NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD FOR THE FIRST TIME
Directed by: Hans Luxemburger
Running Time: 29:00
Marijuana grows well in the Appalachian mountains. In many parts of the region it has replaced tobacco as the number one cash crop. Bluegrass, Blackmarket investigates the underground economy that has developed around marijuana cultivation in an economically depressed area of eastern Kentucky, and the official corruption that has accompanied it.
Bluegrass, Blackmarket gives the viewer an opportunity to hear from participants on all sides of the issue. A marijuana grower demonstrates his techniques for growing the plant and skirting the law. The area’s prosecuting attorney describes his frustration with trying to convict growers in a community that has come to accept the marijuana trade as a way of life. Drug enforcement personnel comment on their efforts to win the war on drugs as state police and national guardsmen eradicate plants found in isolated cornfields. A local newspaper editor laments the loss of community pride that comes with dependence on an underground economy. Woven throughout the documentary is the story of a large-scale FBI sting operation that led to the arrest of four local sheriffs on drug trafficking charges.
Bluegrass, Blackmarket is an excellent case study of the destructive and corrupting nature of widespread dependence on illegal economic activity and underscores the difficulty of eliminating this country’s “drug problem” as long as individuals have few viable economic opportunities available to them.
“Good portrait of how economic forces influence people to break the law.” – National Educational Film
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