America’s Longest War

Drug prohibition has failed. Drug usage rates have not declined and illegal drugs are more available – and cheaper – than ever before. At the same time, the costs of the drug war are staggering. More than one trillion dollars have been spent. More than 50,000 SWAT raids occur each year. Hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders are wasting their lives away in prison. And more than 60,000 people have been murdered in Mexico over the past six years.

‘America’s Longest War’ provides a brief history of drug prohibition, beginning with Nixon’s declaration of war in 1971 and ending with Obama’s broken promise to allow states to determine their own medical marijuana policies. It chronicles how, over the past 40 years, the drug war has escalated from a small domestic program, mostly focused on treatment, to the multi-billion dollar international war it is today.

There are many victims of the drug war, and ’America’s Longest War’ tells some of their stories.


  • Year: 2013
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: Reason TV
  • Director: Paul Fein
  • Available Versions: ENG
  • Country of production: USA


Related Programs

In the heart of the Sinaloa Cartel

We gained exceptional access to several factions of the Sinaloa cartel.

More info

Weed, Greed and Legalization

Formerly a key part of counter-culture, Marijuana is today increasingly normalized across the globe. But what happens when weed goes corporate?

More info

The Cocaine Route

What happens at each stage of the cocaine route? Who are the main links in the commodity chain? We follow the cocaine route from the jungles of Colombia to uptown Paris.

More info