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.
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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Valerie Everett