A trip back in time with vintage anti-marijuana ads
These days, legalization is almost everywhere you see, and in most places, marijuana is being accepted as a medicinal drug at least, if not yet a recreational one. Back in the middle of the century, though, marijuana wasn't just prohibited -- it was used as a tool for fear. For various reasons (classism, racism, you name it), mainsteam America had a vested interest in attacking those who used "the devil's weed," and there were quite a few now vintage films and advertisements smearing weed with every cultural bias that producers could come up with.
KQED has a great writeup on them, and has even found a few great YouTube examples to watch. It's crazy to think back and imagine these on television, being watched as sincerely as they were made. Of course, even at the time, kids probably laughed at how awkward and weird these propaganda films are -- even kids know when they're being convinced of something. But the fact that they were produced at all is interesting. There's plenty of misinformation and fear, along with lots of anecdotal evidence ("I had six friends who committed crimes of passion on marijuana!") and very little scientific research.
The reasons why these shorts were created are varied -- I'm sure some of them were well-intentioned, though they're all pretty badly researched, and they're more about spreading misinformation and fear than actually helping viewers navigate the world of marijuana use (and it's obvious at this point that racism was a major reason for the prohibition and marginalization of marijuana). They're almost funny to watch now, but they're also a warning of sorts: What else have been we been lied to about? Where else is propaganda like this raising its ugly head now?