Richard Branson wants all drugs to be treated as a health problem, not a criminal problem. He also wants to “legalize everything,” including all drugs and prostitution.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 26, 2015) (CFR) – Virgin Group founder Richard Branson reiterated his call to end the criminal punishment of drug abusers.
Branson was part of a panel discussion on drug policy sponsored by the International Crisis Group and Foreign Affairs in New York on Monday (October 26).
During the discussion, the British billionaire said, “The research that we’ve done has indicated that if you talk about treating drugs as a health problem, not a criminal problem, would you want your brothers and sisters or your children to go to prison or would you want them to be helped? Overwhelmingly, you’ll get 95 percent of the public will say we want to treat it as a health problem, not a criminal problem. And that’s the first major step to be won. And one I would suggest the politicians push. And that should be all drugs, not just marijuana. Treat all drugs as a health problem, not a criminal problem.”
For years, Branson, who serves on the Global Commission on Drug Policy, has called the global war on drugs a failure. Branson has said the prohibition of drugs has worked no better than the prohibition of alcohol, and serves only to empower violent criminal cartels.
Branson added that one way to break up violent cartels is to “legalize everything.”
“If you legalize everything, then there’s nothing left for them to traffic. And there is an argument for it. There’s good Catholic countries like Chile that have legalized prostitution. And I know it’s very controversial. Most people would put their arms up in horror. But by legalizing it, they got rid of the pimps. The girls are monitored properly to make sure that they are healthy, to make sure they can come forward if they’ve got a problem. And they believe a lot of the illegal trafficking of young girls has gone away. If you were to do that, then there is not a lot left. They can go into a few banks, but there’s not a lot of cash in banks anymore. So hopefully, we’ve sorted out the problem,” he chided.
Later on Monday, the International Crisis Group will honor Branson at its 2015 In Pursuit of Peace award dinner. Branson is being recognized for his work on behalf of peace and justice, said the organization.