Last month, as reported on the blog, the influential Foreign Policy magazine ran a cover story on drug legalisation by Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance. You can read the full article here and a follow on debate where he is challenged by skeptics (the latter, annoyingly still behind a subscription pay-wall)
Foreign Policy magazine have subsequently produced a series of online videos in which Nadelmann is interviewed, alongside a prohibitionist counterpoint from David Murray, chief scientist at the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. As it is public domain on You Tube, the videos are posted below, in four parts of around 5 minutes each . The FPTV link is here .
Part I: Who's Winning the Drug War?
"We are making major progress," argues Murray, adding, "We and the rest of the civilized world has made this decision: This must be fought." But the drug war is "a long, slow, devastating failure" that is as bad as Vietnam and Iraq, Nadelmann counters.
Part II: The Drug War's Price Tag
How much does the war on drugs cost each year? Nadelmann, who estimates that the tab for the global war on drugs runs as high as $100 billion annually, says the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy is "playing with numbers."
Part III: Can Harm Reduction Work?
These controversial programs could amount to "sustaining people in their continued drug use," Murray contends. Nadelmann likens this argument to saying, "If somebody shoots drugs, better off to let them die."
Part IV: A Legalization Scenario
"The problem isn't the law, Murray says. "The problem is the drug." Nadelmann slams Murray's office as "analogous to the Ministry of Information in the old Stalinist Soviet Union in terms of accuracy and truthfulness."