What's In My Baggie?

2014, Drugs  -  60 min Leave a Comment
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Over the course of two months, five friends travelled 12,000 miles with their cameras in hand. Their mission? Expose the spread of unregulated and misrepresented drugs and research chemicals, and to shine a spotlight on a hugely inept national drug policy. What's in My Baggie? chronicles this journey, and the surprising discoveries that were made along the way.

The filmmakers seek out large gatherings of youth within settings where experimental substance use is commonplace, and settle upon the most popular regional music festivals. They bring along chemical detection kits which can swiftly identify each tested substance. In most cases, the drugs these young people purchased were completely different from what they believed they were paying for. Samples of MDMA are often identified as bath salts. Other drugs test as unknown substances without a name.

This conundrum might seem slight on the surface, but it actually poses serious dangers to psychoactive drug users. Gone are the days when the drug culture was populated with half a dozen mainstays like cocaine, marijuana and LSD. Today, illicit substances can easily undergo chemically manipulation, be morphed into one of countless varieties, and sold to an unsuspecting youth with no regard for the consequences. Out of the dozens of drug users interviewed in the film most are not aware of the dangers or that such testing kits exist.

During the course of the film, this crisis is further illustrated by medical practitioners, law enforcement officials, assorted outreach organizations and dealers of these substances. The proliferation of these psychoactive drugs is so widespread, and their appearance so indistinguishable from other known substances, that regulators have a difficult time catching up. The dealers themselves are aware of this dilemma and use it to their advantage as they knowingly sell deceptive products at premium prices.

What's in My Baggie? takes what many believe to be a realistic view of drug use among youth. From the filmmakers' perspective, a significant percentage of young people are likely to experiment with drugs when given the right conditions and companionship. In that regard, the film provides a valuable service by advocating for more caution and education.