CRIME

'America's Longest War': New Film Documents Damage Done By America's War On Drugs (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

03/20/2013 01:55 pm ET

Hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders are "wasting their lives away in prison at our expense," and more than 60,000 people have been killed in Mexico over the last six years. These are just a couple of the costs brought on by America's 40-year-old losing battle against drugs, according to the new documentary, "America's Longest War."

The film, with a yet unannounced 2013 release date, also highlights the enormous fiscal toll of the drug war, which has cost taxpayers $1 trillion over four decades, according to the documentary's description on YouTube. That money has gone to waste since, the film argues, drugs are more available and cheaper than ever before.

"America's Longest War" -- put out by the Reason Foundation, a self-proclaimed public policy think tank -- chronicles how, over the past 40 years, the drug war has escalated from a small domestic program mostly focused on treatment to the multi-billion dollar international war it is today," the description said.

The film features commentary from Huffington Post reporter Radley Balko, former New Mexico governor and presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, among others.
The documentary also tells the stories of individual drug war victims like Robert Moss, whose wife had just given birth to his child in 1991 when he was convicted of conspiracy to violate marijuana laws. He was sentenced to more than 20 years in federal prison and wasn't able to rejoin his family until 2011.

Then there's Sandra Rodriguez, a reporter at El Diario newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Rodriguez has chronicled the "escalation in drug war-related violence and the executions of two of her colleagues," according to the film's description.

"Neither case has been solved, but that's no surprise. Fewer than three percent of the murders in Juarez are investigated," the description said.

"America's Longest War" strikes similar themes to the 2012 drug war documentary, "The House I Live In," directed by Eugene Jarecki. But the 2013 effort will focus more on the drug war's deadly effects in Mexico.

The new film also comes in the wake of both Colorado and Washington voting to legalize marijuana.

But there's still a long way to go for anti-drug war advocates. As the film claims to show, despite then-Senator Obama describing the drug war as a "failure" in 2004, as President, he's made clear he will not entertain the idea of drug decriminalization.

And just this week a new report found that, in New York City alone, police spent an estimated one million hours making 440,000 marijuana possession arrests from 2002 to 2012.

Mexican Drug War Violence

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