Watch Russell Brand: End the Drugs War
- 56 min
Russell Brand: End the Drugs War is an insightful and impassioned documentary that explores one of the most pressing issues of our time - the war on drugs. This thought-provoking film is led by the inimitable Russell Brand, a comedian and activist who has been vocal about his own struggles with addiction. Throughout the movie, Brand travels the globe to investigate different aspects of the war on drugs. He talks to drug addicts, law enforcement officials, and politicians, including Nick Clegg and David Cameron. He also examines different approaches to drug policy, from Portugal's decriminalization of all drugs to the controversial "stop and frisk" policy in the United States.
The documentary begins with an overview of the war on drugs, which has been raging for decades. Brand argues that the current system - which emphasizes punishment over treatment - is not working. He points out that drug use has only increased over time, and that the cost of the war on drugs has been staggering. He notes that in the United States alone, the government spends $51 billion every year on drug control - a figure that does not include the cost of incarcerating drug offenders.
Brand's journey takes him to many places, including a rehabilitation center in Manchester, England. Here, he meets with a group of recovering addicts who share their stories with him. Their stories are poignant and powerful, highlighting the devastating toll that drug addiction can take on individuals and their families. Through these personal accounts, Brand shows the audience the human side of the drug war - a side that is often ignored in political debates.
In the United States, Brand investigates the "stop and frisk" policy, which allows police officers to search individuals without reasonable suspicion. He interviews people who have been subjected to stop and frisk, as well as civil rights activists who have been campaigning against the policy. By highlighting the racial bias inherent in stop and frisk, Brand raises important questions about the fairness of drug policy and its impact on minority communities.
One of the most compelling parts of the documentary is when Brand visits Portugal, a country that decriminalized all drugs in 2001. Here, he speaks with government officials and drug users, who explain how the new policy has made a significant difference. Drug users are no longer subject to criminal penalties, but instead are directed towards health services where they can receive support and treatment for their addiction. The results have been positive: Portugal has seen a decline in drug use, a decrease in drug-related crime, and an increase in the number of people seeking drug treatment.
Throughout the film, Brand is a dynamic and engaging host. He brings a unique perspective to the question of drug policy, thanks to his own experiences with addiction. He is at once witty and vulnerable, and his deep passion for the subject is evident in every scene.
Overall, Russell Brand: End the Drugs War is a must-see documentary for anyone interested in drug policy or addiction. It offers a nuanced and insightful examination of a complex problem, and makes a convincing argument for a more compassionate and science-based approach to drug policy. Whether one agrees with Brand's conclusions or not, there is no denying that this film is a powerful call to action - one that we can ill afford to ignore.
Russell Brand: End the Drugs War is a 2014 documentary with a runtime of 56 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.