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Sam Quinones

Journalist/Author

Dreamland

Sam Quinones has been a journalist, former LA Times reporter, author and storyteller for almost 30 years. He lived and worked as a freelance writer in Mexico from 1994 to 2004, and spent time with gang members, governors, and taco vendors, even living briefly in a drug-rehabilitation clinic in Zamora, while hanging out with a street gang. Sam's award-winning book of narrative nonfiction, “Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic,” recounts twin tales of drug marketing: a pharmaceutical corporation flogs its legal new opiate painkiller as nonaddictive; immigrants from a small town in Nayarit, Mexico, devise a method for retailing black-tar heroin like pizza and take that system nationwide riding a wave of pill addiction; the result is our current scourge of opiate addiction. Sam’s interview for our film draws mostly from ideas he expressed in the afterword of “Dreamland,” and are a clarion call to common-sense thinking about pain and suffering, the avoidance of which may have been largely responsible for thrusting America into the perfect storm of our current opiate epidemic.