"Are you unemployed or stuck in a dead-end job? Don't worry, we have an answer!" That is the dubious proposition made by How to Make Money Selling Drugs, a tongue-in-cheek (I pray) documentary about the art of dope dealing. Directed by Matthew Cooke and produced by Bert Marcus, the film arrives accompanied by proven provenance, as it features appearances by celebs with street cred like 50 Cent, Eminem, Rick Ross and Russell Simmons.
This fairly thorough training guide focuses on marijuana and cocaine, although its advice undoubtedly could be applied to heroin, ecstasy and numerous other narcotics as well. However, we learn that pot is probably the easiest way to get started, given that it's a weed that all you need is water, lamps and electricity to grow. In fact, it is now the most profitable farm product in the U.S., easily outstripping tobacco, cotton and even corn as the country's top cash crop.
According to one former kingpin, the possibility of jail time is actually worth the risk, provided you're Caucasian, since 90 percent of the million Americans arrested annually for drugs are black or Latino. So, this illicit profession isn't highly recommended for minorities, since the authorities not only target their communities, but employ tactics like profile stops which make apprehension all the more likely.
As hip-hop mogul Simmons explains it, "If you're a blonde fashion model, you're not going to jail. But if you're a black kid from the 'hood, you'll go away for twenty years." He is a big advocate of an overhaul of the laws implemented as part of the War on Drugs which has really been waged in the ghetto while lily-white suburbia has benefitted from a pass, by and large.
If you do decide to traffic in narcotics, and land behind bars, the picture has a chapter on "How to Beat an Arrest." But, permit me in closing to urge any viewers of How to Make Money Selling Drugs to resist the temptation to attempt anything illegal you see here and to watch the flick strictly for entertainment purposes.
A step-by-step instruction video I fear might inadvertently influence some impressionable young minds to try an ill-advised line of work that will only land them in a lot of trouble.
Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 94 minutes
Distributor: TriBeCa Film