Breaking the taboo - momentum gathers
- By Richard Branson -
- Dec 17, 2012
Momentum is gathering after an intense three days in London and New York recently with my son Sam talking about a trillion dollar failure: the war on drugs.
Sam and his indie company Sundog have released a documentary called Breaking the Taboo about the failed global war on drugs. By premiering it in London and New York, we were able to share the issues with everyone from interested business leaders to concerned parents. We also stopped by the United Nations because moving away from failing policies will require international cooperation.
We wanted UN delegates to feel the urgency now that more people than ever are speaking up with stinging outrage and criticism about the current global approach to drugs. Breaking The Taboo aims to bridge the gap between the policy-makers, bureaucrats and legislators, and those who are living with the issues the drug war creates day in, day out.
Also countries are not alone in trying to tackle this global problem. Alternative solutions are being practiced in countries like Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the UK -- solutions that focus on treating drugs as a health issue and not a criminal one. They are making promising progress, reducing adolescent use of drugs, lowering the use of problematic and injection drugs, helping people get better and lead productive lives instead of growing a prison population and wasting lives and ruining families. The UN can help spread the word about such promising progress.
The Global Commission on Drugs has produced two reports that call for national governments and the UN to recognise the need for reform, and to set up a process to manage it responsibly.
In addition, our hope is that by making Breaking the Taboo free and accessible online, everybody in the world can see the documentary for themselves and make their own judgments on this most crucial of debates. Now over one million people have visited the Breaking The Taboo YouTube channel.
That's what breaking the taboo is all about: sharing failures and sharing results, demanding change, and giving governments the courage to get off the well trodden path of failure and incarceration and try alternatives towards health and restoration. After all, would you rather lock up your sister, brother, parents or friends - or help them get better?
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group