The War on Kids

The War on Kids

2014, Drugs  -   44 Comments
Ratings: 8.60/10 from 253 users.

This film is an expose of the war on drugs, and the way federal grants are awarded to local law enforcement based on the number of drug arrests reported. In turn these police departments prey on some of the most vulnerable members of their communities to keep their number up and the money flowing in.

In an undercover sting called "Operation Glass House" police officers infiltrated three Temecula, California high schools, where they attempted to build friendships with students and purchase drugs from them. Not exactly known for its drug scene, Temecula is mentioned to be the second safest city in America. Deputy Daniel Zipperstein, operating undercover as teenager Daniel Briggs, was assigned to Chaparral High School, where he befriended Jesse Snodgrass. Daniel frequently asked Jesse to hook him up with pot, and eventually Jesse obliged. He bought a miniscule amount of weed from a homeless man and it gave it to his would-be friend. He would later be charged with two felony counts of selling marijuana.

Neither the Temecula School District nor the Temecula PD responded to invitations to be interviewed. Jesse also declined to appear on camera due to the post-traumatic stress he has suffered since his arrest; His parents Doug and Catherine, however, share his story to illustrate the way the war on drugs took advantage of their son, a teenager with Asperger's syndrome.

In emotional interviews Doug and Catherine emphasize the desperation Jesse felt in wanting to keep his only friend, and trace his history of growing up as a child on the autistic spectrum. Even at an early age Jesse struggled to build and maintain friendships. They believe his only intent in obliging Daniel's request for marijuana was to keep him as a friend, a demonstration of empathy and connection that his parents explain would be considered a breakthrough for a person with Asperger's under other circumstances.

In addition to interviews with Jesse's parents and two other students arrested under Operation Glass House, the audience is given the history of these undercover operations, which the LAPD launched in 1974. While the LAPD ultimately ceased this practice when evidence revealed they were heavily targeting students who were poor, minorities, or special needs and with little results in stemming the area drug trade, other counties continue these operations regardless.

The subjects in this film decry the war on drugs as a failure based on their first-hand experiences, claiming more lives have been ruined than saved. Despite the indication of a larger societal progression towards legalizing marijuana, law enforcement still engages in the war on drugs, a battle that, as the title implies, is proving to be a war on kids.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

police hitting easy targets.....shameful. RELEASE THE CONVICTED TO. REJUVINATE THE ECONOMY

8 years ago

Daniel Brigs or Briggs. The Brig is the term for jail in the Navy and Coast Guard.

8 years ago

If I saw those cops in real life I'd have no problem putting a bullet in their head. If you want to use your life to destroy other people's lives the only moral thing to do is take yours away from you.

8 years ago

the "war on drugs" is only a war to KEEP drugs in society so the military industrial complex can keep getting richer off the middle class. Marijuana never ended a life. Not in the clinical sense. As far as I's STILL the safest drug on the market but the powers that be don't care.....they want cash & control...period

US drug addicts
8 years ago

i hope the Mexican cartels finds these students

Jim Bob
8 years ago

Drugs are bad, ummkay!

Letem Dangle
8 years ago


8 years ago

Im a senior @ Chico State Unv; majoring in legal studies. Im not an attorney **YET** I only have 2 years left to receive my M.A. in Jurisprudence & the state bar... So, @ the moment Im nearly a "Journeyman in Jurisprudence" if you had to scale it/label my expertise in law). I can say this will all certainty; in many states is it not only possible but happens routinely: sm to med to large growers of cannabis are given far longer prison-incarceration sentences than is given to (various states) criminals convicted of:
In many cases; Manslaughter (1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree)
In some cases; Murder
In many cases; Pedophile acts against minors/children
Animal Abuse charges (too many to list)
Child, Domestic, and Senior abuse and/or endangerment
In many cases; various Welfare and Insurance Fraud crimes
and the list goes on & on & on.... In the state of Nevada (not sure if this is still current) but used to be, you could receive 20years in a NV state prison for less than a joints worth of mj! - thats purely insane & barbaric. Why someone hasn't tried to convince the Supreme Court that with 1/3rd of the adult population in this country using cannabis recreationally it seems the 8th Amendment would trump this nonsense, or the 9th Amendment if we could nail down exactly what rights are left to the people not specifically granted to the fed or states!!
However.. (to play the devils advocate) the 6 major pushers of keeping mj illegal is: BIG PHARMA, Big Insurance Corps, Right-wing Christian power (dont kid yourself, the Christian church may have diminished a bit over the last decade but they are a hideously powerful political body... in fact most mainstream religions do have more of a voice in our govt than you probably do; no joke), the entire law enforcement arm of the US (well aside from L.E.A.P. - that is a great organization, look them up sometime if you dont know & then support it!), the Alcohol industry, and lastly BIG TOBACCO 'cause more and more cannabis users are not following their herb sessions with a cigarette (unlike when one consumes alcohol; cigs and beer, mixed drinks and cigs, even wine & cigs just seem to go hand in hand ..... and now ... can anyone say, uh... "conditioning" :) people who smoke cannabis may not want to damage their lungs anymore with a nasty old cigarette... and that type of thinking (or action) cuts into tobacco profits big time (and see, they cant have that). so 4X's a year - along with the booze industry - they make sure to cut checks to their US Congressmen/women, their US Senators, and of course attorney-firms who lobby our govt (along with law enforcement lobbying for things such as the prison industrial complex) to continue to crack down on mj so they make cont to make the big profits. This is also why no elected President over the last 25yrs has wanted to stop the notion of lobbying/or lobbying groups... in fact HClinton stated she is greatly influenced by them to keep her informed, as did both Bush's.
See, the whole thing is sorta rigged. The only way to beat these heavy hitters is in court, whereby your "win" becomes the "law" of the land ;) - at least that's what I've learned over the years - that's how we/the people win back our freedom, or at least strike a far better balance that the way it stands today and will stand tomorrow.... but maybe not in another 4-5yrs if enough of us began to learn the law...
Just a thought people! Im trying, but it'll take more than just a handful of us. We need a movement to get people into studying the law so we can keep pounding on big brothers door demanding equality in the way in which we want & need to live out our existence peacefully, while keeping our hearts and souls inspired to continue to bring joy, innovation, safety, rebirth, and intelligence into this vast and lonely place (space) we call Earth.
my 2 cents - peace out folks
"...We are in this thing together; for good or ill..." - the Good Dr. said that once and he was right.

