Here's some of Russell Brand's wonderful, thoughtful, funny, and acerbic testimony to the UK Parliament on the subject of combatting addiction and setting sensible drug policy. Brand is a former heroin addict, and he was questioned by MPs over his views on the subject:
* I don't think we need a carrot or a stick. Both of those things seem to be to be bizarre metaphors. I think what we need is love and compassion.
* Being arrested isn't a lesson, it's just an administrative blip
* Again mate, what we need to identify is a degree of authenticity and compassion in the way we deal with this problem, otherwise you just seem like you don't know what you're talking about.
* You can tell what party they're in from the questions, innit? "What about the victims of the crime!"
* [After the committee chair tries to restore order by declaring that they're running out of time, and without missing a beat.] Time is infinite. You cannot run out of time. Who's next? [Home Secretary] Theresa May? She may not show up. Check she knows what day it is.
You've got to listen to the recording, which starts at about 5:55 in this episode of the BBC's Today in Parliament. It's like a chirpy cockney Groucho Marx discussing drug policy with a bunch of Margaret Dumont-esque Tories, and running silvertongued circles around them.
Russell Brand says drug addiction should be treated as a health matter
[Editor's note: I'm on the advisory board for Free Machine, a nonprofit that describes itself as an "LA-based collective of UX designers, artists, urban planners, and policy wonks. By using the tools of culture to shift the conversation around tech and society, we aim to shape a hi-tech future that is equitable, sustainable, and abundant." […]
Well, this is awesome: Andrew Liptak picked my next book, Radicalized as one of The Verge's picks for March! The tour starts Monday!
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