Black text on a yellow stripe across a black background
"Banana Power" was a slogan adopted by American counterculture during "the Great Banana Hoax of 1967". During the Spring and Summer of that year, counterculture newspapers ran advertisements touting the smoking of banana peels. When properly cooked, dried, and rolled, the resulting powder, "Mellow Yellow", was alleged to produce hallucinogenic effects similar to that of psychedelic drugs. When the FDA attempted to test this allegation, they couldn't find any evidence that the banana peels had any hallucinogenic properties.
Instead, the rumor likely started as a subtle but joking protest against the government regulation of psychedelic substances. Thanks in no small part to a newly-formed network of underground news papers the joke made it to the mainstream news, reported on in magazines such as Time and Newsweek. In April 1967, thousands smoked "Mellow Yellow" together at the Human Be-In in New York City. The fad for smoking banana peels lasted only a few months, but was used in future campaigns advocating for the legalization of drugs like marijuana.
Guida, J. (2021, June 20). Smoking banana peels to get high was briefly a thing. JStor Daily. https://daily.jstor.org/smoking-banana-peels-to-get-high-was-briefly-a-t...
McMillian, J. (2005, June 1). Electrical bananas. Culture.org. https://culture.org/electrical-bananas/