- March 1 - StopTheWar.com,
a website sponsored by The Lindesmith Center - Drug Policy Foundation
(Lindesmith-DPF), the nation’s leading organization working to end
the war on drugs, is urging President Bush to appoint a drug czar
who will “think outside the box,” as Michael Douglas’ character
pleads for in the movie Traffic.
The drug czar is the director of the White House Office of National
Drug Control Policy, which oversees all federal anti-drug efforts.
In Traffic, the drug czar (played by Michael Douglas) is a tough-on-crime
judge who learns the futility of the war on drugs. The Bush Administration
is about to appoint a new drug czar - and www.StopTheWar.com
encourages its visitors to help influence the President’s choice.
“Our nation's drug policy is doomed so long as no one in power
is willing and able to admit the drug war’s failure and look for
real alternatives,” said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of
Lindesmith-DPF. “What we need today is a drug czar who will talk
honestly and openly about the totality of drug use in America, and
who will address the negative consequences of our current policies.”
Drug policy reformers point out that illegal drugs are cheaper,
purer and more available than ever -- while taxpayers have spent
tens of billions of dollars, nearly half a million Americans are
behind bars on drug charges, and 200,000 cases of HIV have been
generated by injection drug use when implementation of public health
measures like needle exchange could have averted much of the tragedy.
StopTheWar.com was released on February 13 to highlight the links
between the hit movie Traffic and the real-life war on drugs. Traffic
was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director,
and Best Screenplay (adapted).
Visitors to the website can try to “win” the war on drugs by picking
from several of our government’s current strategies: locking up
all drug users and dealers; sending guns and money to Mexico and
Colombia to cut off the drug supply; and promoting “Just Say No”
campaigns in schools. Each strategy fails.
Players will also be eligible to win a free Traffic DVD or video.
In addition the site includes ways to get more information on drug
education, marijuana regulation, needle exchange and other issues
related to our current drug policy.
“It doesn't make that much difference if the new drug czar is a
doctor or a police chief or a former politician -- so as long as
he or she has the intelligence and courage to ask the tough questions
and challenge the fears, ignorance and prejudices that drive our
current approaches,” said Nadelmann.