Reefer Madness
Reefer Madness

SkullF Due to lack of material resources, at the present time we can only post this temporary website dealing with the various States that don’t really rate a whole one.   Which is a good thing; ---Meaning that yes, some Reefer madness tidbits did occur, but “Thank God” not that many.   It is our hope that at a future time we will be able to devote more space to these states.   But (again) due to lack of resources this will be a long while.   For now we hope that this quickie will be of some help to researchers into the era.

So as not to add insult to injury, the states listed below are not arranged in any particular order.

Having so few Gore File cases, one would think that Indiana would have been grateful for small favors.   However, despite having ONLY ONE official Gore File Case, (and a couple of maybes) a look over our pamphlet index section shows that Indiana’s State government was responsible for more Reefer Madness literature than many of the major States.   You figure.

Name: Louis Dupee - Location: - Fort Wayne, Ind   - Date: - July 20, 1936
What the Narc’s were claiming
Indiana - 1936 A fifty-year-old dope peddler was murdered in July 1936, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.   His police record included sentences for crimes ranging from petit larceny to murder, and he was killed by an assailant who cracked the peddler's head with a table leg, during an argument which developed when he accused two acquaintances of cutting into his dope racket.   He had been convicted twice for selling narcotics.   Approximately 4 pounds of MARIHUANA were seized from him and another man previous to his murder.   -- The Union Signal (WCTU) Jan. 30, 1937

Fort Wayne, Indiana - July 20, 1936 an underworld character known as Old Folks murdered one Louis Dupee., a Marihuana peddler.   Dupee, whose police record included sentences for crimes ranging from petit larceny to murder, was killed in an altercation over selling narcotics (Marihuana).   --- Review of the Illicit Traffic In The United States and the Philippine Islands In 1936

INDIANA - Ft. Wayne On March 12, 1936, Louis Dupee and George Robinson were arrested at Fort Wayne for possession of 9 pounds of marihuana.   They were held for prosecution.   --- ILLICIT TRAFFIC IN MARIHUANA - aka Gore File
[S]- July 20, 1936 p3 - “Dope Peddler Slain; Search for Suspect”
“Fort Wayne, Ind. July 20 -- (UP) An underworld negro known as ‘Old Folks’ was being hunted here by police today in connection with the murder yesterday of Louis Dunee, 50 year old negro dope peddler.   Dupee whose police record included sentences for crimes ranging from petit larceny to murder, was killed by an assailant who cracked his head with a table leg.   Police believe the killing grew out of an argument when Dupee accused two acquaintences(sic) of en[ ]ing into his dope racket.   He had been convicted twice for selling narcotics.
[S]- July 21, 1936 p4 - “Suspect in Murder Wins His Release”

[Key-finder - Case #TBD]

Another high school boy is in the insane asylum at Madison, Indiana, a raving maniac never more to breathe the fresh air and feel the sunshine of the farm, just because he joined a smoking party and got into the "habit."   -- KIWANIS MAGAZINE – Oct. 1938

A young man in Fayette county, Indiana, has gone insane from the use of marijuana or "dope" cigarettes.   He is now a crazed, wild boy gazing out of the windows of Madison Insane Hospital, his mind destroyed.   But for the coaxing of a vicious marijuana peddler, this boy would be working in the sunshine and the green fields of the home farm.   His life is broken, and he is only one of thousands being ruined in Indiana, Illinois and the Middle West by heartless, money-grabbing "dope" rings.   -- The Prairie Farmer - July 30, 1938

We have been able to track down the following about the case and nothing more.
[Initially called the ‘Southeastern Hospital for the Insane’]
Madison, Indiana
Superintendent , Dr. James W. Milligan (1915-1944)

Bluffton, Indiana   On October 3, 1935, Frank Contres and Albert Galban, Mexican beet workers, were sentenced to serve thirty days at the Indiana State Penal Farm upon their pleas of guilty to possession of cannabis indica (marihuana).   The defendants were also fined $50. and costs, amounting to $60, in each case.   The pair were arrested on a farm in Jefferson Township, Wells County, while they were allegedly in the act of stripping leaves off the marihuana plants,   --- ILLICIT TRAFFIC IN MARIHUANA - aka Gore File

Connersville, Indiana   Another boy of a good family in the same county is serving a term in the state penal farm for a crime he committed while crazed from smoking this death weed.   "He knew little of what he had done when he came out of his daze," said Night Captain William Harris of the Connersville police.   "When we arrested him, he was so excited we could hardly manage him, and crying, hysterical and violent   ---The Prairie Farmer - July 30, 1938

We have been able to establish that there really was a captain William Harris of Connersville , Indiana.   But nothing more about the incident.

