22 November 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

An angry and personal attack on America's war on drugs contends it is a grotesquely wasteful public-works scheme

Eugene Jarecki, director and brother of documentary-maker Andrew Jarecki, here launches an angry and personal attack, from the libertarian left, on America's war on drugs. Jarecki's contention is that this is a grotesquely wasteful public-works scheme, creating paid activity for the police, the judiciary and the construction companies building prisons, by packing poor blacks and whites off to jail. Successive Us presidents have realised that spending tax dollars on education and rehab goes down badly with the press (Jarecki makes an honourable exception of Richard Nixon in his first administration), so it's all stick and no carrot. The police crank up their arrest rate by collaring the easiest targets: petty drug-users. (Murders are harder to solve.) Moreover, they can use the civil-asset seizure rules to pump up department budgets. With daunting new »

- Peter Bradshaw

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