If there’s one thing the left and right should be able to agree on, it’s the need to put an end to the so-called War on Drugs. Conservatives should oppose the War on Drugs because it empowers the government to restrict your private behavior, and we are for liberty; it unfairly targets the poor and black, and we are for justice; and it puts an undue burden on the police and we are for law and order. Leftists should oppose the War on Drugs because it throws so many of their voters in the slammer. Instead of giving dangerous felons the right to vote, as our venal hack Attorney General Eric Holder would do, we could just stop arresting people who don’t really need arresting in the first place. Presto, everyone’s happy: right wing freedom fighters, and corrupt “progressive” creeps as well.
So in theory, a well-made pro-legalization documentary like Matthew Cooke’s How to Make Money Selling Drugs should be able to appeal to right and left alike. And it would, if it were not full of unnecessary anti-Republican misinformation and propaganda.
Which, really, is a shame. It’s a clever and appealing film. It’s designed like a video game, in which you move from level to level: street dealer to supplier to drug lord to cartel king. There are some very good interviews with people who worked at most of these levels. And the film largely tells the truth about not only the uselessness, unfairness and abusiveness of the anti-drug laws but also the misery that drugs cause for so many of the people who use them. That is, it doesn’t romanticize the drug life; it just demonstrates convincingly that the laws don’t work to stem it.