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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Obama Talks About The War On Drugs

Historically, television and movies have not painted the most accurate picture of substance abuse in America. Many have tried, but only a couple have succeeded in telling the story of addiction and the effects that the “war on drugs” has had on society.

In the early 2000’s, many of you may remember the Emmy nominated HBO show The Wire created by David Simon. Over the course of five seasons, The Wire opened the blinds on the devastating effects of drug criminalization on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland. From the drug corners of the projects, to law enforcement and city hall, the hit show laid out how drugs affect all parts of society and how the war on drugs only makes it worse.

President Barack Obama recently sat down with David Simon to have a candid conversation on the war on drugs, The Washington Post reports. Obama called The Wire "one of the greatest pieces of art in the last couple of decades."

Obama eloquently spoke about incarceration in America as an economic problem and a social justice problem.

"The challenge," said Obama, "is folks go into prison at great expense to the state, [and] many times [are] trained to become more hardened criminals while in prison, come out and are basically unemployable and end up looping back in" to the prison system.

"When you break down why people aren't getting back into the labor force, even as jobs are being created, a big chunk of that is the young male population with felony histories," Obama said. "So now where we have the opportunity to give them a pathway toward a responsible life, they're foreclosed. And that's counterproductive."

Please watch the interview below:

“What drugs don't destroy, the war against them is ripping apart,” said Simon. 

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

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