Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

War on Drugs

Season 2, Ep 4, Aired 4/22/04
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  • Episode Description
  • Penn and Teller examine the ongoing drug prohibition (the war on drugs), "Voodoo Pharmacology" (clips from the film Reefer Madness and "this is your brain on drugs" commercials are used as examples), and the theory of medical marijuana. Special Guest Experts include: Lester Grinspoon, M.D. (Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, Harvard Medical School) Jane Weirich (Medical Cannabis Advocate, San Fracisco Bay Area) Irvin Rosenfeld (Federal Medical Marijuana Patient) Keith Stroup (Marijuana Advocate, President of NORML) Jacob Sullum (Senior Editor, Reason Magazine) Sheriff Joe Arpaio (Sheriff, Maricopa County, Arizona) Richard Stratton (Editor in Chief, High Times Magazine) Nick Hentoff (Criminal Defense Attorney, Phoenix, Arizona) David Evans II (Executive Director, The Drug Free Schools Coalition) Robert Weiner (Drug Issues Strategist)moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Penn Jillette


  • Teller


  • Star Price

  • Emma Webster

  • Michael Goudeau

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (11)

    • Rosenfeld: Twenty-one years I've been smoking marijuana legally provided by the federal government. And they still don't want to know how well it works.

    • Penn: [on Rosenfeld] So, why is Irvin smoking in front of The White House and the Capitol Building? Because he can. And, well, you gotta admit it makes a really cool shot for the promos. We were also hoping someone who runs the country would look out their F*CKING window and learn something!

    • Stroup: Let me compare the three most common used drugs in this country...recreational drugs...and that's alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. With alcohol, it accounts for roughly 50,000 deaths a year in this country. Tobacco accounts for 440,000 deaths a year in this country. There's never been a person in the history of mankind that's died from an overdose of marijuana. It simply is not toxic enough, it could not kill.

    • Weiner: If drugs were legalized, we would have a disaster in America in hospital emergency rooms, in crime, and in car crashes, and in family destruction. It would be a terrble thing that would be the worst concievable policy. Penn: [while running around the studio flailing and screaming] AHHHHHH! ITS THE END OF THE WORLD! RUN! RUN! SAVE YOURSELVES! AHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHH! RUN! RUN! THERE'S DRUGS THAT ARE LEGAL! AHHHHHH! AHHHHH! AHHHHHH! RUN! RUN! Weiner: That we would be in incredible chaos! Watch your hospital emergency rooms if you were to legalize drugs. They would be in complete catastrophic chaos! Penn: [still running and screaming] AHHHHH! AHHHHHHHH! AHHH! AHHHHH! AHHHHHHHH! [suddenly stops] Or...we'd have fewer victimless criminals clogging our prisons. The courts, police, and lawyers would have time and money to deal with crime. We'd take away the huge black market profits from the bad guys. We'd be able to ease some suffering. We could seriously reduce the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis. We could control the quality and dosages so fewer people would get sick through contamination and overdose. And, remember who's telling you this! I've never taken a recreational drug! NEVER! Not one hit, inhaled or not, off a joint. Never even had a single sip of alcohol! But I'm SURE not gonna spend money or come to your door with a gun to stop you from getting stoned.

    • Evans: If you look at those marijuana clinics in San Francisco you see people who look pretty healthy to me. Penn: Like this woman? She's suffering from her chemotherapy SO MUCH, she's unable to even smoke the marijuana. She has to have it blown in her face. Yeah, she looks 'pretty healthy to me'.

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    Trivia (4)

    • Things written on the eggs in the steamroller demonstration: "Self-determination", "Enterprise", "Choice", "Freedom to Make Mistakes", "Privacy", and "Pursuit of Happiness".

    • Shirt worn by a person in the San Francisco marijuana clinic: "The DEA took my Medical Marijuana away!...and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!"

    • The top 5 causes of car accidents from the California DMV (as seen in the episode) are: Unsafe speed, Driving on the wrong side of the road, Improper turns, Violation of right-of-way rules, and Violation of stop signals and signs.

    • List of people seen in Penn and Teller's gallery of drug users and abusers: Charlie Parker, Willie Nelson, Jimi Hendrix, Rush Limbaugh, George W. Bush, and Ted Kennedy.

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