Watch David Simon Tell Obama What’s Wrong with the War on Drugs

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David Simond and Barack Obama
Video still from YouTube.

Someone needs to teach the White House how to turn the volume up on their YouTube videos, but other than that, this is pretty worthwhile watch: President Barack Obama sits down with Wire creator David Simon and, after some quick praise (The Wire is “one of the greatest, not just television shows, but pieces of art in the last couple of decades”) launched into questions about what David Simon witnessed as a Baltimore Sun reporter that got him interested in “the drug trade and its impact on inner cities.”

The president listened respectfully, and at times voiced his agreement with Simon’s point of view, that the war on drugs is not only “draconian,” but also “doesn’t work,” that “nobody incarcerates their population at this level,” that people leave prison “completely tarred” and unable to participate in mainstream America.

Of course, he probably wouldn’t have invited Simon to this conversation if his views weren’t going to buttress the president’s agenda. That said, the agenda sounds like a worthy one. Obama closes the conversation with a little bit of praise for himself and Attorney General Eric Holder, followed by an affirmation of the need to overhaul the criminal justice system as it relates to drug crimes, including administrative and legislative changes.

Here’s the video:

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