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American Drug War: The Last White Hope

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tommy Chong, Freeway Ricky Ross, Sheriff Joe Arapio, Ron Paul, Mike Ruppert
  • Directors: Kevin Booth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sacred Cow Productions
  • DVD Release Date: April 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015XASZ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,031 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Drug War: The Last White Hope" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Inspired by the death of four family members from "legal drugs" in Texas, filmmaker Kevin Booth sets out to discover why the drug war has become such a failure.


AMERICAN DRUG WAR FOUR STARS (Highest Rating). A mind-altering experience. This is an exceedingly important documentary. It makes a clear case for why the so-called 'war on drugs' has been -- and will continue to be -- such a colossal failure. We have spent billions upon billions of dollars trying to prevent the influx of substances so many Americans demand to have, and the availability of illicit drugs is at an all-time high.This 'war on drugs' is one of the worst examples of our government's embarrassing close-mindedness and immaturity, not to mention lack of sophistication, bravery, and foresight.The film depicts the hypocrisy of this failed policy: marijuana and cocaine are illegal, yet alcohol and tobacco are perfectly legal, these latter two substances having caused more damage and ruination than any other substances to which our government has given its stamp of approval.And speaking of hypocrisy, the film also chronicles the Iran Contra scandal, our government's sickening, morally debauched effort to actually facilitate the introduction of illegal drugs into society, utilizing the profits to finance a wholly illegal military operation.While Booth quite understandably argues that this 'war' is a ludicrous waste, he is open-minded and intellectually honest enough to show the devastation that drugs (mostly of the legal variety) have wreaked upon close friends and members of his family. So, in the end, he presents a wide-ranging, multi-faceted look at the problem: Yes, drugs destroy lives, but this 'war' has proven to be a meaningless and ill-conceived solution. There's so much to consider here, and Kevin Booth has done an outstanding job of providing the appropriate fodder for contemplation and, hopefully, political action. --Todd David Schwartz Contributing Arts & Entertainment Critic, The Paul Mitchell Show, CBS Radio

Kevin Booth's film AMERICAN DRUG WAR, an eye-opening and compelling examination of the war on drugs, won the Best Documentary awards at both the DIY and Evil City film festivals, the latter of which featured filmmakers Morgan Spurlock and Mary Harron as judges.Additionally, High Times magazine gave the film four full buds, it's highest rating (no pun intended). Booth, who authored the book BILL HICKS: AGENT OF EVOLUTION about his best friend and notable cult comedian, was inspired by the loss of those close to him to legal substances to try and make sense of what is dubbed the longest, most costly and destructive war in American history. And oh, the things he discovers. Three minutes into the doc we are told the main source of funding for Partnership of a Drug Free America comes from the tobacco and alcohol industries. Booth captures the perspectives from a former LAPD narcotics officer, gang members, prisoners, cops, a sheriff, a former New Mexico governor, civil rights attorneys, Tommy Chong and Ricky Ross from jail and a host of others. --Elston Gunn Aint it Cool News

Four Pot Leafs  Brace yourself for Afghani opium, interviews with  a former drug czar and Amsterdam's lone crack connoisseur, and basic bad-guy bedlam in this informative documentary CINEPHELIA  - C. Dempsey AMERICAN DRUG WAR is worth some serious frontal lobe absorption. This is a documentary that  will show you just how well the war on drugs is going. And let me tell you it really seems to be going great - drug use is up, education is down and all while you the taxpayer keep pouring the money in -- --High Times Magazine - Mary Ought Six

