Brad Pitt, Hollywood heartthrob and executive producer of the award-winning film "The House I Live In", has called on the US government to rethink its 40-year "War on Drugs" policies.
Pitt is the executive producer of Eugene Jarecki's documentary, "The House I Live In", which won a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and has just been released in the US.
The documentary covers the US drug policy in depth, and according to the film this policy has cost the US more than $1 trillion, and has resulted in over 45 million arrests since 1971. The film points out that this drug policy affects mostly minority and poor communities in the US and has made America the world's largest jailer. While the US only accounts for 5% of the world's total population, reportedly it boasts 25% of the world's prison population.
The film also examines how political and economic corruption have fueled these policies for decades "despite persistent evidence of its moral, economic, and practical failures."
"The House I Live In" was filmed in more than 20 US states and shows the perspectives of both the perpetrators, and also multiple victims, of the War on Drugs. These perspectives include everything from a dealer, to a grieving mother, to a narcotics officer, a senator, a jail inmate and a federal judge.
Pitt told Reuters that the US drug policy is a "charade", saying, "I know people are suffering because of it. I know I've lived a very privileged life in comparison and I can't stand for it."
"It's such bad strategy. It makes no sense. It perpetuates itself. You make a bust, you drive up profit, which makes more people want to get into it," he said.
"To me, there's no question; we have to rethink this policy and we have to rethink it now."
"I think we're going to find out," Pitt said. "You can't argue it economically anymore. It just doesn't make sense to carry on this way. It's just not working.
"When you see the repercussions from this policy, and the cost on people trying to get ahead, you've gotta start asking questions. I think it's time. I think it's come to a head, and we've got to look at our choices."