“If you choose to be a cocaine dealer, then you need to know the risks. If you are black, you are more likely to be arrested than a white dealer.”
That’s one of several messages doc filmmaker Matthew Cooke (producer of “Deliver Us from Evil”) has in his film titled “How to Make Money Selling Drugs.”
An examination of how a street dealer can rise to cartel lord with relative ease, Cooke provides a guide to the extremely lucrative drug industry.
Told from the perspective of former drug dealers that include rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, “Freeway” Rick Ross, and featuring interviews with Russell Simmons, and David Simon (creator of “The Wire”) and lobbyist in drug matters, the film gives you the lessons you need to start your own drug empire while exposing the corruption behind the “war on drugs.”
“I designed the film to be slick, stylish and speak to a youth audience, to a cynical audience, and to the politically apathetic,” shares Cooke who wrote, directed and also narrates the documentary.
Broken down into various levels, it tells you how to start in the drug trade, from selling to smuggling, getting customers to moving up the ranks.
An interesting approach to a controversial topic, Cooke doesn’t just offer up a hand guide for ‘wannabe’ drug dealers, he also looks into the workings of police forces and how they are structured to financially favor the quick drug bust rather than the protracted murder investigation.
Well researched and backed with enough statistics to make you squirm, his information is nothing new, but the talking heads are vivid and interesting to hear as they share their personal experiences in the drug game.
For many dealers featured in the doc, including Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, a former drug dealer turned rapper who began selling drugs at the age of twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic, the risk of jail time is worth it.
“It’s very easy to make a lot of money with cocaine,” says Bobby Carlton, a notorious drug dealer who was making $50,000 per day dealing cocaine internationally. “Everybody from the Wall Street types to kids in school to people on the streets wanted cocaine.”
“People would snort so much that their nose would start bleeding,” shares “Freeway” Rick Ross, the drug dealer who introduced crack to the West coast in the 1980s. “They needed another way to get it into their system so we started cooking it for them and started calling it ‘ready rock’ and eventually everybody started buying it.”
Ross made $1 million a day by the time he was under 30 years old from selling crack to customers who he says in the documentary ranged from doctors, nurses, and lawyers to truck drivers.
An unusually sharp observation of the drug trade, it’s the kind of film that stays with you long after the credits roll– which is exactly what films like this should do.
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