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Assassin Of Youth, the third major marijuana film of the 1930s, borrowed its title from an article written by Harry Anslinger, the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, who succeeded in criminalizing the drug in 1937. Assassin of Youth, along with Marijuana and Reefer Madness, convinced the public that dope turned kids into sex crazed murderers. And with the evidence so compellingly presented here, who could doubt it?
When "Marijuana Crazed Youth" run down a little old lady, she leaves her inheritance to granddaughter, Joan Barrie (No Greater Sin's LUANA WALTERS), provided Joan can lead a "clean life." But Joan's cousin, Linda (FAY McKENZIE), has other plans. She'll get the dough if Joan gets in trouble, so Linda convinces Joan and her friends to light up some muggles at a lakeside weenie roast...
Before long, Joan's reputation is on the skids and her sister Marjorie (DOROTHY SWIFT of Reefer Madness), who has a real taste for the weed, tries to kill another girl with a butcher knife! As a doctor helpfully explains to Joan's mom: "Your daughter is psychopathic case. She is on the verge of insanity. She has marked symptoms of drug addiction and I strongly believe that she has been using marijuana, a cigarette made out of narcotic weed!"
Joan's attempts to help newspaper reporter Art Brighton (ARTHUR GARDNER) expose the dope ring run afoul when she attends a pot party and smokes a joint. Forgetting that she's supposed to be getting evidence to have the pushers arrested, Joan herself winds up in cuffs on a morals charge when she turns up in a cheap motel with Linda's husband!
It all looks lost for Joan until Art shows up at the hearing to expose the truth: "Marijuana, the assassin of youth, the scourge of our country, is reaching out like a mad killer, mowing down the youth of our land, distorting their minds, and leading them into lives of degradation and crime! This evil has struck here, your honor! It has turned innocent play into tragic orgies! Why, at this very moment, your courtroom is filled with smokers of this terrible weed!"
Directed by ELMER CLIFTON, the man who helmed such lowbrow gems as Rip Roaring Riley, Gambling with Souls, Paroled from the Big House, and Youth Aflame. An employee of the Hays Office (Hollywood's official censor board) said of Assassin of Youth: "Moral value, none. Direction, poor. Acting, terrible." In other words, you'll love it!
From a 35mm "Murder-by-Marijuana!" print. -- Eric Schaefer, Bold! Daring! Shocking!
Dorothy SwiftOther cast:
Arthur Gardner, Fay McKenzieDirected by: