The House I Live In


“Addiction is an effect of human unhappiness and human suffering.  When poeple are distressed they want to soothe their distress.  When people are in pain, they want to soothe their pain.  So the real question is not why the addiction, but why the pain.” Dr. Gabor Mate

Ever since I can remember America has had a massive war on drugs.  Millions have been spent to combat this war, laws have been passed, and communities have been changed.  So much has been poured into this war that you would think there would be no war on drugs today.  Truth is the US incarcerates more of its people than any other nation.  Most are serving time for non-violent drug offences.  But how did we get here and why?

Where most documentaries seem to fall short of explaining some of the most important questions, “The House I Live In,” goes beyond to reveal a history that far too many do not know and how our system profits off those we punish.  To say that it investigates drug wars would be an understatement as this documentary does more than that.  It reveals how the war on drugs is really the war on race and probably now the war on class.  What better way than to take all the Americans we don’t need any more, lock them up and make a profit out of them.  Capitalism at its finest.

One can’t help but wonder why these drugs became illegal and how the laws were written.  Back in American history, cocaine, heroin, and opium was once used by middle class white Americans almost on a regular basis.  These ingredients were found in drinks, and medicine and when  someone had a problem with them, they got help and were not punished for their addictions.  Plainly put, it wasn’t a crime.  So what happened, why the change.  Now that’s when this documentary opens the flood gates of information and the past is revealed.  I mean think about it, why those drugs and not tobacco and alcohol? And only recently has hemp entered into a debate on whether it should be legalized.

Hands down, this is one hell of a great documentary.  I would gladly watch it again and again and not because I favour drugs and think they should be all legalized.  On the contrary, I’m a rare breed of individual that thinks its weak sauce to take drugs in order to become or enter into a state, where you like the person you are.  Having smoked pot once, it left me hungry and quiet and couldn’t understand what the whole point to the experience was.  Really, really??  I’m so upset at my current circumstances in my life that I, a smart human being, can’t figure any better solution than to park it on the couch and enter into munchy mode?  To each his own, I don’t judge, I just don’t use.  So rest assure, I am not rating this documentary high because I enjoy getting high, cause I don’t.

Fact is, this is a great documentary and really opens up the discussion on our current laws and how we are falling into becoming a country where locking up our citizens is becoming a way to sustain our economy.


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