STUDIO:  Disinformation
MSRP: $24.95
RUNNING TIME:  135 Minutes
- Bonus disc featuring 20/20 speech and secret compartment video

The Pitch

Do you deal or use drugs without any thought as to location or appearance?  Have you been waiting forever for a DVD to tell you how to not get busted for marijuana possession? Well, wait no longer you there with the poor judgement and love of chiba, your ship has finally docked.

The Humans

Barry Cooper, Idiots

Chef Emeril LaGRASS-y, am I right guys?  Am I right?  Guys, am I right?  Guys?

The Nutshell

It’s abundantly clear that the war on drugs has an efficacy just slightly greater than that of our war on noun that describes extreme fear, so it should come as no surprise that commercials suggesting that marijuana ingestion will result in hitting a little girl with a car or losing your bone structure aren’t exactly working their magic. People still smoke weed, and they’ll continue to do so regardless of its legality. So in lieu of a sudden change of heart and an adherence to logic that would be unprecedented in our government’s recent history, marijuana will remain to be illegal and people will continue to have to find creative ways to traffic it around the country and ingest it without being jailed for what many would argue is an extraordinarily harsh amount of time. This DVD is a guide to methods of evasion for those who wish to traffic their narcotic of choice without those pesky DEA officers or policemen stopping you and discovering the two kilos of pot that found their way into that secret compartment in your trunk without you knowing it.

"Have you ever siphoned gas…on WEED?"

The Lowdown

Regardless of where you come down on the ‘war on drugs’*, one thing every side of the argument can agree on is that our current methods of combat are not really working. Everybody knows or is somebody who has or currently enjoys a little marijuana every now and again, and there’s really nothing wrong with that, as with anything that can impair judgement, temperance is really the issue at hand and by making a substance that isn’t egregiously more harmful than other legalized means of intoxication illegal only serves to give it a dangerous allure that will lead to many trying it. So until that day, there’s people like former DEA agent Barry Cooper (wasn’t that a Sandler character from the mid 90’s?) trying to save you from jailtime by letting you in on what officers are looking for when they make traffic stops with the intention of busting your drug-addled ass.

"The hell with the trunk full of pot, son, how’d you get the Phantom Zone stuck on your face like that?"

Cooper (who could pass as a slightly stocky Mark Ruffalo, although I’m certain that biopic will never see the light of day) is a passionate speaker, and any measure of success this set has to offer rests solely on his shoulders. There isn’t a lot of information here that I would classify as anything other than ‘common sense’, if you need somebody to tell you that rolling and lighting a joint as you drive on the freeway is an exercise in poor judgement this DVD isn’t going to save you from considerable jail time. However, there are some nice bits about profiling that the officers utilize (hint: be elderly and/or white!) in determining who gets stopped, and advice to basically keep your mouth shut and hints as to how cops will bend the law in their favor to capture perps without being accused of entrapment. This would apply more to those hauling large quantities of the material, however, and you probably don’t need me to tell you that there’s going to be some danger intrinsic in the hauling of kilos of illegal drugs on US soil. Cooper is an energetic frontrunner who manages to carry the majority of its running time through the clearly exhibited passion and energy he has for the subject and his desire to help people save themselves from boneheaded mistakes that get them put away for something he now considers to be unworthy of the law’s time and money.

The lesson as always: chop up the bodies before disposal, and evenly distribute the weight in your trunk space.

I can’t fully recommend this due to the fact that if you’re operating with a little bit of common sense, you can more than likely steer clear of the issues presented in this program (most of the people shown in busts probably wouldn’t understand how exactly these new-fangled digital discs work). However, Cooper’s energy and the occasional interesting tidbit save it from being a trainwreck. If you’re really interested in learning all of the tricks of the trade in order to evade a ticket or jailtime for possession, this is worth giving a spin.

The Package

The DVD cover makes plain the subject matter, although it could’ve skewed even more heavily towards the cannibis-ingesting audience with a more prominently displayed leaf (the Ruffalo resemblance is never more stark than on the cover, however). The video and audio isn’t of the highest quality (a majority of the stock footage Cooper throws to has aged badly, although they are upfront about this in the presentation), but the grainy quality adds to the verite quality of the police busts.

Certain search method descriptions seemed to energize Cooper more than others.

As far as extras are concerned, the edition I was sent for review comes equipped with a second disc (apparently there’s a cheaper single disc available on Barry Cooper’s website) that contains the only bonus material on the entire set: you get the complete video footage of a young Barry Cooper, DEA officer giving a lecture with visual examples of the type of storage compartments smugglers use when trying to get their wares across the border and into the hands of our youth (THE HORROR!). The best bonus is Barry’s speech on a college campus filmed for a 20/20 profile on him, in which he passionately rages against the war on drugs, using some fun facts and information to back up his case. It’s the only real emotion you see in anything on the discs, so it’s nice to have a human element make its way in amongst all of his tips of the trade.

6.2 out of 10

*CHUD-Nugget: Where you come down on this issue can determine your level of idiocy!