Author Topic: Russell Brand: Philip Seymour Hoffman is another victim of extremely stupid drug laws  (Read 2010 times)

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Offline aligncare

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Not familiar with Russell Brand or his work, but I share his point of view here in this opinion piece from the Guardian. Society must move away from looking at addiction as a matter for the police. Drug use is first a medical issue and should be treated apart from criminal behavior.

Brand had this to say about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman from a self-administered injection of drugs:

"In spite of his life seeming superficially great, in spite of all the praise and accolades, in spite of all the loving friends and family, there is a predominant voice in the mind of an addict that supersedes all reason and that voice wants you dead. This voice is the unrelenting echo of an unfulfillable void.

"Addiction is a mental illness around which there is a great deal of confusion, which is hugely exacerbated by the laws that criminalise drug addicts.

"If drugs are illegal people who use drugs are criminals. We have set our moral compass on this erroneous premise, and we have strayed so far off course that the landscape we now inhabit provides us with no solutions and greatly increases the problem.

"This is an important moment in history; we know that prohibition does not work. We know that the people who devise drug laws are out of touch and have no idea how to reach a solution. Do they even have the inclination? The fact is their methods are so gallingly ineffective that it is difficult not to deduce that they are deliberately creating the worst imaginable circumstances to maximise the harm caused by substance misuse."

Read more at The Guardian
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Offline AbaraXas

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No, Hoffmann is a victim of his own bad decisions.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 11:24:06 PM by AbaraXas »

Offline aligncare

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Philip Seymour Hoffman used illegal drugs.

Question. Was he a criminal? Or was he someone who needed some sort of help?
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Offline Rapunzel

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No, he wasn't a criminal.  That said legalizing heroin is a recipe for disaster in this country.  BTW Russell Brand is a total piece of dog pooh.... and that is being kind to dog pooh.
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Offline aligncare

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No, he wasn't a criminal.  That said legalizing heroin is a recipe for disaster in this country.  BTW Russell Brand is a total piece of dog pooh.... and that is being kind to dog pooh.

Okay. A sensible response. He wasn't a criminal. He needed help.

(By the way, I don't think anyone is suggesting legalizing heroin is the solution to drug abuse and addiction.)
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Offline Atomic Cow

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(By the way, I don't think anyone is suggesting legalizing heroin is the solution to drug abuse and addiction.)

Sadly, there are.  Many Librarians fully support making any and all drugs legal.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline aligncare

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Yes there are folks who believe in legalizing drugs including the drug of alcohol. (My bad. Alcohol used to be prohibited, now it's legal.)
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Offline aligncare

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I think the heart of Brand's argument is that draconian drug laws have not solved the problem and it's time to look at new ways of dealing with it. (Dealing Oops, poor word choice.)
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Offline Rapunzel

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Okay. A sensible response. He wasn't a criminal. He needed help.

(By the way, I don't think anyone is suggesting legalizing heroin is the solution to drug abuse and addiction.)

What is sad is he was sober for something like 23 years and then (reportedly) he took a drink at the wrap party for The Master and the downward spiral started from there - went from alcohol (which seemingly he was still ingesting heavily up to his death) to pills and then to the hard drugs which killed him. His long time girlfriend and mother of his three children made him move out a couple of months ago (can't blame her with young children involved).  The pictures of him in Atlanta and on the flight back to NY were just painful to view - and the stories about how messed up he was even going through screening, TSA had to help him on the plane.   Alcoholics can't drink - not even one. And in this case it was the gateway back to drug use for Hoffman.  I feel sorry for his young children more than anything.

If you think about it this is very much like the death of Heath Ledger - also in New York and also separated from his daughters mother because of his drug use.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline aligncare

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"Messed up." Perfect description. People who are messed up need help – not jail time.
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Offline Rapunzel

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"Messed up." Perfect description. People who are messed up need help – not jail time.

The problem with Hollywood is they all game the rehab system. In fact, jail saved Robert Downey Jr's life...  it took a brave judge to send him to prison instead of another stent in the local gray bar hotel with it's in the front and out the back policy (think Lohan). 
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Atomic Cow

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Alcohol is one of those double edged swords.

