Edgy New “Breaking Bad” Video Reveals the Truth About the Drug War

Breaking Bad is more than just entertaining TV.

Is Breaking Bad just entertaining TV, or badass political commentary? The Drug Policy Alliance and Beyond Bars have teamed up to release an edgy and thought-provoking new video pegged to the upcoming premiere of the final season of AMC’s runaway hit show Breaking Bad.

The one-minute video distills this already classic show down to its core observations about the failure of U.S. drug policies. Over 5 seasons, its complex storylines repeatedly revealed the futility and brutality that erupt as our drug war mentality overwhelmingly focuses on punitive, military-style responses to drug misuse rather than a health-centered approach, driving drug consumption underground and encouraging a massive black market that rewards the most violent and venal gangsters. This video is a breathtaking summation of one of the most accomplished and thoughtful TV shows ever to address the issue of drugs in this country.

The video, which purposefully mimics the look and feel of Breaking Bad, opens with the question: “What Does Breaking Bad reveal about the war on drugs?” The answers are spliced between a montage of clips from the series. The message is that the war on drugs doesn’t stop drug use, but instead promotes crime and enriches drug lords.   Graphic clips of people using meth and other drugs are juxtaposed with images of violence, murder and tons of cash.

“Breaking Bad is about a guy who's in too deep and causes more and more damage to the people around him. That sounds an awful lot like the War on Drugs," said Jesse Lava, director of Beyond Bars. "Our country has dug itself into a trillion-dollar hole with a drug war that's devastating communities and creating more violence than it's stopping. It's time to stop digging."

We wanted to create an entertaining video for Breaking Bad fans to illustrate that the drug war is a failure when it comes to reducing drug use and fuels a vicious cycle of violence. The orgy of death and destruction depicted in Breaking Bad is the result of drug prohibition.

The video ends by asking viewers to help end the war on drugs by sharing the video on social media and getting involved with the Drug Policy Alliance and Beyond Bars.

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Tony Newman is communications director for the Drug Policy Alliance.