Sir Richard Branson has made quite the name for himself as founder of the entire Virgin Empire but recently his name stuck out when he spoke out particularly on drug policies. The man voiced his opinion in an exclusive CNN interview, proclaiming that foreign countries had a better grip on the timeless drug problem at hands when compared to the United States debacle with the war on drugs. “Rather than treating drugs as a criminal problem, it should be treated as a health problem,” Branson began. “And in countries where they treat drugs as a health problem, they’re getting on top of the problem.”
Sir Richard Branson: Drug Polices Need Change
The billion dollar man builds his argument best by sharing concrete evidence, expressing how Portugal is a country that has not imprisoned any person due to drugs for 12 years. Sir Richard Branson said that instead the European country made the effort to pay attention to the health aspect of the issue that the dilemma created when the individuals were driven to the drugs. The results for Portugal were promising, as drug abuse significantly dropped in the country in response. Branson claimed the idea to be “so obvious,” and related the concept of the failed war on drugs in the United States, “If I had a failed business for 50 years, I would’ve closed it down 49 years ago but governments have gone on punishing and executing in some places in the world people over the last 50 years. It hasn’t worked.” He continued to urge that change is necessary or the country will remain in imminent danger. “It’s so foolish. Learn from countries where they’ve got on top of this issue.”
Sir Richard Branson was certain not to be mistaken on his stance, “There’s a difference between legal and regulated and what we’re saying is that drugs very much should be regulated in the same way that cigarettes are regulated or alcohol is regulated and on that basis, the interesting thing in Portugal is that they’ve taken heroin for instance and they’ve said ‘We’re not gonna send people to prison for taking heroin but what we’re going to do is we’re going to have centers where people can go when they have a heroin problem. The state will supply the heroin. The state will supply the clean needles and the people who come to get their fix must see a psychiatrist and when they’re ready to come off, the state will supply help to get them off. And in that way, they have taken drugs away from the underground. They’ve stopped the spread of HIV and AIDS. The people who’ve got a drug problem are coming in and out and admitting they have a problem and when they’re ready to be fixed, they’re being fixed.” In using Portugal as a key example of how treating addiction as a health concern in place of a moral dilemma, Branson touches on the real complexity of how the United States fails to effectively treat alcohol and drug addiction. With actual proof used to illustrate how practical it can be to address the disease of addiction instead of focusing on the punishment route which has lead to nothing but the multiplication of more corruption in society. Although many critics may jump on the argument that the governments allowance of a drug administration would be unethical or potentially aiding an overabundance of peoples’ addictions, it is acting as a more preventative measure in the sense that it is cutting down on diseases like HIV and AIDS, which can be commonly transmitted when addicts who are infected are sharing needles during drug injection. Regardless, Sir Richard Branson may be onto something when it comes to his thought on drug policies in the United States needing an imperative change. The war on drugs has not made much improvement over the years and with the heroin epidemic claiming the lives of a wide range of different ages, younger and elder alike, Americans are appearing more anxious than ever.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the grip that alcohol and/or drugs seems to have on them, call The Watershed for help today.Tags: celebrity, celebrity news, the war on drugs