Congress includes marijuana in the Narcotics Control Act, leading to stricter mandatory minimum sentences, such as two to ten years with a fine of up to $20,000 for a first-offense marijuana possession conviction.
November 2, 1951, President Harry S. Truman signs the Boggs Act into law, which amends the Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act to set mandatory sentences for drug convictions. Under the Act, a first offense for marijuana possession carries a minimum sentence of 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Alleged documentary film The Terrible Truth is released, where attorney William B. McKesson interviews a young woman about how her cannabis use led her to become involved in narcotics. The film tries to make the case that the Soviet Union is using cannabis to push drugs into the US.
September 27, 1950, Leon Klimovsky’s film The Marihuana Story premieres in Argentina and is later entered into the Cannes Film Festival.
Sam Newfield’s exploitation film She Shoulda Said No!, AKA Wild Weed, AKA The Story of Lila Leeds and Her Expose of the Marijuana Racket, is released; it stars Lila Leeds in an attempt to capitalize off of Leeds’ and actor Robert Mitchum’s 1948 arrest for cannabis possession. The film shows how a young woman’s cannabis use destroys her life and those around her.
The New York Academy of Medicine issues The La Guardia Committee Report, claiming that, contrary to popular belief, marijuana does not lead to outlandish behavior, violence, insanity, or altered personality.
Medical products containing cannabis are removed from US Pharmacopoeia so physicians can no longer prescribe it.
Ray Test’s exploitation film Devil’s Harvest is released; a high school student goes undercover to expose the drug operation plaguing her community.
Henry Ford constructs a Model-T made from hemp plastic and which uses hemp as fuel.
President Franklin Roosevelt makes an emergency executive order to allow for industrial hemp production in the US for military uses.
The US Department of Agriculture's "Hemp for Victory" program distributes hemp seeds to farmers, encouraging them to grow hemp to use for ropes, parachutes, and other crucial military supplies.
Elmer Clifton’s exploitation film Assassin of Youth is released. The film is considered a ripoff of Reefer Madness, but it is a deliberate reference to an article written by Harry Anslinger for The American Magazine earlier that year about the dangers of marijuana.
The Marihuana Tax Stamp Act of 1937, drafted by Anslinger, levies taxes on cannabis that were so high no one could afford to sell it legally. It effectively banned the sale and use of marijuana, which Anslinger had portrayed as a societal menace.
Propaganda film Reefer Madness aims to illustrate the dangers of marijuana use and its effects on users' behavior.
Dwain Esper’s exploitation film Marihuana is released, showing cannabis as a gateway drug to heroin addiction, sexual promiscuity, teenage pregnancy and crime.
Jazz musician Stuff Smith releases the song “If You’re a Viper,” which becomes one of the most frequently covered songs about marijuana in American history. The 1943 cover by Fats Waller receives attention from Harry Anslinger’s team in the government effort to prosecute jazz musicians for smoking cannabis. The song is later ranked among High Times’ list of the 25 greatest pot songs of all time.
May 21, 1934, Hollywood Pre-Code film Murder at the Vanities is released, featuring Duke Ellington and Kitty Carlisle; its signature scene is the musical number “Sweet Marijuana,” where topless women extol the virtues of cannabis.
William Randolph Hearst, who had financial interests in the lumber and paper industries, publishes detrimental stories about cannabis in an attempt to eliminate competition from the hemp industry. Following suit with Harry Anslinger, first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Hearst began a propaganda campaign against "marijuana," (instead of cannabis) to draw an association with many of the Mexican immigrants who used it.
Early Jazz Legend Cab Calloway and his Orchestra first records “Have you Ever Met That Funny Reefer Man.”
Blues singer Trixie Smith releases “Jack, I’m Mellow,” which is later used as the theme song for the Netflix series Disjointed. Trixie Smith was born in Atlanta, Georgia and eventually moved to New York City where she began performing in various cafes and theaters, and even performed on Broadway. She appeared in five films, including God’s Step Children (1938), directed by Oscar Micheaux.
South Africa implements the Medical, Dental and Pharmacy Act, which prohibits the sale and possession of “habit forming drugs,” including stopping the sale of all cannabis in the country.
The U.S. Pharmacopoeia publishes a Cannabis americana monograph.