Russell Brand wants to make one thing absolutely clear: Drug addition is most definitely a disease, not a crime.
The star of "Get Him to the Greek" and "Arthur" testified before Parliament today, discussing his 12 arrests and how these events have impacted him life. The actor is a former heroin addict, and he hopes that his experiences with drugs will help legislators understand that addiction should be treated as a health disorder, not a crime. Instead he "nicking" people for possessing drugs and tossing them in jail, Brand believes all of this time, energy, and money should be spent helping people kick their respective habits.
"We don't want to discard people by writing them off on methadone and leaving them on the sidelines," Brand explained. "Just to park people on methadone for four to seven years is criminal."
The comedian was reportedly speaking frantically, cracking jokes, and, well, being the Russell Brand that his legion of fans have come to know and love. However, despite his references to Tupac and the like, his message remained clear: abstinence-based recovery is essential to helping the countless individuals currently suffering from this disease.
"It is more important that we regard people suffering from addiction with compassion and there is a pragmatic rather than a symbolic approach to treating it," he explained. He also went on to add that he wasn't using his celebrity status to reach young people, but to help those who are presently suffering from addiction.
As always, you can count on Twitter for some interesting responses to Brand's appearance. Here are a few of the more interesting responses I stumbled across.
Say no to drugs kids. Take a look at Russell Brand, a mincing, jabbering, nutjob who dresses like an old tart!
Russell Brand quoted Tupac whilst answering questions at the Drug Inquiry. Brilliant
http://t.co/tmnvLNQr! - russell brand is surprising me these days. and he reminds me of a biblical character with a rock twist
http://t.co/ORQ09O7C: "(Russell) Brand gets serious about drug use" Good. Because his drug use so far has been frivolous and unfocused.