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.

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44 Comments / User Reviews

  1. bobby

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

  2. Brad

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

  3. JRushnik

    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.

    1. Mick

      That is why they were picking on kids in a non drug crime neigorhood, becuse it was safe; easy money.

  4. chelseachablis

    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

  5. US drug addicts

    i hope the Mexican cartels finds these students

  6. Jim Bob

    Drugs are bad, ummkay!

  7. Letem Dangle


  8. KC Jones

    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.

  9. Larry Dean Moore

    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.

    1. dmxi

      " Why cant the world be ran by a network of analytical people??? That would solve everything."
      it is!....& guess who's orchestrating this mess?

    2. Larry Dean Moore

      Perhaps analytical thinkers and their child like naivety are unbeknownst only running a puppet government. Shhh the reptiles can hear you think.

    3. LoggerheadShrike

      It's not supposed to be the answer to all problems, it's about not doing something stupid anymore. It's not like it's just natural to go around spending billions and ruining tens of thousands of lives on a harsh, dysfunctional, and 100% useless bit of social engineering that has no real point. There's no reason to keep doing it. Now if I was in the habit of carving off bits of my body, stopping that wouldn't solve all my other problems, but that's no reason to keep doing it.
      Analytical people who've studied the drug war and its outcomes agree. It's emotional people who resist change (as well as those who benefit financially, I suppose) who are perpetuating this drug war nonsense.
      And yes, legalization allows us to impose restrictions like age, licensing, health standards, appropriate venues, health and safety standards for the product as well as production and retail facilities, and other kinds of sensible regulations, just like alcohol. In case you didn't realize, that's a good thing.

    4. Brandon

      Look at the incarceration and crime rates of other countries that have either legalized or decriminalized many drugs and then compare them to our rates and you'll see that their economy is higher and their rates are lower because they don't screw over their own citizens. Prohibition of anything never works, it only leads to increased violence and increased crime. This should have been blatantly obvious from Alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s, but those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it! You must be not be too bright if you can't look past the smokescreen that the government has put up and realize that weed is still illegal so it can protect their monetary interests, they don't give a damn about our health and safety. How does it make sense to have Alcohol and Tobacco legal (which is known to kill millions of people), but weed is demonized and compared to heroin, when in fact it is far safer than either Alcohol or Tobacco and has never been known to kill anyone? Also, in case you didn't know the US government has a patent on the medicinal usage of cannabis, even though it is listed as a schedule one drug which means it has no medicinal usage! The drug is called Marinol and is synthetic THC, it is given to cancer patients to help with the side-effects of chemotherapy. Figure that one out!

    5. JRushnik

      It *is* run by a network of very analytical psychopaths and that's exactly why we have this problem. Well, the US is anyway. It's fine though, the rest of us have our popcorn ready for what we all know is coming next.

  10. NX2

    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?

  11. Jim Middlebrook

    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]

    1. jackmax

      That will not help those whom have had their lives forever tarnished by your department entrapment of these innocent victims. Will you be ensuring that all these childrens records be wiped. i think that if you had any respect for the community that you have sworn to protect this should never have been allowed in the first place.

    2. NX2

      Yeah well, thanks perhaps, but you know, on the inter webs names don't really mean that much. And even if you are who you say you are, placing some kind of apologies here, is actually pretty lame. Sorry to say, but this kind of reeks like some sort of damage control.

    3. dmxi

      ....but it's a 'beginning'!those whom redeem themselves should be
      applauded not scrutinized....another 'lame' Internet virtue is
      'preconception' which is exactly what we are demonizing here!
      ...i do not want to offend you & hope you don't see this as such.

    4. NX2

      No worries, i respect you enough to listen to what you have to say (or read what you wrote). I'm afraid i might 've been a bit too hotheaded. But yes, you're right, that's worth an applaud, and in the same respect i will give him a vote up. And at the same time scrutinize a little bit. That's fair enough?

