The Evolution of Cannabis on Television

  • In 1967, when the revival of Dragnet was popular, cannabis really wasn’t on television aside from an innocuous storyline on The Andy Griffith Show .
  • By that point, the best-known portrayals of marijuana were still from 1930s exploitation films like Reefer Madness and Assassin of Youth , and that is reflected in the Dragnet episode The Big High.
  • Less than a decade later, the perception of marijuana would start to shift on television, even with Richard Nixon declaring a war on drugs in 1972.
  • You can correlate these sweeter portrayals to the real drug policy reformation happening at the time, as throughout the 1970s both Los Angeles and New York respectively where these shows are set decriminalized marijuana.
  • That law, along with the establishment of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No campaign, and
  • As you can see with shows like High Maintenance , television is already adapting to the changing public perception of marijuana in the United States.

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