Richard Branson: It’s time to end the failed war on drugs

"Just as prohibition of alcohol failed in the United States in the 1920s, the war on drugs has failed globally. Over the past 50 years, more than $1 trillion has been spent fighting this battle, and all we have to show for it is increased drug use, overflowing jails, billions of pounds and dollars of taxpayers’ money wasted, and thriving crime syndicates."—Virgin CEO Richard Branson, calling for an end to the "war on drugs."


  1. Too many people in power make too much money from it for that to work.

    …but I said the same about sopa/pipa/acta, and 2/3 of those are now on life support.

  2. Maybe he could use his vast fortune to buy every American citizen some drugs…they can’t arrest us all.

  3. Richard Branson is some kind of a marketing genius, I wonder what his thought process was? “Humm, how do I keep my Virgin Mobile customers from being upset about the new cap on the “unlimited” data plan? Oh I know, I’ll just make a press release about how I am against the war on drugs!”

    1. Build a space station and name it Space Amsterdam!
      LSD, zero gee, and “The Blue Danube” at full volume.
      Yow, just thinking about it – mind blown.

  4. A serious political statement, against a failed policy that has caused untold tragedy and injustice … and the BoingBoing commentariat brings the funny.

    One out of 50 American men is behind bars tonight.  Ha ha!
    There are 2,500,000 prisoners behind bars tonight in the USA.  LOL!
    The US prison population has quintupled since Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1972.  *Snicker!*
    In America, the incarceration rate is seven times higher than in Western Europe or Canada.  ROTFLMAO!
    US policy has created a trillion-dollar black market, controlled by well-funded hyper-violent gangs. Teehee!

    As long as the American public’s response to reform demands is a dismissive “LOL Stoners”, none of this will change.

    1. Humor is, among other things, a coping mechanism. It doesn’t mean the issue isn’t being taken seriously. You can work/vote for a change in policy and tear your hair out in anguish, or you can do it while having a good time.

  5. I’m getting sick and tired of the “War on Drugs” description. Various countries are using different methods for trying to decrease the destructive effects of drugs, with various results. In general, restrictions decrease the use of drugs and have positive effects on the society. I don’t know what you’re doing wrong in the states, but don’t just assume that everyone else fail as bad as you, if that’s what you’re doing. And for heaven’s sake, don’t just go from one extreme to another. Keep opposing drug use in any way that seems to be working. Alcohol alone causes about 4% of all deaths worldwide. In the Western world that number is much higher. We don’t want more drugs becoming as popular as alcohol.

  6.  “increased drug use, overflowing jails, billions of pounds and dollars of taxpayers’ money wasted, and thriving crime syndicates”


    I mean, what WAS the goal? And are you really sure that just because that was the stated goal, that it WAS the goal?

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