Just Say No to Drug War?

Juan Manuel Santos, incumbent President of Colombia, which has fought a long-time war on drugs with the support of the U.S., has just signed a public letter questioning that war on grounds of efficacy, cost, side effects, and fairness.

According to a public letter circulated by the Beckley Foundation, which was founded in the UK by Amanda Feilding, the global war on drugs “has failed and has had many unintended and devastating consequences worldwide.” Failed how? Drugs are “cheaper, purer, and more available.” The unsuccessful “war” on drugs is costing taxpayers “billions per year.” The drug industry, the “third most valuable industry in the world,” is “all in the control of criminals.” This cash flow pays for rampant “corruption.” And people’s lives are being wrecked when they are deprived of freedom (and then of a vote).

Breaking the Taboo, a new documentary on the war on drugs, can be viewed on YouTube as of December 7, and serves as part of the Beckley Foundation’s challenge to prohibitionist policies encoded in a U.N. convention on “narcotic” drugs. Inspired in part by a Brazilian film of the same name that had its premiere in Rio in 2011, the new documentary is narrated by Morgan Freeman and directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen of Sundog Pictures in London.

Meanwhile, Beckley’s public letter has attracted many signatures. It is hard enough to get support from leaders no longer in office, such as, in Europe, the past presidents of Poland and Switzerland; and in Latin America, the past presidents of Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico; as well as, in the U.S., past presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, both of whom are featured in the new documentary, Breaking the Taboo. All of them are signers. It is very much harder to win the commitment of a sitting leader, such as Otto Perez Molina, President of Guatemala, also a signer, as well as, now, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia.

– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.