Tags: Marijuana Legalization | legalizing weed | marijuana | films

Legalizing Weed: 3 Films That Led to Policy Changes for Marijuana

By    |   Monday, 09 Nov 2015 08:54 PM

Several films have been made on the topic of legalizing weed or hemp. Whether they influenced public policy or simply reflected the attitudes of the people behind policy is uncertain.

Here are four films that may have led, directly or indirectly, to policy changes about marijuana.

1. “Reefer Madness” (1936)
This 1936 movie started out as a straight propaganda piece but was later recast as a sensationalist exploitation movie. Criminal defense lawyer Bruce Alan Block, writing in his blog, called it a government-financed propaganda movie that showed evidence (“later proven to be utterly false”) that pot use resulted in four young lives “spiraling out of control.” Block noted the passage of the “Marihuana Tax Stamp Act” of 1937 followed soon after, making it a felony to not have a tax stamp on your marijuana. He also noted that the medical professionals of the time were largely against criminalization of marijuana.

2. “I Love you Alice B. Toklas” (1968)
Though it’s more difficult to draw a direct line between this Peter Sellers outing and public policy, movie reviewers note it’s one of the first to show marijuana users as not necessarily evil.

“One day you're a career 9-to-5er with a pending marriage, and then next you know, you chuck it all for beads, bell-bottoms and free love,” according to a summary on the Media Resource Center at University of California, Berkeley website.

3. “Easy Rider” (1969)
The story of two carefree motorcycle rebels setting out on a cross-country journey is another movie that puts pot in the hands of the good guys, while the bad guys are the uptight folks.

Philippa Klein, in a paper called “Bad Influence,” argued that movie portrayals of pot are influenced by, rather than influencing, public policy, but noted that as the 1960s rolled over in to the 1970s, “Marijuana was commuted, as were the laws surrounding its possession, from ‘killer weed’ to ‘drop-out weed.’ As it became popular with middle-class white university students, its stigma was diminished greatly; so much so that it was decriminalized in 11 U.S. states.”

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
FastFeatures
Several films have been made on the topic of legalizing weed or hemp. Whether they influenced public policy or simply reflected the attitudes of the people behind policy is uncertain.
legalizing weed, marijuana, films
348
2015-54-09
Monday, 09 Nov 2015 08:54 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved