Russell Brand Urges MPs To Change Drugs Laws
Comedian tells hearing more money should be spent on treatment...
Comedian Russell Brand met with MPs yesterday to discuss the nation's drugs laws.
Appearing at the Commons hearing, Brand urged MPs to decriminalise drugs saying the law is 'irrelevant' where addicts are concerned.
He told the Home Affairs Select Committee: "To a drug addict, the legal status is irrelevant. It is at best an inconvenience.
"If you need to get drugs because you're a drug addict, you're going to get drugs regardless of their legal status. Being arrested isn't a lesson, it's just an administrative blip."
The funnyman-turned-actor, who successfully beat his own heroin addiction, explained that money currently spent on policing drugs possession offences could be better spent on education and treatment for addicts.
Russell went on: "Penalising people for possession of drugs is costly and expensive.
"A good number of times I was arrested was simply for possession and the administrative costs of that would be better spent, I think, on education and addressing the costs of treatment."
Suggesting that addiction should be handled "compassionately and pragmatically", Brand said he believed the criminal and legal status surrounding drugs "sends the wrong message."
He added: "I'm not here to do some 'just say no' stuff. Let's have an authoritative, truthful, honest debate and some funding for abstinence-based recovery."
The meeting wasn't without its comic moments though. When chairman Keith Vaz advised Russ that they were pushed for time, Brand replied: "Time is infinite. We can't run out of time.
"Who's next? Theresa May? She may not show up. Check she knows what day it is."