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“Reefer Madness” – Documentary Screening & Discussion

November 22, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Center for Inquiry – Transnational
1310 Sweet Home Road
Amherst, New York 14228 United States

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Organized by:
Center for Inquiry Western New York



Followed by a discussion with Bob Givens – a local Biomedical Scientist and Social Justice Advocate with 30 years of experience.

Reefer Madness” is considered THE archetypal sensationalized anti-drug movie, but it’s really an exploitation film made to capitalize on the hot taboo subject of marijuana use. Like many exploitation films of the time, “Reefer Madness” tried to make a quick buck off of a forbidden subject while skirting the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930. The film toured around the country for many years – often being re-edited and re-titled (“Tell Your Children”, “Dope Addict”, “Doped Youth”, “Love Madness”, “The Burning Question”). It was re-discovered in the early 1970s by NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and screened again as an example of the government’s demonization of marijuana. NORML may have been confused about the film’s sponsorship since one of the film’s distributors, Dwain Esper, testified to the Arizona Supreme Court that “Reefer Madness” was not a trashy exploitation film but was actually sponsored by the U.S. Government – a convincing lie, but a lie nonetheless. That being said, the film is still quite enjoyable since it dramatizes the “violent narcotic’s … soul destroying” effects on unwary teens, and their hedonistic exploits enroute to the bottom. You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.

The Center for Inquiry’s mission is to foster a secular society based on reason, science, and freedom of inquiry. We are a community group in Western New York made up of atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, skeptics, and other non-religious folks. We do our best to make a positive difference in the lives of secular and scientific-minded people and show that you don’t have to believe in a god to be good or to do good in the world. We have monthly educational lectures (about topics related to science and secularism) up in Amherst, NY, and social events (potlucks, cafe meetups, game nights, etc.) throughout the year.

For more information call/text John @ 716-238-3821 or Email WNY@CenterforInquiry.org

Or contact WNY NORML on Facebook facebook.com/WNYNORML1 or Instagram @wnynorml