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Acid HypeAmerican News Media and the Psychedelic Experience$
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Stephen Siff

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039195

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039195.001.0001

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Early Restrictions on Drug Speech, 1900–1956

Early Restrictions on Drug Speech, 1900–1956

(p.17) Chapter 1 Early Restrictions on Drug Speech, 1900–1956
Acid Hype

Stephen Siff

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the media's contribution to America's naiveté about illegal drugs—heroin, cocaine, marijuana—and drug effects before psychedelic drugs were introduced. Until the 1960s, pressure from U.S. government agencies and industry self-regulation discouraged information about drug use in television and film. Government officials and prohibition ideologues played determinative roles in setting a news-media agenda that was hostile toward drug use and drug users, and omitted acknowledgment of drugs' potentially enticing effects. Themes about drug use that were initially raised in antinarcotics crusades following World War I were revived in the 1950s by public officials in highly publicized hearings reported by newspapers and covered live in broadcast media.

Keywords:   illegal drugs, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, drug use, industry self-regulation, antinarcotics crusades

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