Hawaii, maybe due to its isolation, simply didn’t have any real associated Gore File cases.   It did however have its share of simply arrests for possession.   Below are the only mentions made for that state by Anslinger’s Bureau of Narcotics.   In both cases we have been unable to confirm or independently identify the given cases.

HAWAII - HONOLULU - On January 20, 1936, Lloyd R. Evans was arrested at Honolulu for posession of 1 marihuana cigarette.   No action was taken against the prisoner, as he aided police -in making a case against Joseph A. Sylva, the peddler from whom he purchased the marihuana.   --- ILLICIT TRAFFIC IN MARIHUANA - aka Gore File

HAWAII - HONOLULU - On January 25, 1936, Joseph A. Sylva was arrested at Honolulu following the sale of 3 marihuana cigarettes to Narcotic Agents and local police.   He was held for trial by the Honolulu Police authorities.   --- ILLICIT TRAFFIC IN MARIHUANA - aka Gore File

Kentucky historically was known as a major grower and producer of Industrial Hemp for our nation.   Thus, it should come as little wonder that it has so few Gore File cases – Two many people knew the truth etc.

Murder(s) / ROBBERY
Name: TATE, CALVIN and HALL, WILLARD - Location: - Kentucky   - Date: - Jan 17, 1936
(state of KENTUCKY
AGE 21 33
DATE JAN 17, 1936 JAN 17, 1936

What the Narc's were claiming
Still another center is Louisville, for the good reason that Kentucky is one of the largest hemp-growing states in the Union.   And, certainly, marihuana was blamed for one of the most wanton murders Louisville has known in the last five years.   In this crime, twenty-year-old Calvin Tate, with three accomplices, attempted to hold up a filling station operated by an elderly man.   Their plans failed, a boy pulled a gun and the station owner was killed.   In their rush for freedom, they killed two other men, neither of whom attempted to halt them.   The first was standing on a corner outside the station waiting for a bus.   The second, attracted by the shots, was walking in his front yard when Tate and the only other gunman in the quartet, Willard Hall, ran past.   Captured, Tate admitted being at the station with Hall during the holdup but said he was “muggle-headed" at the time.   This was his defense to police.   It wasn't enough and a jury sent him, with Hall, to the electric chair.   -- DESIGNS IN SCARLET By Courtney Ryley Cooper 1939
Stevens Point Daily Journal
[Jan 17, 1936 pp12] “Two Electrocuted For Killing Three in Holdup in Kentucky”
Hammond Times (Hammond Indiana)
Jan. 14, 1936- “Two men are put to death”
Nevada State Journal
[Jan. 17, 1936 pp2] “Two Electrocuted”

[Key-finder - Case #36]

Did Medical Marihuana have anything to do with these crimes – we will allow the reader to decide.

NEWPORT, KY.   On Feb. 24, 1938, police officers of Newport, Ky., arrested Ralph Bridowell for the possession of stolen property.   While searching his premises they found a total of 8 kg. 306 gm. of marihuana, to which he acknowledged ownership and claimed to have purchased it from a man whose name he did not know.   On February 25, 1938, his brother, Harry Bridewell, was arrested for the sale of marihuana cigarettes.   Both pleaded guilty and each was sentenced to serve a term of 5 years in the Penitentiary.   Each had previously served a penitentiary term for violations of the liquor laws.

Coshocton Tribune
[S]- Feb 27, 1938 p - “Marihuana Cache Found at Newport” 4 arrested - Harry Bridewell 27, arrested

KENTUCKY - Covington   On July 12, 1935, two men, ages 23 and 25, were bound over to the Hamilton County Grand Jury in Cincinnati Municipal Court on a charge of possessing marihuana cigarettes, or "muggles".   The two men were picked up in Newport, Kentucky.   One of the men, Rochae is said to have purchased the marihuana on Lower Madison Avenue, Covington, Kentucky.   --- ILLICIT TRAFFIC IN MARIHUANA - aka Gore File

This is not an actual Gore File Case as much as it is a comment made by a local Mayor.   No actual cases have been located. The Mayor of Boise, Idaho, is quoted as follows: "The Mexican beet-field workers have introduced a new problem-the smoking in cigarettes and pipes, of Marihuana or Grifo.   Its use is as demoralizing as the use of other narcotics, and Idaho has no law to cope with the use and spread of this dangerous drug".   --- JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY– May-June 1932/Mar.-Apr., 1933

Tennessee lucked out and only had one of Anslinger’s Gore File cases, which relates to a simple Marihuana Farm which just happened to have taken place there.