Customer Reviews

It is crafted thoroughly, thoughtfully and extremely well researched.
The documentary includes interviews with a very wide range of people who have been affected by drugs and the drug war.
One will have to seek out cheap bars to find these drugs, because the profit incentive has been removed.
Armchair Shopper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd G. on April 27, 2008
Format: DVD
American Drug War: The Last White Hope
The subject of America's love for mind-altering substances (legal and illegal) is broad and deep enough to provide material for a dozen documentaries, but Kevin Booth does an excellent job of putting together a coherent two-hour film that takes on several aspects of the drug war. I got this movie two weeks ago in the mail and since then have been trying to make every friend and family member watch it.
That there are over a million non-violent people in jail and prison in this country because of the drug war is beyond absurd. But here we are. And there they are. And only a few politicians dare to question the rationality of criminalizing the very human impulse to feel good. Why? Among other reasons: The money that the prison-industrial complex and the alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries lavish on politicians ... and the cut of the action that Wall Street and the gov't takes from the illegal drug trade.
Go to YouTube to watch the trailer.
Then buy the movie.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful By glashoppah on April 9, 2008
Format: DVD
Understanding the "drug war" is all about understanding profit. Alchohol and tobacco cause problems that folks profit from - drug companies, hospitals, etc. Marijuana on the other hand, which anyone can grow in their backyard, has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of illnesses that drug companies would like to charge thousands of dollars to treat. The decriminalization of drugs like pot would cut the profits of large industries by huge amounts. Those industries exert enormous political pressure, hence the drug war.

Don't ever think for an instant the Government has your well-being at heart. It cares only about money, and the drug companies line its pockets, both directly and with tax revenue. That's why there's a drug war. It's a war on competition.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By William De Leon on April 2, 2008
Format: DVD
The Booth bros. provide you with information that you believed might be true but until now you never knew how it was possible. This doc is very well made, you can tell this doc was created without bias and shown through the eyes of your every day American citizen. What is shown on the DVD is very disturbing and raises awareness in to the agendas of what our American Government is doing at the citizens expense.

I first saw this movie on showtime, because it sounded interesting but it was more then I bargained for. Very informative and powerful from the people interviewed for the doc to the people higher up who we trust to do the right thing but are just interested in their own agendas. It shows how people are affected by their own governments decisions. I really can't explain how this doc makes someone feel after they watch it but I will quote my girlfriend after she watched it

"This makes me very sad"
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Format: DVD
I must disclose that I came into this movie at the very end when the brilliant producer realized I could provide a few bits that would bring it all together. I volunteered my time because I felt then--and I feel now--that this film was totally righteous. So I am listed as one of the "actors" but unlike some of them for whom file clips were used, I was taped speaking about this specific situation for this specific movie.

Our government is BROKEN. The civil servants and uniformed personnel are good people trapped in a bad system--a cesspool. Standing above them, hoarding the wealth, the power, and the personal privilege, are "elected" officials and their appointed cronies that have no business at all governing this great nation. They are inept and should be dismissed. We need a Constitutional Convention, an end to the Elctoral College, and deep Electoral, Financial, and National Security Reforms.

See also:
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)
The Bush Tragedy

I have tagged this DVD with the word treason, because that is what CIA, DEA, the FBI, and the White House are guilty of when they protect drug wholesalers and allow entire neighborhoods to go down the crack drain, not because of Ricky Ross, but because of high crimes and misdemeanors all the way up the chain above him.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adam Kadmon on April 18, 2008
Format: DVD
I just got this DVD and it's amazing! I had seen the film at a festival last year so I knew what to expect, but the new version was much more polished and the bonus features alone make this disc one for the collection. Hats off to Kevin Booth; great film, great production value, great way to get the message out and the discussion started!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chris Luallen on June 26, 2008
Format: DVD
Director Kevin Booth does make some effort to show both sides of America's "War on Drugs". For example, Booth depicts the devasting effect of drugs like crystal meth, crack and PCP on the lives of addicts. He also includes interviews with anti-drug "warriors" like former Clinton drug czar Barry McCafferty. But Booth also correctly recognizes the "War On Drugs" as a failed campaign that will never be won. He emphasizes the racist aspects of the drug war as well as it underlying sinister motives of both profit and social control for those in power.

A significant portion of the doc is devoted to explaining the role of the Reagan administration in the importation of cocaine into the USA in the 1980's to covertly fund the Contra's war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. It also decribes how Los Angeles drug dealer, Freeway Ricky Ross, became a contact for a Contra drug exporter and how this led him to becoming a major player in the subsequent crack epidemic.

Booth also includes interviews with drug decriminalization advocates such as Tommy Chong and Jello Biafra. The doc makes a very compelling case against the excessive incarceration of non-violent drug offenders. However, I do wish Booth had focused a little more time on showing the benefits of treatment over imprisonment for addicts.

But still Booth does cover a lot of ground and comes down on the right side of this important issue. I would especially encourage those unsure of their opinion on the drug war to watch this doc as they will likely learn a great deal of new information. Recommended.
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