Brighton cinema to show Branson film about ‘failed’ war on drugs

Posted On 15 Mar 2014 at 7:32 am

A controversial documentary about the “failed war on drugs” will be shown for the first time in Brighton and Hove next week.

Breaking The Taboo will be followed by a debate about alternatives to what the makers describe as one of the biggest failures of global policy in decades.

The hard-hitting film was made by Sundog Pictures, a production company run by Sam Branson, son of the Virgin entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.

It is narrated by the Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman.

Taking part in next week’s debate will be

  • Graham Bartlett, the former Sussex Police commander for Brighton and Hove
  • Kate McKenzie, the mother of a recovering drug addict, who believes heroin should be prescribed on the NHS
  • Neil Hunt, a researcher and academic specialising in drug issues
  • Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion

The debate will be chaired by Greg Hadfield, the editorial director of the Brighton and Hove Independent.

Similar events have been held in New York and London, where premieres were hosted by Google.

Before a wider release, the 58-minute film’s YouTube channel was visited 1.5 million in its first month.

More than 600,000 people have supported an online campaign, which states: “The war on drugs has failed.

“After 50 years of prohibition, illicit drugs are now the third most valuable industry in the world after food and oil, all in the control of criminals.

“Drugs are cheaper and more available than ever before. Millions of people are in prison for drugs offences. Corruption and violence, especially in producer and transit countries, endangers democracy. Tens of thousands of people die each year in drug wars.

“Improving our drug policies is one of the key policy challenges of our time. The time for action is now.”

Breaking The Taboo will be shown at Duke’s @ Komedia Picturehouse in Gardner Street, Brighton, at 6.15pm on Thursday 20 March.

Tickets are available at the box office or online. Visit www.picturehouses.co.uk. Twitter: @TabooBreakers #BreakTheTaboo.

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