Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, . First edition. Published two years after marijuana was effectively criminalized in California under the Marihuana Tax Act. With eight full-page photo reproductions and a full-page chart. Advertisements for other anti-narcotics publications targeting young people printed on insides of wrappers. A very good copy of this uncommon anti-narcotics work for young people. Publisher’s color-printed paper wrappers titled in orange. Some foxing to wrappers. Octavo. 96 pp. Item #17498
According to the editor’s note in the present work, father-and-son duo Earle Albert and Robert Rowell “spent years investigating and lecturing on marihuana and other narcotic drugs…In the past fourteen years they have given some four thousand lectures on narcotics.” The Rowells claim that marijuana is a uniquely dangerous drug that causes paranoia, hallucinations, convulsions, and murderous rages. They write, “When a person smokes a marijuana cigarette, he may become a mad philosopher, a merry reveler, a cruel murderer, or a mad insensate,” (p. 28). The present work draws on shocking stories of girls driven to murder by marijuana, a crazed “native of Malay” wielding a dagger in a hash-fueled fit, and nefarious drug dealers tricking teenagers into smoking “a new, special kind” of cigarette.
The Rowells credit immigrants, gangs, movies, and secular schools with pushing young people into marijuana addiction. Unlike some anti-narcotics crusaders, however, they saw drug use as a treatable disease rather than a criminal trait. The present work typifies the moral panic around marijuana that also spawned the cult classic Reefer Madness, which was first released in 1936 (under the title Tell Your Children) as a morality tale warning young people about the perils of marijuana use.