Narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, “Breaking the Taboo” is produced by Sam Branson’s indie Sundog Pictures and Brazilian co-production partner Spray Filmes and was directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen and Fernando Grostein Andrade. Featuring interviews with several current or former presidents from around the world, such as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.
ROBERT STEELE This is Sir Richard Branson’s first investment in public intelligence, focused on US political history with an excellent leavening of international leaders with insights into their own related challenges. The movie does well in focusing on how the war on drugs is a war on people — both the people growing the crops to survive, and the people incarcerated in the USA — now close to 3 million, with more prison guards in the USA than there are US Marines. The movie touches on the connection between the US waging war overseas (from Viet-Nam where our troops learned to mainline heroin, and also where CIA learned how to run drugs and launder money, to Afghanistan, where we took opium production from zero to 80% of the world supply).
Perhaps the very best and most important point made by the movie is that the war on drugs called into question the credibility and then the legitimacy of everything the government claimed in its hyped “war on drugs.” Marijuana, in particular, is NOT a dangerous drug (nor is hemp) but the retarded — or corrupt — policies continue to treat it as the equal of cocaine and heroin. The movie laso integrates solid analytic perspectives: to measure success you must measure the reduction in drug use by the public, not measure expenditures, interdictions, drugs eradicated at source. A Ron Paul clip is included, with a number of clever vignettes that illuminate the hypocrisy of US politicians who advocate repression without actually knowing what they are talking about.
Portugal — and the decriminalization of drugs along with the shift to treating addition as a medical challenge rather than a law enforcement challenge — is highlighted as a success story. Drugs went from #1 to #13 or lower in Portugal after a decade of smart governance. Switzerland also discovered that repression drives users underground and makes it impossible to address the health issues, including the spread of AIDS/HIV. “Health before punishment” is gaining currency among former presidents including former president Bill Clinton, whose brother was addited to cocaine. Latin America may be the first region to break away from US policy — Latin America is developing its own intelligence, its own integrity, and it is doing so in part because the US Government has failed to provide intelligence with integrity on the subject of drugs.
“The power decide” is the power of knowledge — of knowing the truth. When governments lies to their publics, and fund repressive measures that enrich only the special interests, government die — they lose credibility, efficacy, and legitimacy. Now imagine another film like this, on every single insane policy we have now, each based on ideology, corruption, ignorance, and arrogance. This is a very fine start.