Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

Season 2 Episode 4

War on Drugs

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Apr 22, 2004 on Showtime



  • Trivia

    • 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.

  • Quotes

    • 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.
      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'.

    • Weiner: I don't know any good doctor out there who's gonna say 'Hey take a joint, it's gonna make you better'.
      Penn: Really? It only took us a few MINUTES to find a good doctor!

    • Stroup: The first drug used by almost everyone, in almost every instance was either alcohol or tobacco. [cut to intro of Keith Stroup, cut back] So why don't we hear that alcohol and tobacco are a gateway drug? Well, it's because alcohol and tobacco are multibillion dollar corporations and they make lots of money in our society.

    • Penn: In the early 1970s, if The French Connection had piqued your interest in smack, heroin cost 30 dollars per bag and was 5% pure drug. We picture buying a box of adozen donuts and getting this much [holds up half a donut] actual donut. Today, heroin is available in every city in the US, and it costs 4 DOLLARS per bag and is 80-90% PURE. Adjusting for inflation, the same money that would have bought this much [gestures to original box] pure lethal pleasure in 1970 now gets you THIS MUCH![gestures to large stack of approx. 30 donut boxes] HEROIN IS MORE THAN 600 TIMES CHEAPER THAN IT WAS BEFORE THE WAR ON DRUGS! It's hard to pass up a bargain like that. Heroin is cheaper than a six-pack and easier for kids to get. You see, drug dealers aren't checking ID. So...what are the feds accomplishing by spending our money and taking away our freedom?

    • Evans: Teenage drug use is down across the board in the last couple of years.
      Penn: ACROSS THE BOARD? You can smell that bullsh** right through your tv screen! Since 1994, marijuana use is up more 60% among high school seniors. Among the same group, use of cocaine has increased, and, since the late 90s, ecstasy use is UP! So exactly which drug is being used less, aspirin?

    • Penn: How much of a political game is it to declare drugs the scourge of the earth, then serve perfectly legal cocktails at The White House?
      Bush: There's nothing like having a few friends over for a cocktail or two...
      Penn: Binding definition and all, alcohol is a mind-altering drug. It's THE drug. The most popular, lethal, and f*cking pointless, f*cking stupid drug in the world. But, the freedom to get blind, stinking drunk remains every Americans right...providing they don't harm anyone else. And that's the way it should be in any country that wants to call itself free.

    • Penn: Man, if we started arresting everyone for being miserable due to a bad decision, we need to cuff everyone who chose to see a Pauly Shore movie.

  • Notes

  • Allusions