The Duke of Cambridge Prince William visited addiction recovery patients in east London last week and asked those receiving treatment for a substance use disorder if they felt legalizing drugs would be helpful in combatting drug use and drug addiction.
Prince William said that he believes that the people who are addicted to drugs may be able to help mobilize a dialogue about policies related to drug addiction.
He said that their lives have been affected more than others and that they would have a valid opinion on the topic.
One audience member, Heather Blackburn, said she believes that ending these laws that make drugs illegal would be a good idea and would help end the stigma attached to drug addiction.
She said that imprisoning people for drug-related offenses only punishes them for their actions but does not take into account the causes linked to their drug addiction.
Blackburn went on to say that oftentimes substance use is a result of factors like trauma. She argued that criminalizing those who use or have become addicted to drugs worsens the issue and that the amounts of money that go toward incarcerating people could be used to provide adequate addiction treatment.
Blackburn’s point harkens to a fundamental criticism of the criminal justice and health care systems, which have been failing to get to the root causes of the behaviors behind substance use disorders.
Prince William didn’t talk much about his… (continue reading)