Last night saw the launch in London of the new campaign, Breaking the Taboo, that the Beckley Foundation has developed in association with the Global Commission on Drug Policy, Virgin Unite, Avaaz and Sundog Pictures. The launch event included a screening of the new documentary film “Breaking the Taboo,” narrated by Morgan Freeman and directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen. The screening was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, between the Beckley Foundation’s Director Amanda Feilding, Virgin boss Richard Branson, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Tom Lloyd and Danny Kushlick (all signatories of the Beckley Foundation Public Letter).
The event was attended by various interested parties, journalists and celebrities, including Natalie Imbruglia and Jack Whitehall, and covered online by the Guardian, Mirror and Daily Mail newspapers:
The film is narrated by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman and also features former US president Jimmy Carter as well as former Swiss, Brazilian and Colombian presidents. Sundog has joined with academic thinktank the Beckley Foundation and online movement Avaaz to run a petition, with a target of one million signatures, calling for change to global policy on drugs prohibition, to be presented to the UN in January.
Produced through the Sam’s production company, Sundog Pictures, and narrated by Hollywood stalwart Morgan Freeman the documentary has some heavyweight backing, from former US president Bill Clinton to singer Natalie Imbruglia.
Speaking to The Guardian, Richard said: ‘I am hoping in the same way that Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth opened people’s eyes to global warming issues, [Breaking the Taboo] will open people’s eyes on the war on drugs and the failed war on drugs and make it easier for people who want to be brave and do something about it.’
Sir Richard, 62, said addicts needed help not prison.
Speaking at the premiere of documentary movie Breaking the Taboo in London last night, he said: “The war on drugs has been a failure.
“As a businessman, if you’ve got a failed business for two or three years you change course, you don’t just carry on.
“The consequences of this failed war have been tens of thousands of deaths, 300 million dollars a year going into the underworld, and hundreds of thousands of people being put into prison or even executed for taking drugs.”
The campaign launch will continue with another film screening at Google headquarters in New York this evening. Join us on twitter, @BeckleyDrugs, by searching for #breakthetaboo to follow the event.
If you want to learn more visit the campaign website, where you can watch a trailer for the film and sign the petition for global drug policy reform.
The film will be available on YouTube (and on www.breakingthetaboo.com) from 7th December .