Last year Colorado passed a law allowing the recreational use of marijuana. Prior to that, only medical marijuana use was permitted. Back then Big Pictures crews worked with the CNBC team to help create the acclaimed documentary Marijuana USA.
Now, in a new Drugs, Inc episode for National Geographic Channel airing in September, we explore the broader impact of marijuana legalization on the entire drug economy and infrastructure.
While following the marijuana culture was certainly interesting (and pretty mellow), this program also took us deeper into the dangerous world of meth, heroine, and crack cocaine.
Over a three-week shoot this spring, Trevor and I joined a team from Wall to Wall Television out of London on one seedy (pun intended) adventure after another. We went undercover with Denver Police shooting crack and heroine busts, filmed behind-the-scenes at a fast growing edibles and elixirs company named Dixie, followed participants in the nation’s first marijuana-themed package tour, and spent the day (and night) with heroine addicts as they sold stolen batteries in a parking lot on East Colfax to support their very demanding habit.
We also interviewed rehabbed addicts trying to get their lives back together, and an emergency room doctor specializing in drug overdoses. We were surprised to learn that the most common gateway to heroine addiction is the use of prescription meds. Sadly, the path for many begins with an injury that requires pain relievers.
We shot with the full sized Sony PMW-500 XDCAM HD Camera, with a documentary style kit that included two variable focal length lenses - wide and long. There was also a smaller PMW-200 that used by the director – enabling her to be more stealth and undercover without the larger crew.
Drugs, Inc – Rocky Mountain High is slated to air Sunday September 15th, 9AM Eastern.
For More information about Drugs, Inc., visit National Geographic Channel
Written by Tom Miller, Copyright 2013 Big Pictures Media, Inc.