"It is something I consider to be an illness, and therefore more of a health matter than a criminal or judicial matter," the Rock of Ages star told the British Parliament's Home Affairs Committee. "It is more important that we regard people suffering from addiction with compassion and there is a pragmatic rather than a symbolic approach to treating it."
"Addicts who get clean one day at a time through abstinence-based recovery generally stop committing crime," Brand continued. "That's better for victims, that's better for the addicts, that's better for society."
Brand backed away from supporting the legalization of drugs, saying that addicts care little about the legality of what they are doing, but did break out an awesome pop culture reference: Lyrics to a Tupac Shakur jam.
"As the great Tupac Shakur said, 'Role is something people play, model is something people make. Both of those things are fake,'" Brand quoted. "What I want to offer people is truth and authenticity in the treatment of this illness, in our regards to the criminal components of it, in assisting victims and in the way we legislate and organize our society."
Russell Brand is a recovering heroin and sex addict who has been arrested 12 times. He's been clean since 2002.
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