Self-Defense & Violence Prevention Blog

news and commentary about security, self-defense, and topics like violent crime prevention and bullying

Lockdown, USA, and How Drug Laws Increase Violence

A gentleman contacted me from Article 19 Films, who produce socially responsible documentary features. He told me about a documentary called Lockdown, USA that they recently released. It chronicles Hip-Hop impresario Russell Simmons’ campaign to reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the controversial New York State laws created in 1973, which became the foundation to the War on Drugs in the United States. Here is the trailer from YouTube (contains explicit language):

I like that trailer. Please consider ordering Lockdown, USA. The movie not only interests those already familiar with the flaws of the war on drugs, but the movie also informs those not as familiar and inspires people to get more involved in the campaign for reform.

I have often posted about the war on drugs on this blog because of the way that drug prohibition increases violent crime and hinders our ability to fight violent crime and victimization–similar to alcohol prohibition. Take a look at these posts:

What do you think? Please post comments!

By | March 26th, 2009 | SHOW COMMENTS (19)


I am the creator of this website, which I use to post about self-defense and violence prevention. I have two children who I love so much. I want them to be proud of me, and I hope what I do here contributes to that. Please let me know what you think about my posts by leaving a comment below. I throw my opinions around pretty openly here, but I am totally open to opposing viewpoints and a productive discussion. So please post a comment. And follow me on Twitter: @scottmhughes

19 Responses

  1. Duane Houy says

    Gaining the attention of the powers that be is only possible when they see it is in their best interests to act. And since the so-called “war on drugs” has done little to stop the sale and use of many different types of drugs. Estimates I have seen put the rate of interception of drugs coming into the United States at about 20%. If this is really a “war,” it is being lost battle after battle and it is costing us dearly in wasted money and lives.
    Afterall, who is typically caught? Not the people at the top of the illegal drug hierarchy. It is the kids who see no other way to make it in this society.
    Face it, we are a nation that believes in punishment – not enlightenment. And not on anyone’s behalf.
    Just as prohibition was eventually overturned, some day the light will come on and the pols will recognize the reality that most of us in the “real” world live in – prohibitions fail and they fail because people do not believe the government edicts and b.s. that come out of elected officials mouths.
    Credibility is lost and when that is the case, you have no status from which to rant about what truly matters.

  2. rachid says

    greath video,societe must doing something to reduce the drug .

  3. Anonymous says

    I agree, give those speaking out about the issue for attention. Simmons is a good man!


    Our unnecessary war on drugs like marijuana not only effects us but other countries like mexico, who are in a much more serious battle with their drug cartels. Legalizing marijuana would not only reduce violence, keep innocent out of jail, save the U.S. millions of dollars,.

  5. Bryan says

    This is an excellent article and I feel we are losing the war on drugs.

  6. Danny Davis Watch says

    Good to see there are still people who believe in self defense AND sensible drug laws.

  7. Christian Biker says

    I can agree the prisons are full to the brim with non-violent drug offenders. I think we need to come up with other solutions to our drug problem. One thing we can do is start by educating our youths. The other thing is rally together and lobby our representatives in Washington DC to close the borders and take their hand out of the till. In my opinion, jail and prison are big business. Each institution gets paid per prisoner by the government. And also what would the police have to do if they could not bust drug offenders. I am involved with an organization Known as Unite Bikers Against Drugs. I am against Drugs’ However I know that addiction is an illness not a crime. Give help to the addicted, go after the source and prosecute the growers and manufactures. Stop administering narcotic pain medication unless it is absolutely necessary, the once the medication is no longer needed administer a detoxify process to the narcotic induced patient. Lastly give it all up to God, your higher power or whom ever you worship.

  8. Tony @ sports betting picks says

    It seems like the movement is finally focused on the place or orgin. Let’s see if US military will join the Mexican army down South. It is being considered.


  9. Dave Yoder says

    How can you come to any other conclusion than the “drug war” has been a fauilure? Good article.

