That’s the question we ask in a new piece on Huffington Post:
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is one of several prominent people who discuss the failure of the war on drugs in the new web documentary Breaking the Taboo.
Many news outlets have covered the fact that the former president is shown on screen saying the war on drugs “hasn’t worked.” But in an interesting segment that seems to have so far gone unnoticed by the press, Clinton says, about a third of the way into the film:
“We could have fighting and killing over cigarettes if we made it a felony to sell a cigarette or smoke one, so we legalize them. If all you do is try to find a police or a military solution to the problem, a lot of people die and it doesn’t solve the problem.”
To be sure, President Clinton isn’t seen explicitly endorsing the legalization of marijuana or any other currently illegal drug in the film, and we don’t know what he said just before or just after the above snippet. We also don’t know what question from the filmmakers prompted him to utter these words.
But he did use the L-word — legalize — in an unmistakably positive context in a documentary about the failure of drug prohibition. By giving an analogy about cigarettes, then saying “we legalize them” and following that up by talking about the violence that is caused by a law enforcement- and interdiction-focused response to drug problems, President Clinton is at the very least giving a serious head nod to the idea that “legalization” of other drugs is worth giving some consideration to.
This is very significant, coming from a former president who ramped up the war on drugs during his two terms.
Check out the full piece here. And make sure to share the link on Facebook and Twitter to start a conversation among your friends.