The true origin story of ‘Reefer Madness’

Written by Judith Stamps for Daily Hive. Stamps is the author of Unthinking Modernity:  Innis, McLuhan and the Frankfurt School, numerous journal articles, essays and letters to the editor, and served as editor of the quarterly journal, Cannabis Digest.

The phrase “reefer madness,” refers to a program of wildly exaggerated claims regarding the dangers of marijuana.

If you have encountered tales on the subject, you will have heard, or read, that this program was invented in the 1930s by Harry Anslinger, first Commissioner of the American Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the forerunner to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

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