It's hardly controversial to say that America's nearly 40-year-old, $1 trillion war on drugs has been a failure, with the prices of most illegal drugs dropping while drug use is as high as it's ever been. Eugene Jarecki's powerful documentary The House I Live In (winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at 2012's Sundance Film Festival) looks at the human consequences of this failure, which has left the African American community as collateral damage due to tough-on-crime politicians, unconstitutional search and seizure laws, harsh sentencing, and a criminal justice system and prison industry reliant on an ever-increasing supply of warm bodies. The result is a cycle of poverty, pain, crime, and incarceration that has doomed tens of millions of people before they're even born. Watch the trailer for The House I Live In below.
I had the chance to sit down with Jarecki over orange juice and cappuccino at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles to discuss The House I Live In, how America's drug laws have historically been used to attack minorities, and a lot more. The entire interview is about 24 minutes long, so get some bills to pay, laundry to fold, or dishes to wash and settle in, since Jarecki had a lot of fascinating things to say about what the war on drugs has done to this country.
The House I Live In opens October 5 in limited release. To find out if/when it will be playing near you and to learn more about how to end the war on drugs, go here.