As more and more states across America began legalizing marijuana, it was only inevitable that this would happen: Republicans, trained to robotically push back against anything remotely progressive, would take some time from getting angry about Pepé Le Pew and go old school against getting high. Indeed, on Friday Reefer Madness — the notoriously hysterical 1936 propaganda film that warned against the dangers of smoking bud — began trending online after a Republican governor told his constituents that blazing up puts you down in the ground.
As per Mediaite, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts held a press conference after state lawmakers discussed a bill that could legalize medical marijuana. Ricketts, though, is old-fashioned — really, old-fashioned. And he was sure the data that linked getting stoned with suicide was legit.
“This is a dangerous drug that will impact our kids,” Ricketts said during his presser. “If you legalize marijuana, you’re going to kill your kids. That’s what the data shows from around the country. That’s why it’s dangerous to go around the established process we have to determine whether or not drugs are safe and effective, why legalizing marijuana and going around the regulatory process to keep people safe is dangerous, and going to harm our kids.”
Mind you, the bill being bandied about only legalizes cannabis for medical use, and it’s only for serious medical conditions, prescribed only by doctors and physicians. But Ricketts was evidently more concerned with over-the-top fears than about alleviating the suffering of those in need.
But many on social media weren’t buying that. Many saw a return to the bad old days, namely Reefer Madness, in which stoned people resort to such non-chill activities as manslaughter, rape, and hit-and-run accidents. And the jokes, they flowed.
How is it possible that there are people trying to work this line 100 years after Reefer Madness https://t.co/1uNRISBAAg
— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) March 13, 2021
they dont even try anymore 😂
they know its a losing battle and only the dumbest people still buy into reefer madness so they just drop shit like "if you legalize marijuana YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE MASSACRED" with no explanation whatsoever because fuck it https://t.co/s58XaD4AW0
— Captain Rutabaga (@RutabagaCaptain) March 12, 2021
— Spike Cohen (@RealSpikeCohen) March 12, 2021
Research: “Harvard Medical School + University of Kentucky assessed relationship between medical-use and adult-use legalization laws and opioid prescriptions”
Legal Weed: Opioid scripts ⬇️
Prohibitionists: REeFEr MAdNEss AnD mUST aVEnGE Dr SEuSss!! 🤪https://t.co/e9Rtu0he6Z
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) March 11, 2021
Good grief…Reefer Madness came out in the 1930s. Alcohol is legal and a hell of a lot more damaging. https://t.co/XOfB08Uwms
— GeekGirlForever (@scifichick25) March 12, 2021
Me seeing reefer madness and running to check if weed is finally legal everywhere pic.twitter.com/dQr98gfiM9
— Pizza Dad (@Pizza__Dad) March 12, 2021
Hearing CRICKETS from Gov. RICKETTS?
*Please see the very factual film, Reefer Madness for reference..🤣 pic.twitter.com/men2VEpxe7
— Brown Eyed Susan (@smc429) March 12, 2021
85 years later, Reefer Madness all over again. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/1cWxbRa2ih
— AB Normal 🐈 🏳️🌈🇨🇦🇬🇧🍟 (@kat_woman13) March 12, 2021
Meanwhile, those interested in watching what audiences in 1936 — as well as current Republican governors — thought about getting high can always watch the film itself, which has long been helpfully in the public domain.