This is the Home Affairs Select Committee's fourth evidence session in the inquiry into drugs policy. The inquiry, which has received numerous written evidence submissions from organisations and members of the public, is intended to be a comprehensive review of drugs policy.
Watch the session and read an uncorrected transcript
The first panel is Russell Brand and Chip Somers, the Chief Executive of the Charity Focus12 which helped Russell Brand overcome his addiction. The Committee questions Russell Brand about his own experiences and about his latest project, a documentary of the nature of addiction and how it is viewed by society.
The second panel are three critics of the decriminalisation of drug use. Peter Hitchens is a journalist who is currently working on a book entitled 'The War We Never Fought – Britain's non-existent war on drugs.' Kathy Gyngell is a fellow of the Centre for Policy Studies. She has written extensively on the use of methadone maintenance and successive governments drugs strategies. Mary Brett is the trustee of 'Cannabis Skunk Sense' whose mission is to raise awareness of the continuing and growing threat to children, teenagers and their families, posed by cannabis use.
Tuesday 24 April 2012 at 11.30am in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House
At 11.30 am
- Russell Brand
- Chip Somers, Focus12
At approx 12.00 pm
- Mary Brett,
- Kathy Gyngell
- Peter Hitchens
Comment from the Chair
Committee Chair Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP said:
"Hearing from those personally affected by drugs use is essential to our inquiry. I welcome Russell Brand's openness about his addiction and recovery. I hope that his experiences will help us understand the nature of addiction and the impact that it has on addicts and those around them.
We have heard previously from those who support the decriminalisation of drugs. I look forward to hearing from those who oppose this measure. Drug education and treatment are widely accepted as being vital to preventing and tackling drug use and addiction, but there is still a great debate about how we deal with supply and just how effective a deterrent legislation is for those who take drugs."
Image: Parliamentary copyright