Marihuana Farm
Name: Mary Jones/ Joe Lang, Orlando Hodge - Location: - Tunica, Miss /Memphis TN   - Date: - Oct 13, 1938
What the Narc’s were claiming
MEMPHIS, TENN.   On Oct. 4, 1938, police officers of Memphis, Tenn., received information that Joe Lang, Orlando Hodge, and Mary Jones were planning to rob Mary Jones' aunt and with the proceeds therefrom to proceed to Chicago for the purpose of selling marihuana.   They were arrested on the same date and 411 gm. of marihuana and 147 marihuana cigarettes were seized.   They admitted that they had procured the marihuana on a plantation in Mississippi about 50 miles from Memphis, and divided it, and they had planned after committing the robbery to take the marihuana to Chicago and sell it.   On October 14, 1938, all three pleaded guilty.   Hodge and Lang each received a sentence of 3 years and $1,000 fine, both having previous criminal records.   Mary Jones was placed on probation for 3 years.   -- The Traffic in Opium and Other Dangers Drugs (1938)
[S - Oct 15, 1938 pg 1] - Mississippi Marijuana Farms Raided; 2 Tons of Weed Taken”

[Key-finder - Case #16]

Note that both these cases come out of Earl Rowells classic -- On the Trail of marihuana , the Weed of Madness, and thus are NOT official Gore File Cases.

TENNESSEE - [Pre-1939]
In one state where there was no law governing marihuana, an ordinance to control it had been drawn for adoption by the city council of the second largest city in the state.   The reason for the ordinance lay in a near tragedy.   A high-school boy had smoked marihuana, and then gone berserk.   He wanted to kill someone - anyone would do.   As he had no gun or knife handy, he stole an automobile and ran it hilariously and recklessly about the city, trying to run over someone and kill him.   He did eventually run down an old man, broke his legs, and was careening down the streets in search of another victim when he was finally arrested by the police. In jail, he said he did not know what he had been doing, except that he was filled with an uncontrollable desire to commit murder.   He pleaded with the public to do something to prevent other youth from getting reefers, and, through a newspaper interview, he appealed to the youth never to smoke them.   The proposed city ordinance was the result of this incident.   We were asked to appear before the city council in favor of the bill.   What amazed us was the callous indifference of the council to the whole matter.   The bill was defeated by three arguments: first, the chief of police stated there was no marihuana problem! Second, it was the state's business anyway; and, as there was no state law on the matter, why should the city pass one?   Third, a state official said it was not a state matter but a Federal; and, as Uncle Sam had no law on it, why should the state bother!   --- On the trail of Marihuana the Weed of Madness 1939

Nashville, TN -- pre-1939
A young Boy in Nashville, after smoking a few of these cigarettes, developed an urge to kill just for the sake of killing.   He jumped into the first automobile he could find and started down the street to run people down.   He went viciously after anyone in sight, and succeeded in running over an old man, braking both his legs, before the police could stop him.   -- Marihuana – the Weed of Madness, the killer weed 1938

Try as we may (meaning the local public library in Nephi, Utah; -- We have not been able to locate this one lone case.

UTAH - Nephi, Utah, Dec 16, 1967----A man under the influence of marihuana attempted to murder his common-law wife, by cutting out her heart with a piece of broken mirror.   He stabbed her several times in the back and then cut his own abdomen with the makeshift weapon, causing his intestines to protrude.   Authorities indicated the suspect continued to act in a "frenzied manner" even after he was handcuffed and in a critical condition from his self-infected wounds.   -- Congressional Record -- April 4, 1968

Providence, R.I.: Nearly a ton of marihuana was found growing here by local police following the arrest of twenty tramps in possession of some of the weed.   The men stated they gathered it along the waterfront and after drying it, ground it in small coffee mills and rolled it into cigarettes.   As a result of this discovery a bill was introduced into the Rhode Island Legislature requesting an appropriation to be used in exterminating marihuana throughout the state.   -- Oakland Tribune (Newspaper) Oct. 11, 1936 “Don't be a MuggleHead”

Nevada - At a Reno party a girl thrust a pistol in the waistband of her slacks and called to another teen-ager: "Go ahead and have a good time.   If a cop comes to that door, I'll blast him."   --- Fortnight Newsmagazine Aug 20, 1951

Portland Oregon, M 19 – Raped 16-year old high school girl; beat, broke jaw, knocked out upper teeth, in wooded area after beatnick party.   Arrested   -- Article by James C. Munch; "UN Bulletin on Narcotics"-1966 Issue 2

