A lot of us were so surprisingly saddened by the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of this generation. I had heard various cool stories about him from an old friend who knew him. I love this story here of a critic who met him on the subway. Given that he was only 46 when he overdosed from heroin, there is a huge pile of sadness from the sudden reality of his death.
In yesterday’s Guardian newspaper, Russell Brand, who continues to present himself as a true intellectual hiding in a wild comedian’s clothing, argues that Hoffman’s death is the result of idiotic drug laws which need to change.
I don’t exactly know how I feel about the matter. I have often felt, given all medical wisdom about their actual effects, that it is completely ridiculous that alcohol is legal and marijuana is not. I also know the way the mind works a little bit, and I know many friends who have suffered from various forms of addiction. I also know that’s when you try to force the mind to do something, you often create a lot of destructive rebellion, instead of compliance. This seems to be a general principle of how the mind follows “laws.”
We usually learn about health and well-being through positive reinforcement more than fear of punishment, especially when the fear of punishment is so severe that it means you have to hide your addiction in the dark corners of life. That much I believe. So perhaps the laws should change. So, then, should our prison system.
But should heroin be legalized? I’m not so sure about that. Give Brand’s article a read though. He makes some points worth contemplating.