The Wire 's War on the Drug War

The writers of the HBO series believe the war on drugs has ruined millions of lives. Here's the suggestion for how to end it

David Johnson for TIME

Ed Burns, David Simon, and George Pelecanos at the corner of North Bond and North Patterson In Baltimore, Maryland

We write a television show. Measured against more thoughtful and meaningful occupations, this is not the best seat from which to argue public policy or social justice. Still, those viewers who followed The Wire — our HBO drama that tried to portray all sides of inner-city collapse, including the drug war, with as much detail and as little judgment as we could muster — tell us they've invested in the fates of our characters. They worry or grieve for Bubbles, Bodie or Wallace, certain that these characters are fictional yet knowing they are rooted in the reality...

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