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Celebrating Reefer Madness Tomorrow: Screenings and DVD Release Party

Reefer Madness 2D NEW.jpg
Reefer Madness at the Vista on 4/20.
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Tomorrow is April 20 so prepare yourself for the onslaught of pot jokes and references. If we had to pick one event from all the bud-related festivities, we'll go with a screening of Reefer Madness tomorrow at the Vine Theater to commemorate the film's upcoming 75th anniversary.The now-cult classic was released in 1936 (which confuses us why they're celebrating the film's 75th anniversary) but whatever. The film is still a lot of fun--especially on the big screen.

Reefer Madness has been known by a number of titles--Tell Your Children, Doped Youth, Dope Addict, Love Madness and The Burning Question--originally financed by a church group to educate (i.e., scare the living daylights out of) parents on the dangers of a single toke of marijuana.

It's got the artistic merit of an industrial/educational, with the soul of an after-school special morality tale. The story focuses on drug dealers Mae and Jack who sell marijuana to local high school kids. Two of the kids Bill and Mary are tennis-playing, tea-drinking, Shakespeare-reading clean-cut sweethearts who make the mistake--an ultimately fatal mistake--of getting involved with Mary Jane. The film's plot has everything: dancing, drinking, drugs, parties, lewd behavior, a hit and run accident, suicide, rape and brain-addled teenagers.

But what gives Reefer Madness its staying power is the earnestness with which the writers and actors approach the over-the-top plot twists, dialogue and story lines. Check out this no-so-subtle text from the film's introductory crawl (italics are our emphasis):