Proposal: Different Dimensions in the War on Drugs

I did a lot of thinking after reading Dr. Wolff’s comments on my original proposal. After he pointed out that my topic—the politicizing of science—seemed like it could easily turn into a one-sided argument, I saw what he was talking about. There isn’t much ambiguity in stating such obvious facts as I did in my proposal. It seemed like all of the better videos showed problems that didn’t have easy solutions. Perhaps the value of these mash-ups isn’t in trying to fix a problem, but making viewers see the problem in a new light.

So, for my new topic, I think I’d like to go with the war on drugs. Now I realize that Dr. Wolff identified legalizing marijuana as an over-used topic on his website. I agree. My topic won’t focus on the harmlessness or harmfulness of any drug (at least not as the central focus).

I want to explore the complicated dimensions of the drug war and throw them into a stew—well, maybe a little more tactically than that, but you get the point. There are so many questions to ask: Has this war worked? Who is it affecting? Who wants to keep it and who doesn’t? Who benefits from it and who suffers from it? Would making drugs legal lead to more drug use? Is drug use inevitable? What are the historical variables surrounding the war on drugs that led us to this point?

I think it’s important that I stick to questions and not assertions. Or, at the very least, make observations instead of statements. That’s how I think it would be best to take on this assignment.

I’ll have to do a little more sifting through usable images, video, and audio clips before I figure out exactly which elements I’ll use. I suspect some relevant things to start sifting through would be clips of drug use, people in jail, impoverished neighborhoods, videos of arrest, images of cartel violence, etc. It’s all so open ended at this point, though, that I don’t want to commit to anything just yet. I’m more the type to surf through things and wait for light bulbs to go off in my head.


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