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Russell Brand testifies in British parliament (VIDEO)

Brand joked lightly about how he had been arrested nearly a dozen times for drug possession and quoted Tupac Shakur.
Russell brand testifies parliament drug policyEnlarge
Controversial comedian Russell Brand gave evidence at British parliament on April 24, 2012 about drug addiction. (Kevin Mazur/AFP/Getty Images)

The flamboyant and controversial comedian Russell Brand appeared at British parliament earlier this week to testify on drug policy, according to the Guardian.

As the AFP noted, "Wearing a black hat, gold chains and a torn black vest top, he spoke rapidly and addressed members of the committee by their first names in typically disarming style."

Brand joked lightly about how he had been arrested nearly a dozen times for drug possession and quoted Tupac Shakur.

However, Brand did make some serious suggestions, saying that drug addiction should be treated as an illness rather than a crime. He said the policing costs of arresting people for possession would be better used to fund treatment and education programs, according to the Guardian.

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Brand, 36, said drug addiction should be treated with compassion and advocated an "abstinence-based recovery" approach, according to BBC. While talking about his own path to drug use, he said the causes behind his addiction were emotional, psychological and spiritual.

He said, "I was sad, lonely, unhappy, detached and drugs and alcohol for me seemed like a solution to that problem," according to Reuters.

Addressing the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, Brand said, "I’m not a legal expert. I’m saying that, to a drug addict, the legal aspect is irrelevant. If you need to get drugs, you will. The criminal and legal status, I think, sends the wrong message," in response to whether drugs should be legalized, the Associated Press reported.

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Here's a video of part of the hearing, where Brand quoted Tupac Shakur, via Time magazine:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/russell-brand-testifies-british-parliament

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