Video: Russell Brand Testifies Before Parliament About Drug Addiction

Russell Brand lobbied before Parliament on Tuesday for drug addiction to be treated as a health and social welfare issue, rather than a criminal one.

Video: Russell Brand Testifies Before Parliament About Drug Addiction

Russell Brand lobbied before Parliament on Tuesday for drug addiction to be treated as a health and social welfare issue, rather than a criminal one.

-Lucia Peters

Russell Brand

Now here’s something you don’t see everyday: Flamboyant actor and comedian Russell Brand rubbing elbows… with Parliament?

Indeed. On Tuesday, the Get Him to the Greek star appeared before the UK Parliament to testify on the subject of drug addiction with regards to the law. You see, Russell, who is a former heroin addict and recovering alcoholic, is in favor of making drug addiction a health and social welfare issue, rather than a criminal one. How persuasive is his argument? Take a look for yourself:

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Because he’s Russell Brand, he can’t resist being… well, Russell Brand, even in a Parliamentary hearing. That aside, though, he does have some good points, the biggest of which is that addiction is an illness and therefore deserves to be treated as such. He also supports abstinence-based treatment programs. According to the Guardian, however, he was also careful to make it clear that he didn’t want to “start banging the drum” for legalization. He (wisely, I think) said that he didn’t think he was qualified to talk about legalization, and that furthermore, he didn’t think drug addicts really cared about the legal status of the drugs they were on—or the consequences for those who make them. Such, he argued, is the nature of a person suffering from addiction.

There’s also the matter of the victims of drug-related crimes and how they fit into things. Though Russell joked that you could identify the MPs’ parties based on the nature of their questions, he also noted that victims are (obviously) a concern for all political parties, not just one or the other.

Of course, this is all in relation to the UK, not the US; but that aside, what do you think of Russell’s testimony, Bettys? Did he convince you? Or are you still trying to figure out what Russell Brand is doing speaking to a Parlimanetary committee?

Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.


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