Well pretty much, according to a new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The 19-member commission, which includes some heavy hitters - former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former NATO boss Javier Solana, former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz, as well as a number of former South American heads of state - gives the current global war on drugs a big thumbs down.
The report blasts the current approach as ineffective, overly expensive, and out of step with the times. The commission says the U.S. needs to change its tactics; to stop looking at the drug problem as just a criminal issue and make it a health concern.
In other words, stop stigmatizing addiction and get people off drugs without throwing them in jail. Then, the demand starts to dry up. The commission also recommends regulating drugs, especially marijuana. It points out that the U.S. and other governments spend billions on drug enforcement and yet, the big cartels only get stronger and more creative.
Drug related violence is killing tens of thousands of people, especially in Mexico. Given the horrific stories about the drug war there, it's getting hard to argue with all this. And it's not like people haven't been making these points for years now - in politics, in the press, even in the movies.