Russel Brand has just finished giving evidence on drugs (based on his own past usage and rehabilitation) to the Home Affairs Committee:
At various points he echoes many of the sorts of sentiments I hold;
Q: Is addiction self-induced? And does it involve victims?
Brand says the victims of drug-related crimes need to be taken care of. He says he met a senior police officer recently who argued that addiction should be seen as an illness. Brand says he committed crimes when he was an addict. Chip Somers was an armed robber.
Q: So does there need to be a carrot and a stick?
Brand says there is no need for a carrot or a stick. Addicts need love and compassion.
Evidence like this from someone like Brand may help to shift attitudes towards ‘softer’ attitudes about those using drugs. Lets hope so.