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Breaking The Taboo: Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

Breaking The Taboo: Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll

Ok, to be clear the campaign is only about drugs. However nothing smells of success more than a campaign promoting the war against the war on drugs.  The campaign also has the rock and roll part featuring famous celebrities such as rapper Dizzy Rascal and eye candy, like Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal.


“Breaking the Taboo” campaign is anchored by soon to be released documentary also called “Breaking the Taboo” and will be released on youtube and the Breaking the Taboo website December 7th 2012. Trying a new distribution model, the documentary film makers, Sundog Pictures are trying to reach the widest audience by skipping the cinema and going straight to where the people are: Youtube.
The documentary is narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, “Breaking the Taboo,” takes a critical look at how after 50 years of prohibition, illicit drugs are now the third most valuable industry in the world after food and oil. Speaking during the documentary former US President Bill Clinton admits, “Obviously if the expected results were that we would eliminate serious drug use in America and eliminate the narco-trafficking networks, it hasn’t worked.”  The documentary was filmed in 8 countries, where over 176 people were interviewed, including former US Presidents and prominent think tanks. The documentary feature also follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.

Besides a promising documentary, I like that rather than bombarding viewers with only the problems, “Breaking the Taboo” campaign offers clear solutions.  I like that it is supported by many dignitaries, politicians and non-government organizations such as the Global Commission on Drug Policy many of whom are thought leaders on the subject. I also like the strong call to action which covers various sectors affected by the war on drugs.

After the break watch some featured videos from the Youtube campaign.

The reforms proposed are very timely and poignant, especially as two states in the United States of America have voted to legalize marijuana. The campaign has five solutions or proposed interventions that could change the dynamics of the war on drugs.  These are shown in the image below.


Jose Castaneda, former Mexican Foreign Minister, has stated that the approval in Colorado and Washington for the decriminalization of the production, sale and consumption of marijuana is a “step towards ending the war” that was launched by President Felipe Calderon.

The “Breaking the Taboo” Youtube campaign prior to the release of the documentary basically features cameos of actors saying they are “breaking the taboo”, and while compelling as it may be to see Ms. Winslet tell us about her convictions, I do wish the videos would say more about the issues the campaign is presenting.  For me, it would have been much more compelling if the campaign featured politicians and leaders that formally supported the war on drugs and now are actually breaking a taboo for themselves and the constituents they serve.

Frankly it’s disingenuous and insincere to see actors whom I have no idea about their drug history or commitment to the cause, say they are “breaking the taboo” regarding the legalization of drugs …especially since I never thought they had an opinion on the matter.  I understand star power and celeb-tavism, but it only works if you believe the actors.  It might be that I am biased (and appreciate beauty when I see it) but Gael Garcia Bernal, a Mexican, is truly the only cameo “I am breaking the taboo” video that is believable.  See for yourself:

Sandog Pictures
Additional credits:

Time for an Alternative to Mexico’s Drug War by Jorge Castañeda

I am communications strategist and social entrepreneur leveraging new media and digital technology for social change. Read more