    5. dmxi

      sir,words of a true gentleman!

  12. Eric Edmond Frenzel

    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."

    1. chuckym

      Yeah it's called "insanity" "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!"

  13. Eric Lawson

    These cop stings are just pathetic Peace!!!

  14. YouHaveIssues

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

  15. jackmax

    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.

    1. UBK

      You are WRONG - they ARE protecting the citizens they have sworn to protect; the 1 % ! Your job is to be fed on lies and milked as a cash cow. Do NOT think. Mr Netanyahu and his government have been doing it for you since long before 9/11

    2. jackmax

      What are talking about. It would appear that you are on a different plane than the rest of us. If you think entrapment is fine you have very little idea of what justice and crime prevention is suppose to be.

    3. UBK

      Yes ! I am on a different plane, one weho thinks out of a different box, speaks with a different voice and sees with different eyes. I know exactly what justice and crime are supposed to be - and what it has become, nothing but an instrument of oppression to keep the majority in a position of subjugation to the 1 % of elitist parasites that feed off YOU !

    4. jackmax

      it would appear that you have very little knowledge of what is right or wrong!!
      your thinking that you know how and what I think is way off the mark and before you imply that I'm a sheep it may pay to look at my discus history. I've notice that all your resent rant are about what is happening in the Gaza strip which is admirable however to comment on this though this thread is off the mark. This is about the lack of compassion and poor judgement law enforcement has had to do to ensure that funding to their agency continue though any mean they can.
      you should be disgusted that the USA have so much disregard for the true well being of their fellow country man to set up such blatant abuse of power that allows this type of entrapment to occur in the first place.

    5. UBK

      "It is my duty to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Drummond, Defence Attorney in 'Inherit the Wind.'
      Those sentiments are my criteria for right and wrong. 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' Nothing more needed.

    6. NX2

      So, what exactly did you do to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable?

    7. UBK

      Imprisoned in Hvridslosselille Statsfaengsel I encountered a very despondent Japanese businessman, representative of a large pearl company. Practising the little Japanese I had picked up it transpired that for years he had been entering the country with his samples free of duty and not declarable. The law had unknown to him had been changed and he was imprisoned for smuggling. For a week he grew worse worrying about the loss of honour and his fathers the CEO's disgrace. As the interpreter of prison notices from Danish to English I was in contact with deputy governor. Telling him that I feared the man would top himself, which would rebound internationally on the worlds most peaceful country and it would do well for the authorities to take another look at this case. Three days later the 'smuggler' was on a plane home with full apologies. As for the second part of the question I annoy you, don't I ?

    8. NX2

      Okay, if you did what you said you did, then that's honorable. Seems it wasn't a hollow phrase after all
      Lol, you annoy me? As for the second part of that phrase, i'm not actually related to the case you described, but even if you think outside of that box, you are assuming i'm with the comfortable? Implying i'm a sheep or something? Yes, that's a little annoying assumption. So, how comfortable am i? What's next? You're going to tell me you afflicted me? That's the hollow part, i'd think.

    9. UBK

      England and America, two nations divided by a common language. pretending we understand one another - while half the time we don't. My problem is trying to put over a sense of humour which is OK verbally but falls flat when written - mea culpa ! No interntion of implying you're a sheep, though god knows they sure outnumber the shepherds - as for the comfortable part, well Americans have until very recent years had more cases of 'Affluenza' than the rest of the world, haven't they ? so that part was an assumption. Peace be upon you !

    10. NX2

      Thanks for the peace. And what about Australia...or, any other country?

  16. User_1

    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!

  17. dmxi

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

  18. Fabien L

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

  19. AssHat900

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

  20. backwards

    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,

  21. James Hunt

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

    1. OJakeMack

      This kind of behaviour by designated public officials who wish to be regarded as professionals is just stupid and utterly sickening. But I have seen this in action elsewhere too. I am aware of instances where kids were given criminal convictions for drugs because police officers wanted to make overtime claims.