It may have been a backhanded endorsement of drug legalization, but considering it came from a living ex-US President, it was noteworthy and newsworthy. In the new Internet documentary entitled Breaking the Taboo, former President Bill Clinton admits the drug war “hasn't worked.” The statement gained national media attention but Clinton's comments went much further than that.

Drawing the comparison between illegal drugs and the legal but equally controversial substance of tobacco, Clinton says in Taboo: “We could have fighting and killing over cigarettes if we made it a felony to sell a cigarette or smoke one, so we legalize them. If all you do is try to find a police or a military solution to the problem, a lot of people die and it doesn't solve the problem.”

Here Clinton demonstrated intellectual honesty by noting that criminalizing a substance that is alluring to individuals does not deter usage, despite police or even armed forces being utilized to enforce its prohibition. Indeed he has demonstrated a penchant for softer rhetoric regarding the war on drugs of late. Earlier in 2012 Clinton told the International AIDS Conference that drug use and abuse needs to be treated “as a public health problem as opposed to a criminal justice problem.”

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