Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning:

It's hard to talk about drugs sensibly without everyone baying for blood at the first hint of liberalism. Popular public opinion has little sympathy for drug-users.

I am a drug-user. Luckily, for me, my espresso, sauvignon blanc and real ale habit is terribly middle-class and not likely to get me a criminal record.

I've got some 100% Columbian black in the fridge. Which sounds bad but it's chocolate. Grate it on ice-cream. Lovely.

I smoked cigarettes for a while when I was younger but I've never done illegal drugs. Ever. I wasn't trying to avoid them. But none of my friends used them and I never encountered them. Sheltered youth, I guess. I blame my parents.

I now know some people who have used illegal drugs. And I remind myself that a large percentage of such people manage to stop without help or intervention.

But some don't.

The work of charities, drug counsellors, social services and the few youth workers we have left is vital. They are there for those who find themselves addicted, or trapped in cyclical, and criminal, behaviour patterns to support their habits.

Personally, I very much favour a mood of decriminalisation and rehabilitation. So I hate news of funding being withdrawn to any charities who work with the marginalised.

As a follower of Jesus Christ I can't avoid the mission to care for outcasts. For he pointed to God by welcoming everyone without condemnation.

Yes, it's hard to talk about drugs sensibly without everyone baying for blood. But let's try and work out how to care for those who have lost their way in society. It will need money.

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