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A new documentary has been released addressing the failure of the War on Drugs, and the successful strategies that have risen to replace it. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, Breaking the Taboo follows the history of the War on Drugs, as well as interviews with members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy on policies that are working in other countries. The Global Commission on Drug Policy is an organization made up of current and former presidents and prime ministers of drug producing & drug consuming nations, and counts Virgin CEO Richard Branson as a prominent member. Branson is known to have said that if the War on Drugs was a business, it would be considered the worst failure in the history of business.
Of note are interviews with Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, a strong advocate for both decriminalization and legalization or narcotics in the United States, as well as a features on the success of full decriminalization of narcotics in Portugal and legal sale of marijuana in Holland.
Former US president Bill Clinton is also prominently featured, and he offers the comment that opposition to drug use on a moralistic basis is futile; that arguments against drug use should center on the loss of choice from the life of a drug addict.
A Moving Portrait
Only briefly touched upon is the connection between firm drug policy and the prison-industrial complex. Not discussed are the benefactors of the prison-industrial complex, including the US manufacturing industry, and the financial motivation for the War on Drugs.
Ultimately, this is a good documentary that introduces the successes of international programs to a US audience, and may well succeed in its mandate to dispel the political taboo that prevents compassionate drug policy from being broached in a political context (that is, by candidates running for office). The portrait painted of Baltimore specifically is shocking, to say the least.
Baltimore suffers from a very high rate of arrest for drug offenses
The film is produced by Brazilian co-production partner Spray Filmes, and by Richard Branson’s son Sam Branson‘s indie Sundog Pictures. Direction is by Cosmo Feilding Mellen and Fernando Grostein Andrade.