Chapter 4 - (2nd Edition)
North Carolina -- REEFER MADNESS


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-- There are no North Carolina Cases on Record:

Although ‘Jim Crow’ played a vital role in the creation of our present day drug laws.   Surprisingly the Federal Government’s orchestrated Reefer Madness campaign itself --- seems to have played little, if any, role here in North Carolina.

However, this should come as no surprise, given the importance that Industrial Hemp played in the States history (at the time there even was a small city named ‘Hemp, N.C.’).   Put it another way, it’s a little hard to sell the ‘Weed of madness’ concept, when the farm next to yours has been growing Industrial Hemp for years and years, etc.

In fact, after hours of newspaper archival research, the following was the one-and-only true Reefer Madness Newspaper article found.

Statesville Record Statesville Record
Statesville Record, Dec. 06, 1938 p1

THE STATESVILLE RECORD -- Dec. 16, 1938 p1
Marihuana---a dangerous narcotic fad-is taking hold and spreading to various sections of the United States.

It is the new shame and menace of the nation.

Crime after crime has been chalked up to the account of this drug, the most damnable of them all, according to the Bureau of Narcotics.   Its use is rapidly in [Continued on back Page] creasing among young boys and girls of high school age.

It is an unpredictable drug.   One cigarette may stupefy a person, it may turn the smoker into a killer.

Evidence of the drug has been found in North Carolina.   Three years ago a quantity of the weed was found growing in a flower box of an apartment in Greensboro.   It has been reported that marihuana salesmen have been lurking in the vicinity of Central High School in Charlotte, but these reports, according to Charlotte police, have been false.

Out of the casebook of young addicts comes this story: A studious, mild-mannered young man, known as a model son, stared blankly at a cell wall.

“What ---why am I here?” he asked.

“You have murdered your mother, father, sister and two brothers---with an axe.”

A marihuana cigarette had turned a well-liked decent young chap into a savage killer.
This is not to say that there weren’t other mentions --- mostly (to their great discredit), run in the ‘Black Press.’   But these seem to mostly be arrest mentions of some ‘Colored Individual’ unfortunate enough to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, etc.   Nothing to do with axe murderers, etc.

For the stated reasons above, it's hard to gage what effects the motion picture industry (remember there was no TV or the Internet at the time), had in North Carolina during the campaign.   Probably very little --- And here we must praise God for all those religious prude’s - due to the mature subject mature, they probably censored most of the incoming movies, before they had a chance to even run.   However, that didn’t prevent them from trying.

Burlington Daily Times
Burlington Daily Times June 8, 1949

Without doubt nationally distributed magazines, radio productions, comics, etc., would have made there way into North Carolina during the campaign.   However, after extensive research, there is little indication that they (other than those forces dealing with Jim Crow) had any effect on the local situation.   Example: None of the Reefer Madness era Detective Magazine stories originated in N.C., nor did any of them deal with a N.C. case of any kind.


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