It has been around for thousands, if not tens of thousands of years.  Drugs like heroin, cocaine, etc. are inventions of the last 100 to 150 years.  Heck, George Washington was the biggest whiskey producer in the United States for several years.  It was legal long before prohibition and in every part of society.  There was simply no way to remove it  Drugs were not widely used until the 60s, the same time the outright bans were being put into place.  Most were already illegal without a prescription, which was extremely difficult to be legally allowed to write.  Even today, the vast majority of Americans do not use illegal drugs and would not even if they were legal.

One can drink a beer or shot and not drop dead, or even be impaired.  Take one dose of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, etc. and you're spaced out or worse.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline aligncare

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Brand:

"A troubling component of this sad loss is the complete absence of hedonism. Like a lot of drug addicts, probably most, who "go over", Hoffman was alone when he died. This is an inescapably bleak circumstance. When we reflect on Bieber's Louis Vuitton embossed, Lamborghini cortege it is easy to equate addiction with indulgence and immorality. The great actor dying alone denies us this required narrative prang."

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Offline Atomic Cow

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"Messed up." Perfect description. People who are messed up need help – not jail time.

Sometimes locking them up for a year or two is the only way for them to truly detox and get it completely out of their system.

Now, I'd rather just see big fines for pot use instead of jail time since most pot users are not violent.  $500 fine the first time, and keep adding another $500 to the fine for each additional offense.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Rapunzel

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I just would never, ever, use Russell Brand to try and make a point.  He uses this as an excuse for his own drug use.

Another very talented person who died from heroin abuse was Billie Holiday.  Too many really talented people have been lost to that very insidious drug.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Johnny Cash - it took June Carter and her family guarding him while he totally detoxed and running the drug dealer off with a shot gun - and he did relapse once again and only cleaned up so he could keep his family.

George Jones........ from alcohol to drugs. His drug dealer literally controlled him and it wasn't until the woman he was married to at death stepped in and stopped them - and they threatened HER life for stopping them from selling him drugs - that he finally got clean. 

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline aligncare

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The problem with Hollywood is they all game the rehab system. In fact, jail saved Robert Downey Jr's life...  it took a brave judge to send him to prison instead of another stent in the local gray bar hotel with it's in the front and out the back policy (think Lohan).

Lohan, Downey, Hoffman. People with money and fame. The poor addict struggles and the stigma of jail only worsens his plight when no one will hire him.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Brand:

" The great actor dying alone denies us this required narrative prang."


This is what that great actor looked like on the flight last week from Atlanta to New York.. he was alone because he children could not be exposed to this and yet on Saturday when he went to see them he was higher than a kite.

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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These are the victims of his alcohol and drug abuse and death to drugs

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline aligncare

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Brand is a recovering drug user.

From the comments section:

"Treating a health problem like a crime makes as much sense as sending doctors and nurses to investigate robberies."
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Offline Rapunzel

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Rich or poor heroin drags everyone into the gutter... there is nothing pretty or admirable about it.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline aligncare

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"When politicians start dealing with social problems in terms of humanity, not legality and money, solutions to 'perpetual' problems such as 'the war on drugs' will be a lot easier to come by"
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Offline Luis Gonzalez

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"When politicians start dealing with social problems in terms of humanity, not legality and money, solutions to 'perpetual' problems such as 'the war on drugs' will be a lot easier to come by"

The War on Drug's biggest achievement to date is the near destruction of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
“[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary …” The Ministry of Fear by Graham Green (New York: Penguin Books [1943] 2005, p. 165).

Offline aligncare

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"Yes, but what's wrong with looking out for each other? Just because you are a 'mentally competent adult' doesn't mean you aren't fearful, stressed, sad, depressed... Oh i don't know, I just think this 'he brought it on himself' arguement is cold and it stinks."
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Offline aligncare

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Sometimes locking them up for a year or two is the only way for them to truly detox and get it completely out of their system.

You're missing the point. Addiction entails deeper issues that simple detox in jail cannot get at.

Addiction needs professional, competent, researched, mental health attention.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 12:16:54 AM by aligncare »
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