From the acid craze of the Woodstock era to the “Just Say No” campaign of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, drugs have woven their way into American culture since the advent of mass media. Popeye Doyle (The French Connection) and the team of Crockett & Tubbs (Miami Vice) brought the narcotics war to huge audiences in both film and television, but whereas Alex P. Keaton of Family Ties taught a generation of youngsters about the perils of drugs, relaxing with pot or meth (That ’70s Show, Go) seems like no big deal for today’s TV & film youth. And if even mild-mannered accountants (Kevin Nealon’s Doug on Showtime’s Weeds) are getting stoned on a regular basis, can marijuana be that bad? Perhaps not, although director Darren Aronofsky would argue differently about heroin and cocaine — as shown in his frightening film, Requiem for a Dream. Molly McAshan is a Chicago-area mental-health professional and film blogger whose thoughts can be found at celluloitering.blogspot.com. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in December 2007.]
Drugs in Popular Culture, w/guest Molly McAshan
Kevin Fullam is a writer and researcher, with extensive experience in fields ranging from sports analytics to politics and cinema.
In addition, he has hosted two long-running radio series on film and culture, and taught mass media at Loyola University.
Episodes of his two shows, Split Reel and Under Surveillance, are archived on the Radio page.