"I'm the sort of person who is extreme at anything they do. I'm therefore careful not to overindulge." He has admitted to taking other drugs including cocaine and ecstasy in the past. The vast majority of people, himself included, can use drugs safely and occasionally, he says.
It's the sort of candour that doesn't play well with politicians, even in an age when the president of the US has openly admitted he has taken drugs, and that he even inhaled. Branson isn't expecting to convert David Cameron or any other politician overnight: "I talk to a lot of politicians and, individually, almost every single one of them knows that this is the right approach. They all are just terrified of the Daily Mail. If the Daily Mail changes its approach, the politicians will change their approach. If the Daily Mail don't, they won't." The situation is "sad" he says.
But the problem is that politicians use the war on drugs to score points off each other. "The opposite of war on drugs is soft on drugs in some people's minds," says Branson.
The same arguments hold true for prostitution, he says. Politicians don't want to say it, but if prostitution were decriminalised and brothels were safe places for sex workers and their clients, society would benefit.
June 5, 2011
The Virgin king
An interview with Richard Branson about drugs. In the Guardian: "I've seen the war on drugs and I've not been impressed." That must be what they call classic British understatement.
Labels: war on drugs