Russell Brand On The War On Drugs
Despite having origins as a comedian, Russel Brand has been making a name for himself as a political activist in recent years. One major point of contention is the War on Drugs.
Russell Brand has always stood on the fringes of society, looking in and poking the weaker and more absurd aspects of it. So it probably comes as no surprise to know that Brand has quite strong views when it comes to the War on Drugs, and actively campaigns for its end.
In fact, we would say ending the War on Drugs is a subject area that sits very close to his heart. Brand has a personal history of battling drug addiction, and knows what it is like to be on both sides of the fence. It has led to him leading politically motivated campaigns, educational seminars, and insightful video blogging trying to get to the truth of the matter – highlighting how the current paradigm of drug policy hurts society more than it helps it.
What makes Brand’s views so interesting - despite the amount the media attack him - is that he makes extremely intelligent, well thought out, and relevant points, even if he does insist on using an over complicated vocabulary. You could even say the amount right wing media attacks him (especially Fox News) is a testament to his arguments. Brand likes to highlight the hypocrisy of society, especially the hypocrisy that can be seen in the way the media portrays it. It would seem that he is often hitting a nerve.
Excellent examples of his work can be seen on his YouTube channel, The Trews. The Trews is Brand’s main outlet for his observations, criticisms, and news. The name of the channel itself is meant to mean “True News”, and was created due to the dissatisfaction with the way mainstream media bends the truth to its gains. While The Trews covers a broad range of subjects, ones that regularly pops up are drug policy reform and cannabis.
In addition to The Trews, Brand has been involved in a UK petition calling for current drug laws to be debated in parliament. The petition reached and surpassed the 100,000 signatures needed to force the discussion for consideration. It is just one of the many examples of the way he is trying to shape society for the better.
Brand also created a dedicated documentary titled ‘Russell Brand: End the Drug War’. In it, he sets out to discover how other countries are dealing with drug abuse problems, how they are impacting society, and how the current framework for criminalisation in the UK causes more harm than good. Like most of his arguments, the underlying message in one that is well thought out, makes educated points, and is backed up by evidence.
Right wing media is quick to dismiss Russell Brand, and label him a fool in their attempts to discredit him, hoping to draw people away from his views. However, if anything, it only strengthens him in the eyes of anyone who is not a die-hard conservative. The media has made the mistake of thinking that everyone is stupid and can’t make up their minds, and as people watch Brand, they see he makes concise and intelligent arguments. People of the UK seem to either adore or hate Russell Brand (for a number of reasons), but whatever personal views about him are, the majority do not deny there is logic to his reasoning. That in itself is an accomplishment. He highlights what is wrong with society, and if anything it stimulates debate.