How to Make Money Selling Drugs | Chicago Reader

How to Make Money Selling Drugs

As a critique of the U.S. drug war, this zippy documentary by Matthew Cooke can't compare to Eugene Jarecki's tragic and masterful The House I Live In (2012), though Cooke's gimmicky conception may prove more accessible to casual viewers. This really is structured as a how-to lesson, beginning at the bottom of the economic food chain and moving upward through the various levels of entrepreneurship (from pawn to private retailer to domestic distributor to international smuggler to drug kingpin to cartel lord). Along the way, Cooke supplies a considerable degree of political context, showing how such misbegotten law enforcement strategies as mandatory-minimum sentencing and wholesale property seizure have deformed the drug war into a giant payday for cops and prisons and a waking nightmare for the rest of us. Among the talking heads are Woody Harrelson, Susan Sarandon, 50 Cent, Eminem, Russell Simmons, and journalist David Simon (creator of The Wire).


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