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Brad Pitt can joke about his own drug use, but he takes serious issue with the government's War on Drugs. At a screening for the new documentary The House I Live In, which Pitt produced, the actor got personal about chasing the illegal high.
"Hi, everybody. I'm Brad Pitt. And I'm a drug addict," Pitt told the audience, by way of introduction. How's that for an opening statement?
"Actually, my drug days have long passed," he continued, "but it's certainly true that I could land in any city and any state and get you anything you wanted. Just give me 24 hours, and I'll know where to find it. And yet we still talk about the drug war as if it's a success."
The House I Live In, which was awarded a grand jury prize at this year's Sundance Festival, chronicles the failure of America's trillion-dollar anti-drug efforts over the past forty years. It's a subject that Pitt feels strongly about bringing to national attention.
"It’s been this taboo subject forever -– unless you're claiming victory for a bust or a win," Pitt told the The Huffington Post at Friday's screening. "It's absolutely taboo to talk about it as a failure. Which it is. It's an incredible failure."
Pitt and director Eugene Jarecki believe that the drug war is being used to keep down a large portion of American society -- the same people Pitt has tried to help with his efforts to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
"We have to look at the what-if-everything-was-legal and people were allowed to make their own choices, and we were treating it less as a criminal issue and more as a sickness," says Pitt. "People do drugs to escape. We're not talking about experimentation. People with long-term drug use are escaping." (Watch a trailer for Pitt and Jarecki's film below.)
Pitt last spoke about his own drug use during Fall 2011, when he admitted he spent the '90s trying to escape from his own celebrity. "I started to get sick of myself sitting on a couch, holding a joint, hiding out," he told Parade. His partner Angelina Jolie has also admitted to using illegal drugs in her younger days.