A young party girl is pulled into a life crime by the Demon Herb Marijuana!!!
Burma “Blondie” Roberts is an ordinary teenager getting into the kind of mischief people her age have always been into. Sneaking away to parties and trying to evade her parents’ control. While at a beach party, she is offered a Marijuana laced cigarette and this starts her downward slide into drug abuse, arrest and eventual rise as a major drug pusher.
Marijuana is another Dwain Esper special. He specialized in picking up such sleazy classics as Reefer Madness, How To Undress In Front Of Your Husband and Sex Maniac. Packaging them together and showing them in low rent venues. Since these schlock films had minimal budgets and were basically low grade smut disguised as educational features. They were extremely popular and profitable. These kind of roadshow productions continued until the weakening of the Hays Code in the late ’50s and ’60s.
The film starts with a rolling wall of text that would impress George Lucas. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Demon Herb Marijuana is burned into your irises in 72 point text. It finally switches over to some kind of hep-cat dance club.
Pretty soon the action shifts to a beach side house where a couple of shady looking characters (Pencil mustaches seemed to be a dead giveaway for bad guys in the mid 1930s.) offer everyone some herbal refreshment. This soon leads to necking, petting and skinny dipping. While the bad guys cackle about how easy it is to hook teenagers. Burma’s brush with the drug soon leads to all kinds of naughtiness through the film and ends with her abandoning her out of wedlock child.
Compared to Reefer Madness, this one loses the preacher segments and is a little more risqué. It’s also not as much fun. Marijuana lacks Reefer Madness’ goofy comedic element and just seems sleazy and low budget by comparison. What it shares with that film, is the berserk, over the top implication that any exposure to illicit narcotics will inevitably turn you into a dangerous criminal ready for the mugshot books on the first toke.
If anything, this kind of stuff tends to backfire on the people using it as an anti-drug campaign. The scorched earth approach isn’t unique to shockudrama films like this and once kids realize they aren’t going to spontaneously combust from smoking the demon herb; it usually discredits anything else the anti-drug campaign has to say.
The only analogy I can think of to describe the approach of these kinds of films involves the using of tactical nuclear weapons to rid a building of mice.
Verdict: 1 Gavel out of 5
Not as amusing as Reefer Madness, looks like an attempt at comedy. Too bad they were actually serious. Slightly risque, poorly shot, poorly lit and poorly acted. Available on Youtube and Archive.org but not recommended.