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:


This article first appeared on 702 : Should drugs be decriminalised?


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
How technology is changing the world of archaeology

How technology is changing the world of archaeology

This week Technobyte looks at how technology is changing archaeology, SA’s IoT network and Uber's on-demand staffing system.

[LISTEN] Catch up with this in-depth look at the week's news and analysis

[LISTEN] Catch up with this in-depth look at the week's news and analysis

Political Journalist at News24 Matshidiso Madia gives an analysis of the past week's political headlines.

How to help your kids adjust to new siblings

How to help your kids adjust to new siblings

Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane says parents must recognise the anxiety new siblings create and give other kids reassurance.

Khayelitsha fire victims should get same help as Knysna says Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh

Khayelitsha fire victims should get same help as Knysna says Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and callers discuss ways that corporate SA should help displaced Khayelitsha fire victims in Cape Town.

[LISTEN] #NakedScientist: Very first lab-grown oesophagus implanted in mice

[LISTEN] #NakedScientist: Very first lab-grown oesophagus implanted in mice

Experiment will hopefully lead to clinical trials of food pipes for kids born with part of their oesophagus damaged or missing.

[LISTEN] Callers share how they beat the odds to achieve academic excellence

[LISTEN] Callers share how they beat the odds to achieve academic excellence

Callers share how they overcame difficult situations to get an education.

Popular articles
'They must release you, we want you outside' Minister Mokonyane tells Omotoso

'They must release you, we want you outside' Minister Mokonyane tells Omotoso

Nomvula Mokonyane tells rape accused Timothy Omotoso that they must release him as he is wanted outside.

[WATCH] Can you do the Thuso Phala and Vosho as well as this little boy?

[WATCH] Can you do the Thuso Phala and Vosho as well as this little boy?

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.

Cape Town loses millions in public transport strikes and damages

Cape Town loses millions in public transport strikes and damages

Current strikes and damage to infrastructure have a negative impact on business in the city where people rely on public transport.

Vavi disputes government's claim of exorbitant salary bill

Vavi disputes government's claim of exorbitant salary bill

Saftu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi says minister's figures are wrong and another way to limit poor from getting services.

CT council to decide on charging De Lille following new forensic report

CT council to decide on charging De Lille following new forensic report

The Bowman Gilfillan report, yet to be made public, found that De Lille allegedly failed to report tender corruption to council.