What do Randy Barnett, Marc Cuban, Glen Greenwald and Web Hubble have in common?  They are all signatories to an open letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon created by the Drug Policy Alliance.  Right now the U.N. is in the midst of a three day special session of its General Assembly on “the world drug problem.”   The letter states in part, “Humankind cannot afford a 21st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century’s. A new global response to drugs is needed, grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.”  Indeed.

The 20th century was a disaster for drug policy, and the wages of that policy are paid in a society with more prisoners than China, police who conduct roadside rape cavity searches based on mere suspicion, and a justice department that tries to seize all a suspect’s assets so they cannot hire a defense.  

“The cost of the drug war is many times more painful, in all its manifestations, than would be the licensing of drugs combined with intensive education of non-users and intensive education designed to warn those who experiment with drugs.”  That was William F. Buckley Jr. 20 years ago.  The war has only become more costly and less effective.  

Perhaps the U.N. will show some leadership or political cover for those who might like to meet reality on its own terms and stop the madness.