AFTER YOU'RE DONE: Tell your friends, your colleagues, your significant others, your rabbi, your priest (if you have both of those you might be confused), that roommate you had an "experimental" tryst with in college -- all of them! Let's make 4/20 more than just the pot holiday, but the day when people start to wake up to what the drug war is really all about. Thanks!
LEAVE MICHAEL ALONE!: An Open Letter to Michael Phelps
Hey there, Michael.
Y'know, I respect you for what you've done. Sure, there were the 14 career gold medals -- very impressive -- but more than that, you did something very few public figures do: you admitted to smoking pot.
The time has come for the war on drugs to be examined, to be probed, to be pulled apart and ripped open. We are arresting over a million people a year on drug charges, 800,000 of which is with marijuana alone. Why?
The sick and the infirm are dying without the medication they need, forced to live with intractable pain. Why?
IV drug users aren't given proper treatment or allowed to have clean needles because it would "send the wrong message." Better to let them die from AIDS and take the rest of us with them. Why?
This is a rallying cry, a time for action, and a way forward.
This is the battle that determines the war.
HIGH is out now.
NOTE: Hollywood Video may not yet have the title in stock, make sure to call first.
As expected, HIGH has leaked onto the BitTorrent sites around the internets. I have mixed feelings about this.
On the one hand, I suppose it does get more people to watch the film.
But see, therein lies the problem: more people may watch it, but my distributor is unhappy because there's not any money coming in. With no money, other distributors are less likely to put out titles regarding this important subject, and that hurts everyone involved in the anti-drug war movement.
Say what you want about free advertising for it, but torrents, for the most part, don't really help bring in money. Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps there will be a sudden burst of interest and sales/rentals of the title and all will be well. I remain skeptical, however.
But to all of you downloading from BitTorrent, I ask two things:
1. If you have a Netflix account, rent it. Just get it, don't even have to watch it again, and ship it back. This increases visibility in the title and Netflix will order more because of it.
2. Tell a friend. Notice I didn't say give a friend the torrent link (they might do that all their own), but just tell them about the movie, a link to the site, whatever.
If you want to order it and support the movie in an even grander way, be my guest, I'll be very grateful for it (if you order it direct from Terra and use the coupon code ld2x6uj4w9n8t6du, then you get a free poster, so...there's that).
And for those of you looking to donate instead of actually buy: please don't, it wouldn't be fair to my distributor, who isn't a mega-conglomerate but a small distro house that really believes in this film, and deserves their share of it. Instead, rent it, buy it, or, when it's available, rent/buy it from the iTunes store.
Just a reminder that HIGH will premiere tonight at Columbia College Chicago’s Film Row Cinema, 1109 S. Wabash (at 11th St.) at 7:30 p.m., tickets at the door, or online.
The top Chicago blog, Chicagoist, has an interview with me up, which leads me to my next point:
Dr. Paul Heberle, one of the center-points of the film, has been arrested again on drug-related charges. I don't have the full story yet, but whenever I see the words "confidential informant" it makes my blood boil (they are usually someone who has been popped on charges and makes a deal with the prosecutor in exchange for information, which is frequently spun from whole cloth).
While my producer and I parse out what, precisely, is happening, here's a clip of Dr. Heberle from the film:
I remind everyone that Dr. Heberle was acquitted during the trial covered in the documentary. Regardless of what happens, our thoughts are with the Heberles.