It's official. We can now talk openly about what the great majority of us have known for a long time: drug prohibition isn't working, and never will. It's time to try something different. News organizations are awash in stories about the failure of the "drug war." Latest issues of three of the most influential progressive magazines have feature stories on the topic.
Mother Jones puts drug policy on its cover -- under the headline "Totally Wasted" (as in, money and lives) -- as part of a package including at least 10 separate pieces on topic. The American Prospect also fronts the issue, proclaiming "The End of the War on Drugs." The Nation has a feature (quoting yours truly and other drug policy reformers, including my Law Enforcement Against Prohibition colleagues) confirming that the topic has finally ripened to maturity, its earnest discourse inescapable.
It's not only newsprint publications calling out the futility and harmfulness of our decades-old prohibition policy. The progressive blogosphere, including Daily Kos, TalkLeft, Crooks and Liars, and, of course, Huffington Post has been devoting more and more bits and bytes to bashing our insane, inhumane drug laws.
So, why does the President of the United States insist on making a joke of the issue? Why, indeed, do most Democrats in Washington scramble to avoid the conversation altogether?
Three out of four Americans believe the "war on drugs" is a failure and can never be won. Serious people like Sen. Jim Webb, former Mexican president Vicente Fox, Congressmen Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel, Steve Cohen and others, even a growing body of right-of-center analysts and politicians have been saying it's time to fundamentally reshape our approach to drug control.