The next two docs on my list have to do with an entirely different war than the War on Terrorism (see Dirty Wars). This is a war involving a form of terror that is even more insidious and on-going – and taking place throughout North America. What is being done about it is has proven to be ineffective. I’m referring to the government’s hardline approach to its’ War on Drugs.
The first film, Black Tar Heroin, takes us into a world involving the addicts themselves. The typical cycle of hopelessness that drives these young people into a world of drug abuse never changes, while the conditions of addiction haven’t changed either – and so – the film has as valid a message today – as when it was first released 15 years ago.
The second film, The House I Live In, deals with the punishments handed out to users of illegal drugs. It focuses on the suppression of an economic class that is hindered far more than it is helped through laws that reflect a great negligence as well as, ignorance, by refusing to acknowledge alternative solutions to incarceration.
Here is an additional interesting fact from the War on Drugs that many people are unaware of: Those from a disadvantaged class including Hispanic and African-Americans, as well as young, middle-class recreational drug users, tend to vote liberal. This is a truth that is not lost on the right-wing elements who have managed to intimidate and disenfranchise those with a prison record, even for possession, from voting. Of course, we all know that prisoners are legally prohibited from voting. Because of their War on Drugs, the United States has more prisoners than any other country in the world, even on a per-capita basis, while the ‘battle’ just adds more fuel to the growing, organized crime cartels and its members at the top – who largely manage to elude prison. And since drugs are more pure and abundant than before, drug enforcement proves to be yet another futile system.