 17 year old boy in small Southern town played billiards at night in town's pool room, hangout for older gang. Friend gave him marijuana cigarette to try one night. He smoked the reefer, felt mad, aggressive. In a trance on way home he dreamed family was plotting to kill him. He raced home, got ax from woodshed, hacked mother, father, sister, two, brothers to death while they slept, Curled up to sleep off drug effects after murders in pool of blood. . Wrong ideas about reefers: Scientists say they do have ravaging physical effect. Dr. Herbert J. Kirchner studied 5,000 reefer smokers in Los Angeles, states: "There is no question but that marijuana eventually breaks the user down mentally." Greatest danger of smoking reefers: smoker gradually becomes immune to reefer's kick, seeks thrills from other drugs: Result: he becomes hopelessly addicted, must steal, rob, turn prostitute or dope peddler to get money for more expensive drugs.

Dr. Victor H. Vogel, Director of Federal Narcotics Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, warns that without exception all teen-age drug addicts there first smoked marijuana before starting on heroin. Conclusion: Marijuana is not an innocent, mild narcotic but a vicious, dangerous drug.

Problem of control is complicated, difficult. Weed grows wild everywhere, has been found in fields on farms, in tenement window-boxes, in vacant lots on busy city streets.

Real solution to problem is this: psychiatric clinics, counseling services must be set Lip to aid emotionally disturbed persons who turn to reefers as escape from problems hurried modern world. Recreational outlets for teenagers must be provided in great numbers by over-crowded tension-making city slum areas.


DARE - Jan 1953 - Fiction Publications Inc., Gurley Bldg., Stamford Conn.


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