She Shoulda Said No (1949)

Publication Year: 
1949

Images retrieved from:
-exploitationsterart.com on August 17th, 2014.
-filmposters.com on August 17th, 2014.
-trashymovie.wordpress.com on August 17th, 2014.
-Herb Museum on September 8th, 2014.

"She Shoulda Said 'No'!" (also known as Wild Weed; Marijuana, the Devil's Weed; The Story of Lila Leeds and Her Exposé of the Marijuana Racket; and The Devil's Weed) is a 1949 exploitation film that follows in the spirit of morality tales such as the 1936 films Reefer Madness and Marihuana. Directed by Sam Newfield (using the pseudonym "Sherman Scott") and starring Lila Leeds, it was originally produced to capitalize on the arrest of Leeds and Robert Mitchum on a charge of marijuana conspiracy. The film was issued under many titles; it struggled to find a distributor until film presenter Kroger Babb picked up the rights, reissuing it as The Story of Lila Leeds and Her Exposé of the Marijuana Racket. Its relative success came only after the promotional posters were redone and a story fabricated that the film was being presented in conjunction with the United States Treasury.

Leeds' character is "Anne Lester", a young orphan who is trying to pay for her brother's college education. After meeting Markey, a drug dealer, Anne begins to believe that she must smoke marijuana to fit in with her friends. She then goes to a "tea party", where she tries the drug for the first time. She is unaffected by the initial experiment, and loses her fear of drugs as she continues to smoke.

Anne's drug use results in the loss of many of her inhibitions, and the film shows her actions under the influence, including scenes implying sexual promiscuity. As the film progresses, she is fired from her job and begins selling drugs for Markey. Her brother hangs himself when he learns of her new job, and she is arrested and given a tour of the various psychiatric wards and jails that drug users end up in. Finally, after 50 days in jail, she is released, cleaned up and ready to cooperate with the authorities regarding Markey. Text retrieved from Wikipedia.org on August 17th, 2014.

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