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Samantha Felix Samantha Felix

Video: Ethan Nadelmann’s TED Talk


Advocates for ending the war on drugs don't come much more eloquent than the leader of the Drug Policy Alliance.

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What is the war on drugs doing to the world? That’s one of the questions that Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, addressed at the TEDGlobal 2014 conference in Rio de Janeiro last month. Nadelmann is renowned as a public speaker in this field, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that his passionate speech—”Why we need to end the war on drugs”—earned a standing ovation .

“I’ve dedicated my life to building an organization and a movement of people who believe we have no choice but to turn our back on the failed prohibitions of the past and embrace new drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights,” Nadelmann told the audience. “We’re people who love drugs, people who hate drugs and people who don’t give a damn about drugs, but every one of us believe that this war on drugs—this heartless and disastrous war on drugs—has got to end.”

One not to miss.