1960 - V. Mullen, - Portland, Ore. - M - 19 - Raped 16-yr. high school girl; beat, broke jaw, knocked out upper teeth, in wooded area after beatnick party.   - Arrested   - 6th conference report - INEOA 1965

Pierre, S.D.: Two men were apprehended by the local police and found to be carrying a quantity of marihuana.   When taken into custody the men stated that they had seen the weed growing along the highway and gathered it, not knowing its possession was against State statutes.   -- Oakland Tribune (Newspaper) Oct. 11, 1936 “Don't be a MuggleHead”

Although being one of the major Industrial Hemp growing areas (especially during the Second World War), it seems that this same State didn’t figure in very much into Harry Anslinger’s Gore File.   Below are the only Gore File cases that we have been able to find.

Taxi cab hold-ups
Name: Eitel Guthman - Location: - Winona, Minn.   - Date: - Sept 24, 1938
What the Narc’s were claiming
Minnesota - 1938---Minnesota - 1938 Winona, Minn.   - Male - Smoked marihuana for years; held up 3 taxi-cabs.   Sentenced, 10 years   -- Article by James C. Munch; "UN Bulletin on Narcotics"-1966 Issue 2

1938 - E. Guthman, Winona, Minn. - m - Smoked marihuana for years; held up 3 taxi-cabs.   Convicted sentenced 10 years.   -- 6th conference report - INEOA 1965
[S]- Sept 24, 1938 p3 - Marijuana Is blamed for Theft of Three Taxicabs” “Winona, Minn.   (UP) Authorities today said Eitel Guthman had marijuana cigarettes to blame for the up to ten year prison sentence he received yesterday for third degree robbery charges in connection with the theft of three taxicabs.   Attorney M.J. Oten said Gutinman committed the crimes while under the influence of marijuana.   He plead guilty to the robberies described as motiveless and almost profitless.”

[Key-finder - Case #50]

Illinois - 1936 - William Barnett of Chicago, ILL., was arrested for the possession of marihuana.   At the time of Barnett's arrest he was in possession of a letter from Pete Gurralo, alias Joseph Fierro, of Mankato, Minn., offering to furnish marihuana in any quantity from 1 pound up.   On Sep. 22, 1936, Balli, alias Tom Gurrola, killed a man at Albert Lea, Minn.   Following the murder he escaped from prison and fled to the farm of his father.   He was identical with the man who offered to supply marihuana to Barnett.   When the officer went to the farm to apprehend him, he found 6 or 7 bushels of marihuana contained in a sack and two cardboard boxes, and concealed under a haystack   -- The Traffic in Opium and Other Dangers Drugs (1936)

Mankato, Minnesota September 1, 1936, William Barnett, 721 Oakwood Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, was arrested for possession of Marihuana.   At the time of his arrest he was in possession of a letter from Pete Gurrola of Mankato, Minnesota, offering to furnish Marihuana in any quantity from one pound up.   On September 22, Guadalupe Balli, alias Tom Gurrola, killed a man at Albert Lea, Minnesota.   Following the murder he escaped from prison and fled to the farm of his father.   A representative of the sheriff’s office went to the farm to apprehend him but he was not there.   While searching the premises, they found a quantity of Marihuana concealed in a sack and two cardboard boxes, about 6 or 7 bushels, and covered by a haystack.   -- Review of the Illicit Traffic In The United States and the Philippine Islands In 1936

Minnesota - In St. Paul, Minn., in February, 1950, a young 16-year-old lad was shot and killed and his father seriously wounded at the hands of a bandit who attempted to rob them.   The father was able to identify the bandit, who, when arrested, readily admitted himself to be a marihuana addict.   He had smoked a "reefer" just prior to the killing, to bolster his courage for the hold-up.   The murderer was "out on parole" from a previous sentence for marihuana addiction!   -- “Assassin of Youth” (Book) 1954 By Robert Devine

a man in Minnesota puts a bullet thru the head of a stranger on the road;   -- Chicago Tribune Jan 17, 1962 pg 5 -- “Reefers: A Fast Road Downhill” by Harry J. Anslinger; Will Oursler

We wish that we had the ability to run a complete website on all these states at this time, but due to limited resources, this is not a possibility at this time.   For now, we hope that this partial material will be of some help to students of the Reefer Madness Era.   ---- (Hint) if you make a financial donation to the museum it might help to speed things up a bit.


Due to space / download time considerations, only selected materials are displayed.   If you would like to obtain more information, feel free to contact the museum.   All our material is available (at cost) on CD-Rom format.   Please contact: