Could legalising drugs take away the power of gangs like those operating and causing devastation in areas such as the Cape Flats?
Shaun Shelly thinks so.
He's the founder of Drug Policy Week and an advocate for decriminalising the possession and use of drugs up to certain quantities.
There's absolutely no good that has ever come from arresting somebody for the use of drugs both on an individual level and a systemic or community level.— Shaun Shelly, Founder - Drug Policy Week
Shelley suggests the possession of drugs for personal use should not be considered a crime.
Everything below having a week's supply of drugs should not be criminalised at all.— Shaun Shelly, Founder - Drug Policy Week
He suggests that we also need to reframe our understanding of the illegal drug trade and who we perceive to be dealers.
I think most of the people that people conceptualise as dealers are nothing more than people trying to survive.— Shaun Shelly, Founder - Drug Policy Week
Shelly argues that legalising drugs cuts into profits and reduces the likelihood of gangs fighting over territory.
Listen to the full interview below: