George Jung (Johnny Depp) was born in the 1950's and grew up in a middle class neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Living with his parents, Fred (Ray Liotta), and Ermine (Rachel Griffiths), his life seemed far from normal. Ermine constantly walked out and left her child and husband alone in search for a better life. There was no bonding between mother and child, while Fred at least tried to instill good moral judgements to his son and tried to kept him looking on the brighter side of life. But when his mother leaves for an extended time, George decides it's time try something new himself.
George moves to California in the late 60's, along with his best friend Tuna (Ethan Suplee), and quickly notices life is different at the beach. They get lucky and quickly find a small apartment on the beach. Girls in bikinis, parties on the beach day and night, and everyone smoking marijuana. George soon realizes he's found the embrace he was looking for. He meets and falls for Barbara (Franka Potente) who works for the airlines as a stewardess. She introduces George to Derek Foreal (Paul Reubens), who can score large quantities of smoke. He eventually gets Barbara to carry it in her luggage, which is unchecked being a stewardess, and every time she flies to Boston, the group makes a killing in money. All goes as planned until George is arrested in 1972 when his mother turns him in. While he is in prison Barbara dies of cancer.
George bunks with Diego (Jordi Molla), in jail where he learns everything about cocaine. George says, "I went in with a Bachelor of marijuana, came out with a Doctorate of cocaine." As he gets out he meets up with Diego and a new ally in Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis). George quickly regains control of the cocaine drug traffic to the U.S. and meets and falls for Mirtha (Penelope Cruz). The two are married and have a baby girl until Mirtha finally leaves him when he decides to go clean and it's not all about the money. But when he promises his baby a trip to California, George is finally set up by one of his old friends, now working for the F.B.I. where he spend today with as of today, another 2,082 days till his release.
New Line Cinema
Directors: Ted Demme
Writers: Nick Cassavetes, David McKenna
Producers: Joel Stillerman, Ted Demme, Denis Leary