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
Yho! Callers share their nightmare cinema and theatre-going stories

Yho! Callers share their nightmare cinema and theatre-going stories

Listeners phoned in to share some of their unpleasant encounters while out to a enjoy a film or play.

JSE-listed 'Cloud Atlas' helps investors navigate African markets

JSE-listed 'Cloud Atlas' helps investors navigate African markets

Cloud Atlas is a young investment firm that's devoted to boosting investment and growth in African financial markets.

Mental illness tends to manifest at varsity student age - psychiatrist

Mental illness tends to manifest at varsity student age - psychiatrist

Africa Melane hosted guests in studio for a discussion on tertiary students who are battling depression.

No surprise that Nzimande shown the door in Cabinet reshuffle - analyst

No surprise that Nzimande shown the door in Cabinet reshuffle - analyst

Political analyst Karima Brown says SACP members who remain in Cabinet are "at the mercy" of Zuma and will have to strategise.

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

Dr Bodhisattva Kar reveals how industrial capitalism influenced the world's current sleep patterns.

Where are the whites at DA led marches?

Where are the whites at DA led marches?

DA's Makashule Gana penned an article in which he responds to journo Karyn Maughan's criticism of the party's marches.

Popular articles
LISTEN: Gerrie Nel on why he's persuing prosecution against Duduzane Zuma

LISTEN: Gerrie Nel on why he's persuing prosecution against Duduzane Zuma

AfriForum will prosecute Duduzane Zuma after NPA declined to do so in 2015 following a 2014 accident where a woman died.

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

Dr Bodhisattva Kar reveals how industrial capitalism influenced the world's current sleep patterns.

Hassen Adams (he brought Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts to SA) talks money

Hassen Adams (he brought Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts to SA) talks money

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Adams about his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

A Cape Town man was stabbed to death on Saturday while trying to assist two women who were being mugged on Kloof street.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.