President Barack Obama and David Simon had a relatively extensive discussion about drug policy this week.
Obama and Simon, a former Baltimore police reporter who created the HBO crime drama “The Wire,” repeatedly lamented the high rate of incarceration in the US. The video of their conversation was published Thursday by the White House.
“Part of what of your show depicted … is also that there is a generational element to this,” Obama told Simon. “So you’ve got entire generations of men being locked up, which means entire generations of boys growing up either without a father, or if they see their dad, they’re seeing him in prison.”
Simon agreed and said incarcerated men were becoming “permanently part of the ‘Other America.” However, Obama said there was a reason to be optimistic about the issue: Even some conservative are starting to partner with liberals on reducing prison sentences for nonviolent drug crimes.
“Here’s the good news: There’s an increasing realisation on the left but also on the right, politically, that what we’re doing is counterproductive. Either from a libertarian perspective, the way that we treat nonviolent drug crimes is problematic. And from a fiscal perspective, it’s breaking the bank,” Obama said.
Obama also told Simon that his favourite “The Wire” character is Omar, a drug dealer comfortable both with his homosexuality and slaying his rivals.
Watch the entire conversation below:
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