Category Archives: The War on Drugs

“The House I Live In”: New Documentary about the War on Drugs

This is the official trailer for a documentary being released today called The House I Live In, billed as a scathingly critical analysis of the failed US War on Drugs and consequential mass incarceration. A brief clip of Michelle Alexander (legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness) reveals her as one of the interviewees, which bodes well, but I can’t attest to how substantive and/or thorough any racial justice discourses will be in the film. There is a pretty comprehensive review on Forbes which can be read here, and a review from Sundance that can be read here. One of the more interesting pieces of carefully guarded information I’ve found is about an interview with Abraham Lincoln scholar, Richard Lawrence Miller, who argues that “legal substances were frequently demonized only when it became clear that making them illegal could help keep a threatening minority in check. (For example, Miller cites opium laws on the West Coast directed at Chinese immigrants.)” He may have just described the whole motivation for the War on Drugs in one sentence. This should be interesting.

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