Should drugs be decriminalised?

CapeTalk/702's Eusebius Mackaiser spoke to Shaun Shelly of Addiction Division, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at University of Cape Town, about the possibilities of decriminalising the use of recreational drugs.

Recreational drugs are mind-altering chemical substances that are used for non-medicinal, leisure purposes. Among them are methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, phencyclidine (PCP), MDMA or Ecstasy, and cannabis.

When asked how dangerous different kinds of drugs are, Shelly said that everything has inherent risk that can either be reduced or increased.

In the field of drugs, it is inherently policy that has made the use of drugs particularly dangerous.

Shaun Shelly, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at UCT

He says the problem comes when there is criminalisation of drugs, adding that he believes we've had centuries of non-problematic use of cannabis in Africa until the colonials decided to burn it.

I am not convinced with the argument that this drug is safer than that drug.

Shaun Shelly, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at UCT

Shelly highlighted alcohol as a bigger social problem, with greater public health implications than most drugs, in particular related to cost to the nation. It is legal and easily available and it is not considered a drug. For these reasons many people don't exercise due caution when using it.

Shelley argues that the disease model of addiction is not accurate and only 10% of drug users become addicts. The majority of people stop using after a period of time with no negative consequences.

CapeTalk/702 listeners called in to share their views on the use of drugs and decriminalistion of drugs.

Listen to the full conversation below:

Read More
6 ways to spot a 'Ben 10' (and the power they apparently wield)

6 ways to spot a 'Ben 10' (and the power they apparently wield)

Listeners share their insights on how to identify a Ben 10 and describe the relationship dynamics the saucy love affair entails.

How Hairtural studio nurtures natural crowns with love and tenderness

How Hairtural studio nurtures natural crowns with love and tenderness

Hairtural™ Studio is a popular combfree and heatfree salon in Jozi. Founder Botlhale Tshetlo shares her entrepreneurial journey.

Hate Speech Bill: Experts cite unconstitutional consequences

Hate Speech Bill: Experts cite unconstitutional consequences

Section 4 of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill may be too broad and could criminalise speech that does not qualify as hate speech.

Why laughter is good for mental health

Why laughter is good for mental health

A sense of humour is key to a balanced life and good mental health. Dr. Schomer talks about the liberating effect of laughter.

Technobyte: Find out about the future of Facebook

Technobyte: Find out about the future of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook manifesto draws strong criticism, a Uber-like drone to fly in Dubai and we review the Huawei Mate 9.

Eusebius McKaiser: Where the hell were you in the making of JZ, Mathews Phosa?

Eusebius McKaiser: Where the hell were you in the making of JZ, Mathews Phosa?

Eusebius McKaiser uses Open Line to send a message to former ANC Treasury who has recently urged Zuma to step down.

Popular articles
NSFAS lady said to me I'll just be honest with you we don't have funds - caller

NSFAS lady said to me I'll just be honest with you we don't have funds - caller

You have until 28 February to challenge NSFAS funding rejection but callers say they've been rejected with no proper explanation.

How Airbnb has made renting in Cape Town even more pricey

How Airbnb has made renting in Cape Town even more pricey

Property management company PayProp argues that Airbnb has driven down rental availability and driven up rental prices in the CBD.

You can replace Gordhan with a dog and it would do as good a job - senior journo

You can replace Gordhan with a dog and it would do as good a job - senior journo

Financial journalists Duma Gqubule and Sikhonathi Mantshantsha debate Brian Molefe's eligibility to head National Treasury.

Brian Molefe's new ANC MP title will raise speculation -  Stephen Grootes

Brian Molefe's new ANC MP title will raise speculation - Stephen Grootes

Ex-Eskom boss Brian Molefe called it quits last year after his implication in the state capture report and is now headed to Parly.

Eek! Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille goes door-to-door to scold water-wasters

Eek! Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille goes door-to-door to scold water-wasters

Water wasters, beware! The Cape Town Mayor has had enough of you. And she’ll tell you in your face…

How to be happier (and more fulfilled) at your job (whatever it is)

How to be happier (and more fulfilled) at your job (whatever it is)

Bruce Whitfield interviews Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, author of “INtheFLOW – Taking Mindfulness to Work”.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.