Drug addicts aren’t criminals, says Russell Brand
London: Russell Brand on Tuesday urged the MPS to decriminalise drug possession.
The comedian told MPs that drug addicts should be treated for a potentially fatal illness.
“I’m not a legal expert. I’m saying that, to a drug addict, the legal aspect is irrelevant. If you need to get drugs, you will,” the Daily Express quoted him as saying.
“The criminal status sends the wrong message. Being arrested isn’t a lesson, it’s just an administrative blip.”
Brand, who beat his addiction in 2002, revealed to the Home Affairs Committee he was arrested 12 times for drugs.
The 36-year-old flouted convention during the lively 30-minute hearing in London. Sporting a ripped black vest and gold chains and crosses, he called MPs “mate” or by their first names.
Brand told the committee that he backed the relaxation of laws on possession, but did not want “a wacky free for all”.
“I think some people can safely take drugs. I’m not saying no to all drugs,” he said.
“Let’s have an authentic, truthful, honest debate and some funding for abstinence-based recovery.”
Decriminalising possession of drugs would allow addiction to be treated as a “health matter”, he said, adding, “Addicts who get clean generally stop committing crime.”