Oliver Stone: ‘This drug war is insane’

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, June 8, 2012 12:28 EDT
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Filmmaker Oliver Stone, appearing on Current TV's The Gavin Newsom Show on Friday, June 8, 2012. Screenshot via Current TV.
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Filmmaker Oliver Stone has a new film coming out that encapsulates one of his closest-held political convictions, which he summarized during an appearance on Current TV this week with a single phrase.

“This drug war is insane,” Stone explained.

The film is called “Savages,” and depicts several young Americans going into business with a Mexican drug cartel that “produces a lot of shit [weed]” and wants to compete in California’s medical marijuana market.

“They offer them a deal that’s hard to refuse,” Stone told Current TV host Gavin Newsom. “It’s something like a Wal-Mart coming in and saying, ‘I want to be your partner. We’re going to put you in aisle 12 or 13.’ But the boys fight back, and the girl fights back, and it turns into quite a debacle.”

Stone added that he’s often confronted the issue of drug abuse in his films because he’s “attracted to that narrative.”

“I feel that it’s part of our liberation, it’s part of our right, the right to sex, to marriage,” he said. “…I really resent the government trying to tell us what to do in our lives. It’s always been one of my bug-a-boos since I was a kid. I just wan’t very good with authority figures, and I think that’s part of America, standing for what we believe in. This drug war is insane.”

Newsom, the Democratic Lt. Governor of California in his day job, added that he “couldn’t agree more.”

“On a large, big-picture basis, it’s because we cannot tell other people what to do,” Stone concluded. “We keep doing that. We go to Afghanistan, we go to Iraq, we go to Vietnam, and we try to impose our values on other people. It just doesn’t seem to work, and it’s doubly ironic because our values are corrupted by the fact that our citizenry wants the drugs.”

This video is from Current TV’s The Gavin Newsom Show, due to be broadcast Friday, June 8.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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