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Samantha Felix Samantha Felix

Vintage Newsreel: Here’s What a Drug Bust Looked Like in 1948

Even though they faced criminal charges and possible jail time, they just couldn't stop giggling.

7 Substance

In 1948, five men and one woman were arrested in New York City for possession of 60 “reefers” (joints) and $2,000 worth (in 1948 prices) of “bulk” marijuana. The clipped tones of the newsreel add that “a pistol is included in the incriminating loot.” Though they were facing fines and possibly even jail time, they just couldn’t stop laughing. Despite the demonizing, Reefer Madness-style propaganda of the time, these giddy dealers were everything but concerned about the “violence-inducing drug.”