Jewish Journal


October 15, 2012

A missed opportunity to meet Brad Pitt



Brad Pitt and filmmaker Eugene Jarecki

Dear God, I gave up meeting Brad Pitt to attend a Shabbes dinner.

I thought this was a wise thing to do (and no one can ever say I'm starstruck). However, even though I enjoyed a delicious meal, observed one of your eminent Ten, and got to drink a lot of scotch, I think I made a mistake. You see, I missed a rare opportunity to report back to my readership on Brad Pitt's very esteemed opinions on the injustices of the drug war. And just last week, I wrote a column about this same problem, and Eugene Jarecki's documentary "The House I Live In", which is a deeply empathetic look at how U.S. drug laws have evolved into a dangerous, wasteful and unjust juggernaut (on this Brad and I agree!). Having thoroughly studied your Torah, God, I know that the moral imperative to restore human dignity to all your creatures would probably get me a hall pass for one Sabbath meal. Please forgive me, God (Please forgive me, readers!). Fortunately, you were prescient enough to include the role of Reuters in your great Creation:

(Reuters) - Brad Pitt has thrown his weight behind a documentary that blasts America's 40-year war on drugs as a failure, calling policies that imprison huge numbers of drug-users a "charade" in urgent need of a rethink.

The Hollywood actor came aboard recently as an executive producer of filmmaker Eugene Jarecki's "The House I Live In," which won the Grand Jury Prize in January at the Sundance Film Festival. The film opened in wide release in the United States on Friday.

Ahead of a Los Angeles screening, Pitt and Jarecki spoke passionately about the "War on Drugs" which, according to the documentary, has cost more than $1 trillion and accounted for over 45 million arrests since 1971, and which preys largely on poor and minority communities.

"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," Pitt told Reuters on Friday, calling the government's War on Drugs policy a "charade."

"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 added. "To me, there's no question; we have to rethink this policy and we have to rethink it now."

Read the rest here

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