Talk Back: Featured Topic

The War on Drugs

What is the human cost of the war on drugs? 
Independent Lens travels across the country in The House I Live In to capture stories from the frontlines of America's war on drugs— from the dealer to the grieving mother, narcotics officer to the senator, the inmate to the federal judge — and offers a piercing look at the profound human rights implications of America's longest war. 
Unsurprising to most – minority communities, above all others, have been disproportionately affected.  
Can you tell us why? And when presented with hard numbers, can you spot the difference between fact and fiction?   
  • Black Americans represent 13% of the population in the U.S. and about the same percentage of drug users, but they represent 44% of those incarcerated for drug crimes. 
  • Today, there are more people behind bars for nonviolent drug offenses than were incarcerated for all crimes, violent or otherwise, in 1970.
  • The penalty for possessing crack cocaine is about 18 times more than possessing powdered cocaine. The only difference being that crack cocaine contains baking soda and water.
  • Today, 2.7 million children in America have a parent behind bars. These children are more likely to be incarcerated during their lifetime than other children.
All of the above … are true. 

How do these statistics come to be? Has the War on Drugs ever been about drugs?  We'd like to hear your thoughts below. Be honest. Be bold. Be you. However, we also ask that you be courteous and stick to the issues. No personal digs. We want everyone to feel comfortable participating. And if you go there, we won't be afraid to take your comment off here. That simple. Now, let's talk! 

| Want more? Visit The House I Live In from Independent Lens

|Chat with the Filmmakers of The House I Live in on April 9, 2013 11am Pacific Time.

| Check out the next topic: Browse more Talk Back: Featured Videos and Topics

comments powered by Disqus

PBS Video App

Stream the best of PBS.
Anytime, anywhere.

television laptop tablet phone
Download the Free App

    Stay Connected! Find us on:

   Follow us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YoutubeFollow us on Google+ 

Your purchase supports PBS and helps make our programming possible.