Larry Dean Moore
9 years ago

Because legalizing marijuana is the answer to all problems. Psht get out of here. If it is legalized it will probably be +21. Marijuana isn't the only drug. You kids and your spins. Why cant the world be ran by a network of analytical people??? That would solve everything.

9 years ago

That a government allows funding based upon the number of drug arrest might make you wonder how short sighted you can actually get,as a policymaker or not. But besides that, one might also wonder if that's the main cause.
Personally, i wonder if a police department has a work ethic or not? I would find it hard to fathom if entrapment would be legal. And even if so, how much would that infringe your personal morale? Because, you know, even as a cop you are free to have those (recognize your own power?). I wonder, not as a life style, but what about civil disobedience from time to time? Merely sheep?
Get your funds up to a road to nowhere?
I mean, we can all criticize policy as much as we want, but what about the man or women in place?

Jim Middlebrook
9 years ago

For having hijacked the education system (an area we normally designate as off-limits for this particular type of confidence sting) In a manner both destructive and utterly pointless in outcome, the TPD will be disciplined; Collectively the officers of the Temecula Police Department are hanging their heads for having allowed themselves to engage in frankly creepy behavior in this instance. I am embarrassed and must formally apologize to this family for my Department's actions in Temecula, and can only assure the public that I will personally sort them out. [Jim Middlebrook, CPDDC]

Eric Edmond Frenzel
9 years ago

These police stings in High Schools
across the country are nothing but one more pathetic role the police
perform because of the war on drugs. A bunch of id**ts who kill
innocent people performing their military style type drug raids, I'm
surprised they haven't seized the property of any of these High
School drug king pins. Tax payers rise up and stop the flow of money
supporting the police that never seem to assist you when your being
victimized unless you state that the perp is smoking marijuana then
SWAT will come, stop the flow of money to the courts so that innocent
people accused of crimes will be able to get decent representation,
and definitely stop the huge amounts of cash flowing to the prisons.
One year of prison for an individual cost tax payers more than one
year of Princeton. All they learn in prison is how to be a better
criminal in Princeton they might find a cure for cancer. In 12 step
meetings there’s a saying,"doing the same things expecting
different results." Now,"The Drug Wars Doing The Same Thing
Expecting Different Results."

Eric Lawson
9 years ago

These cop stings are just pathetic Peace!!!

9 years ago

Put his face and name on flyers. Pass them out to all schools in the area.

9 years ago

The heavy handed tactics the police use in this and many other cases are the reason the don't have the respect of the citizen they are sworn to protect. At some stage the government must take responsibility for the actions the police take to ensure that their annual budget is maintained or increased. It tragic to see any innocent person being
intimidate but to have the people who are paid to protect you being the perpetrators is absolutely disgusting and should be held accountable for their actions. The biggest problem from what I can see is the way the police obtain their funding which has lead to all this corruption and underhanded tactics being used.

With all the evidence available to us all that prohibition of anything does not work I think it's high time (pardon the pun) that all governments look as other measures to ensure that the community is a safe and stable environment for all to enjoy.

9 years ago

Thanks for the doc VICE. I just wished you would taken that pig through the ringer! You know let us know where he lives or where his beat is now, or something! You didn't have to be so "off limits" with him!

9 years ago

f+ckin' b'stards!someday that cop will be somebodies b*tch with an itching sphincter!!!

Fabien L'Amour
9 years ago

What a bunch of loser cops pulling up a silly stint like that on an autist!

9 years ago

Should have said they slept with him. Boom, cop ass raped in jail.

9 years ago

Not a very shocking story or even a great documentary but its to the point focusing on one news I'd say it is OK
But the reporters response at 11.00 "What a $@#%$" is classic and made me laugh!

I would assume entrapment laws would apply in this case, but I guess that liberty is gone nowadays also.The only option is to spread the word to the world via video that these guys are "$@#$" for doing that,

James Hunt
9 years ago

Outrageous what is going on in the USA ffs leave the kids alone!