Reefer Madness the Sequel

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Sorry to disappoint you.  This is not a blog about a sequel to the movie Reefer Madness and pot crazed youth in America.  Rather it is a sequel to my blog ‘Gasland as Reefer Madness’.

Maybe you didn’t catch the original.  One reader personally emailed me about the blog with the following comment: “In my opinion, possibly the best one you’ve written to date.”  So if you did miss – possibly the best one written to date – go here.

For this blog sequel, I want to discuss the serious point about Reefer Madness.  It’s easy to miss that this film affected the course of American drug policies in the 1930’s.  It’s easy to miss this serious point because it’s hard to see Reefer Madness as anything but a farce today.

Before ‘Reefer Madness’ marijuana was just hemp.  Not a dangerous narcotic depicted by Reefer Madness as the scourge of American youth and about to undermine all of American society.  There was little evidence or history showing marijuana to be a danger to the public.  However, once they were scared the public demanded and got laws to protect them from this scourge of American youth.

When over time Reefer Madness was shown to be a farce no one stopped to rethink the policies.  So the drug policies that resulted, still remain in one form or another, more than 70 years later.

My last blog postulated that we will soon realize that the dead cows and burning taps in another exploitation film, Gasland, are a farce as well.

However, like the producer of Reefer Madness, Josh Fox has already won his point.  He successfully scared the public about something new to them.  There is no evidence that hydraulic fracturing is a wide spread problem, precisely the opposite.  To the extent there are problems they are the exceptions that prove the rule.  However, a now scared public is demanding and will get laws to protect them from these dead cows and burning taps.

There are already moratoriums in NY state, Quebec and France.  Without doubt new policy and regulations are about to be handed down in all three of those jurisdictions as well as others.  Many are even calling for federal interference in State and Provincial jurisdictions.

Whatever we get, I hope it won’t take 70 years to fix it.  That’s a sequel I don’t want to see.