2009 will go down as the beginning of the end of America’s longest running war. Here’s 10 reasons why.
2009 will go down as the beginning of the end of the United States drug war. I have worked at the Drug Policy Alliance promoting alternatives to the war on drugs for 10 years, and I can say without a doubt that there was more debate and movement toward sensible drug policies this year than in the last 9 years combined! Here are 10 stories that contributed to the unprecedented momentum to end America’s longest running war.
1) Three Former Latin American Presidents Call Drug War a Failure (February)
In February, the Latin-American Commission on Drugs and Drug Policy – co-chaired by three distinguished ex-presidents, Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Cesar Gaviria of Colombia and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico -issued a groundbreaking report that declared the drug war a failure. The report further advocated the decriminalization of marijuana and the need to “break the taboo” on an open and honest discussion of international drug policy. The release generated hundreds of articles around the world and continues to be referenced by elected officials in Latin American and around the world.
2) Michael Phelps and the Bong Hit Heard Around the World (February)
The photo of Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps taking a “bong hit” at a party in South Carolina was plastered across the front pages of newspapers around the world in February. The image of Phelps inhaling marijuana, just a few months after setting a record for most gold medals won in a single Olympics, dealt a powerful blow to the lazy, “couch potato” stereotype of pot users. Kellogg’s promptly dropped Phelps as a spokesperson, badly misreading public sentiment. Dozens of columnists slammed Kellogg’s for this decision, and a major AP story reported on groups calling for consumers to “Drop Kellogg’s” for dumping Phelps. A few weeks later, the advertising trade magazine Ad Age reported that Kellogg’s brand favorability had tanked since it dropped Phelps – even more than when the company instituted a massive recall due to a problem with salmonella in its peanut butter.
[Read more at Alternet]