Celebrating the Unpopular Arts
Behold the magnificent glory of ‘Reefer Madness’!!!!

Behold the magnificent glory of ‘Reefer Madness’!!!!

And lo, from the comic book heavens came Reefer Madness, a compilation of funnybooks that spaketh of the evils of the demon weed, marihuana, and its attendant side effects – crime, Communism, sexual perversion, belief in equality between all races and genders! And lo, did Craig Yoe of Yoe Books and Dark Horse Comics bring together the best of these four-color warnings and charge but 20 thin dollars for your edification about the horrors of Satan’s cigarettes! And lo, did your humble blogger show some of these comics, in order that ye might learn of these terrors. Look upon these horrors, and quake with fear!

Okay, first of all, if I saw this cover on a magazine, why would it turn me OFF marijuana?

Dang, woman

Moving on!

Always remember, kids, addiction to marijuana turns you into … a murderer! Yes, even if you were completely non-violent before, one puff and you’re a deranged killer!

One would think Kirby would be more pro-pot
Even those Kree in Panel 2 know that maijuana is bad!
Well, he’s obviously British, and we all know you can’t trust them!
His craving made him blue in the face!


He’s giving cheap hoods a bad name!
Admiral Akbar must have been on the weed, too!
Is that really what you see when you smoke the demon weed?


Maybe he just drank too much beer?


Well, something stopped Johnny Dolan …


Marijuana, as we all know, is a total gateway drug!

Habit-forming? That’s crazy talk!
I give my kid marijuana all the time!


Don’t listen to the disembodied hand!!!!


‘Tea parties’? What the hell?


Instead of slaving away like Dad, I got a job on a truck!


Nothing is worse than marijuana!

Cocaine? Bah! Heroin? Pshaw! PCP? Kids’ stuff!


Curiously, going to federal prison cures you of your marijuana addiction!

‘You’re just lucky you’re white, son’


If you smoke marijuana, people can get you to anything they want, even if you don’t want to do it!

Those wacky weak-willed Japanese!
‘Don’t worry about Becky – there’s enough of me to go around!’


Even Frank Frazetta knew about the marijuana problem!

Dope-fiendness is contagious!


As always, girls are most negatively affected by marijuana. It brings shame on their families …

Now Ike will never appoint me Attorney General!

Turns them into sluts …

‘Daddy told me I should only do this with him, but the weed made me yearn for it all the time!’

And ages them prematurely, which of course means they can’t land a good, decent husband!

‘Without her looks, no one will even talk to her!’


Of course, marijuana will make you dig strange, probably “Negro” music instead of good, wholesome American tunes!

I can’t imagine any musician ever smoking marijuana!
‘Pat Boone would be very upset with you, young lady!’


And, of course, the only thing worse than marijuana is the fact that so many women of loose morals entice honest, innocent men (and one woman) into trying it!!!!

You know she’s a tart because her shirt is unbuttoned so low!
‘They’re Strumpet Brand cigarettes!’
To be fair, I’d probably do whatever that tomato asked me to do, too
Oh, Gloria, you seemed so nice!

All this is to say, you should read Reefer Madness. It’s … boy, it’s something.

(Credits – art only unless otherwise indicated: Scans 1-4: Kirby. Scans 5-7, 27: Lou Cameron. Scan 8, 13, 28: Bill Wolfolk (script) and Mort Leav (art). Scan 9: Syd Shores. Scan 10-11, 25: Edwin Goldfarb and Bob Baer. Scan 12: Unknown. Scan 14, 16: Unknown. Scan 15: Alfred Andriola. Scans 17-18, 26: Raeburn van Buren. Scan 19: Frank Frazetta. Scans 20-22: Everett Raymond Kinstler. Scans 23-24: Unknown.)


  1. Edo Bosnar

    Oh, the delicious irony: I love how, in the Simon & Kirby panels, the cops dealing with the evils of marijuana are frequently shown puffing away at pipes or cigars.
    Also: “I … need a marijuana!” *snort*

    1. Greg Burgas

      Edo: But you’ll notice that they’re smoking so the smoke swirls around the suspect, making him crave marijuana even more! They’re so clever!!!!

  2. I had never heard the “banzai weed” thing before. Was that something they pulled out of their butt or was it a common belief? Similar I guess, to the belief the Nizar Ismaila (AKA the assassin sect) got stoned before committing killings.
    Because nothing makes you a vicious, efficient killer like being stoned.

    1. Greg Burgas

      frasersherman: I have no idea if it’s a thing, but I suspect they pulled it out of their butts. A lot of the “information” in these comics is fishy, so why wouldn’t they make that up? Of course, they might have heard it from a spurious source and believed it, but it really doesn’t seem like an actual thing. As you note, marijuana doesn’t really turn one into a vicious killer.

    1. Greg Burgas

      I was just making a joke because his comics were so crazy, I would not be surprised if they were aided by foreign substances. But nothing I know about Kirby makes me think he was either pro- or anti-pot or whether he ever indulged.

      1. Got it. I’ve read that some Dr. Strange fans in the Silver Age were convinced Lee and Ditko were tripping on something. They were supposedly baffled to meet them and discover two middle-aged normal types instead of Timothy Leary.

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