Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Cannabis dispensaries now a part of the ‘Madness’

The Theater Department has retained its focus to try to capture the right audience for its upcoming musical rendition of “Reefer Madness” by reaching out to the medical cannabis community in hopes to spark interest.


“Reefer Madness: The Musical” is a stage adaptation of “Marihuana,” a 1936 anti-drug propaganda film created to instill unrealistic visions of degeneration including rape, murder and suicide, faced by those who became addicted.


Seventy-five years after the release of “Reefer Madness,” Performing Arts Promotions Specialist Renee Bloch finds herself in a sensitive area with promoting this controversial issue.


“Normally, when we market our shows, they tend to have a universal appeal. They are easily promotable to high schools and to the community at large.”


Bloch adds, “This time, the show topic being what it is along with the show content with some language issues, political and religious satire that has potential to highly entertain or offend some people. And because of that, we are being extremely sensitive about how we are approaching our marketing this year and to who we are marketing.”


The span of promotion extends to local legalized cannabis dispensaries which includes Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Norwalk, Downey, Huntington Park, Long Beach, Lakewood, Santa Fe Springs, Whittier, Garden Grove, Cypress and Anaheim. 


Advertisements will also include the L.A. and O.C. Weekly.


“They have very large sections for ads for medical cannabis dispensaries and doctor recommendations.


“The readership of these papers tend to be a younger crowed that would appreciate this type of over-the-top satire and the readership we believe is the group of people that partake in medical cannabis,” Bloch said.


Philosophy major Diana Cabrera has never heard of “Reefer Madness” and is not a consumer of medical cannabis, but she believes there is no harm done by advertising the upcoming musical to medical cannabis clubs.


She said, “I think it’s proper and it’s within its context. If it’s done for the school play, it’s ok.”


Summer Wilson, accounting major, is supportive of the promotional campaign driven by the Theater Department.


“I’m totally ok with it. I’ve never seen the movie, but it’s totally cool with me.”


Regarding the topic if reaching out to the cannabis community would be detrimental to Cerritos College, Wilson answered, “Why would it be a detriment? I guess the school might be afraid that we would be welcoming potheads or whatever, but I wouldn’t think that.”


Undecided major Cassandra Sandoval heard of the play through word of mouth.


“My friend saw the flier at her cannabis dispensary. She was interested in it and it made her want to go see it.”


The Cerritos College Theater Department has been stepping up the drama with more controversial subject matter with its stage performances.


With the recent production of “The Final Days of Judas Iscariot” along with “Reefer Madness: The Musical,” Bloch explains how the Theater Department is attempting to bring entertainment that fits the mood of these modern times.


“That’s what we’re hoping that the community will appreciate about these shows and have that sense of humor that can poke fun at ourselves and poke fun at our own cultural, social and political outrageousness.”


“Reefer Madness: The Musical” opens May 6 through 15 at the Burnight Center Theatre. It is recommended for mature audiences over the age of 13. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Burnight Theatre box office. 

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Cannabis dispensaries now a part of the ‘Madness’