Reefer Madness – Admission/Application Essay Example

The 1937 anti-marijuana propaganda film Reefer Madness: Tell Your Children illustrates how persuasion and government influence can lead an entire community, albeit an entire country, into believing outrageous data and scenarios that have no proof or basis. The film highlights the ill effects of drug abuse by formulating a farfetched scenario where teenagers lose control and their entire future because of smoking marijuana. The movie opens with the statement identifying marijuana, stages of the drug’s effects, and ultimately what it could lead to. It is dubbed, quite exaggeratedly, as “The Real Public Enemy Number One” and urges people and more specifically parents to act fast and to do something to prevent the corruption of their children.
The movie is premised on a film showing at the Truman Highschool Auditorium coinciding in a PTA meeting and presided by Dr. Alfred Carroll. Carroll serves as the emissary of the government sent to propagate the campaign against marijuana. His stature and academic background commands credibility and the parents take in his every word religiously. The hypothetical corruption of the minors and the ensuing ending does nothing but to prove the ways and means by which the government ensures that their agenda is heard and followed by the people. The theatrics by which Dr. Carroll ends the film is no different than simple bad acting that no one in this day and age would believe him. This is because we are now aware of the facts and the extent that marijuana could influence a person’s behavior. But imagine being someone in that decade and having no other information except those related by the government. It is easy to fall prey to the government’s propaganda. The real tragedy then is not marijuana use but fear of the unknown. False fear that is instilled unscrupulously by one’s own government.
Work Cited
Reefer Madness: Tell Your Children. Dir. Louis J. Gasnier. Grand National Studios, 1937. Web. 20 July 2014.