  10. Mooter says

    The Rockefeller Drug Laws is one of the most draconian laws out there. It has to end. Simmons has been on this crusade for a while now. He needs more attention.

  11. Leadership Expert says

    I find this type of documentary is part of a new wave on attacks on this stupid law. A grass roots movement is what is needed, and semi-pro docs like these will really help to get the message out to the public that our current leaders need to take action immeadiately. Its so easy to sit back when you’re middle class like I am, and relatively isolated from this walk of life. But something needs to be done.

  12. Edgar Rossi says

    For sure, these components are disastrous.

  13. Organised Pauper says

    I’m all for a return to the medical model of drug addiction and problems rather than the criminal one. The war on drugs is an industry, it’s a major employer. If the war on drugs ended today how many people would be out of a job do you think?

    You would think that the US would have learned from the Prohibition era. Making things illegal creates new ways for organised crime to make money. Making things illegal creates organised crime, it drives it.

    Like I said though the war on crime is an industry.

  14. urbananarchist says

    My view is people need to be responsible for themselves.
    Fighting war on drugs seems to take up majority of law enforcement crimes committed all over the world.
    I think the more we look after people the less empowered they will be.
    Governments need people to take drugs or to be addicted to something it helps with controlling them. It has already been proven that. I look at countries that have high crime in this area and you will find that the ones in power the ones at the top in government or similar they will never be able to end the war on drugs with the views they have. The more control you try to have on something the more chance you have of loosing it same goes with this war on drugs or things similar. Interesting blog for sure I like your writing style best of luck with it. I will be passing it onto my friends

  15. Loretta Clark says

    Please consider viewing Canadian films, ‘Damage Done’ and ‘Growing Op’–two excellent films that illuminate the hysteria and hypocrisies, the cover ups, the cop corruption. I am sure over the next two decades, many films, documentaries, and fiction will be made to show the devasting destruction of the War on Drugs the world over; it’s tie to war and conflict in the world; its connection to creating poverty and a prison system of corporate slavery; its legacy of harm and death from a conspiracy of oil and greed. The answer to the War on Drugs is community based cannabis initiatives that are aimed at ending poverty, prison reform, and reconciliation. Cannabis is the penultimate paradigm to end colonization, poverty and the War on Drugs–its lies are the greatest drug overdose on the masses, but the truth is demanding its liberation, and there is no turning HER back. Join my facebook cause, End Prohibition Now!

  16. joey lutz says

    Our unnecessary war on drugs like marijuana not only effects us but other countries like mexico, who are in a much more serious battle with their drug cartels. Legalizing marijuana would not only reduce violence, keep innocent out of jail, save the U.S. millions of dollars, but it would also reduce the cash flow funding the drug cartels in Mexico. In turn reducing their strong grip on the Mexican goverment.

  17. Matt Maguire says

    I was very disappointed to see Obama laugh off the question about prohibition reform. It was shocking that such an intelligent man, who is an admitted past user, would over-look all the research and facts and simply laugh it off as some “cyber-teen-stoner” agenda that was generated by those questionable “user of the internet”.

    On a positive note though it looks like the Rockefeller Drug Laws are finally out the door. Check out A portion of all their profits goes to support the DPA (Drug Policy Alliance)! It’s time to take what we stared in NYC and make it national.

  18. Jon Nazareth says

    It’s definitely a new dawn for change in NY state. The draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws have finally been repealed. NY Governor Paterson has passed a new bill to restore judicial discretion and end mandatory minimum sentences. This would allow judges to decide whether or not an individual should receive treatment instead of incarceration. It would be much more cost effective since up until today we’re spending U$45,000 dollars per person a year to keep them in jail. This money could be re-routed towards healthcare and education, two pending issues in the US today.
    Watch the film, it shows an unlikely coalition of people, and today we can see that change can happen, no matter who starts it!

  19. Darcy Lagana says

    I Know this is a long battle, but I am all in…the changes in the drug laws for the last 8 years will be causing apologies for generations to come. I urge everyone to stop being the bystanders of this generational attack.


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