The new documentary, Breaking the Taboo opens tomorrow… on YouTube. Interesting notion to have a film open on YouTube, but it certainly is a good way to get wider distribution immediately. Based on the trailer, it sure looks like it could be a good one.
At the link above, you can also sign their petition to end the drug war. And if you take a look at the supporters they have, or the list under the mission statement, it’s pretty impressive, and sure dispels the old tired notion that drug policy reform is just about potheads wanting to get high.
Event the relentlessly hysterical pro-prohibition rag The Daily Mail seemed to get excited about the film after seeing all the celebrities that showed up to support it at last night’s screening.
I don’t expect the film will be overtly pro-legalization, but it will be overtly pro-change, and specifically include a call to change the single convention. Here is their mission:
We call on Governments and Parliaments to recognise that:
Fifty years after the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was launched, the global war on drugs has failed, and has had many unintended and devastating consequences worldwide.
Use of the major controlled drugs has risen, and supply is cheaper and more available than ever before. The UN conservatively estimates that there are now over 250 million drug users worldwide.
Illicit drugs are now the third most valuable industry in the world, after food and oil, all in the control of criminals. Fighting the war on drugs costs the world’s taxpayers incalculable billions each year. Millions of people are in prison worldwide for drug-related offences, mostly personal users and small-time dealers.
Corruption amongst law-enforcers and politicians, especially in producer and transit countries, has spread as never before, endangering democracy and civil society. Stability, security and development are threatened by the fallout from the war on drugs, as are human rights. Tens of thousands of people die in the drug war each year.
The drug-free world so confidently predicted by supporters of the war on drugs is further than ever from attainment.The policies of prohibition create more harms than they prevent. We must seriously consider shifting resources away from criminalising tens of millions of otherwise law abiding citizens, and move towards an approach based on health, harm-reduction, cost-effectiveness and respect for human rights.
Evidence consistently shows that these health-based approaches deliver better results than criminalisation. Improving our drug policies is one of the key policy challenges of our time. It is time for world leaders to fundamentally review their strategies in response to the drug phenomenon.
At the root of current policies lies the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. It is time to re-examine this treaty, which imposes a “one-size-fits-all” solution, in order to allow individual countries the freedom to explore drug policies that better suit their domestic needs.
As the production, demand and use of drugs cannot be eradicated, new ways must be found to minimise harms, and new policies, based on scientific evidence, must be explored.