The Global Commission on Drug Policy recently reported back . What it said was what most everyone who's looked into this issue already knew: "The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." A new approach, one based more on realistic interventions than martial metaphors, is needed.

The news, however, was who was saying this: Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. Former secretary of state George P. Schultz. Former president of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardozo. Former secretary-general of the United Nations Kofi Annan. Former president of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss. And many more important "formers."

So here's my question: What alignment of political forces and events would be needed for America to seriously rethink its drug laws? Would it have to begin in the states? Is it something a law-and-order Republican needs to do?