11 Aug Russell Brand And Peter Hitchens On Drugs On Newsnight

Newsnight

WATCH HERE

Please, don’t for a moment think that Russell Brand is on the side of reform. He is an embarrassment to all of us fighting for a more humane and rational approach to the drugs issue.

I agree entirely with Peter Hitchens. Brand is a comedian and he should stick to telling jokes.

He plays straight into the hands of the prohibitionists. While there may be the odd moment of lucidity and good sense, mostly he’s just a jerk, jerking off in front of us for his own sake and to line his own wallet. He also makes a very good job of being a super salesman for Chip Somers, the man who helped him get clean. Again, don’t be fooled, the self-serving drug support industry is just as much exploitative of problematic drug users as are the skankiest of drug dealers.

Russell Brand is a disaster for our movement. He is the perfect diversion from the real issues, seized on by the BBC and supporters of the status quo to avoid addressing what really needs to be considered. Brand is the perfect storm for prohibition of disinformation, distraction and division.

Brand’s advocacy for “abstinence” is just the confusion of the newly converted. He can’t manage to use drugs in moderation so no one should be able to use them at all. He’s like a Jehovah’s Witness, hopelessly addicted and deluded by the substitute for his crack pipe. Abstinence, of course, is the policy at the heart of the government’s drugs strategy and while it may be a laudable aim, it is a cruel and useless policy for most.

Meanwhile, for the millions who use cannabis causing no harm to themselves or others, the issues are confused and overlooked. Disproportionate attention is given to the problems of a relatively small number of problem drug users which could easily be minimised by a policy of regulated supply and treatment.

Russell Brand is a godsend for the Home Office, for the government, for the drug support industry, for prohibition and for drug dealers everywhere. For those in favour of reform he is our worst nightmare.