Prince William has asked recovering addicts about their opinions on legalising drugs.
The 35-year-old royal visited Spitalfields Crypt Trust - a charity in Shoreditch, east London, that helps homeless addicts - on Tuesday (19.09.17) to speak to a number of recovering drug addicts about the work the charity does, and took a moment to ask their opinion on the ongoing debate about the legalisation of addictive substances.
Speaking to Jason Malham, 45, from Melbourne, Heather Blackburn, 49, and Grace Gunn, 19, both from London, William said: "There's obviously a lot of pressure growing on areas about legalising drugs. What are your individual opinions on that? I know it's a big question, but you seem like the key people to actually get a very good idea as what the big dangers there are - what are your feelings?"
Heather then admitted that whilst she understands why drugs are illegal, the money put into drug laws is "wasted", as the people who are put in prison for drug related offences "don't get the facilities and actual help" that they need to end their addictions.
She said: "I think that it would be a good idea but the money is kind of wasted on drug laws, that put people in prison...most of the people I've known in recovery, 95 per cent have massive trauma and terrible stuff happen to them and using drugs to cope and then you get put in prison you don't get the facilities and actual help you need. You get punished - which is not going to stop anyone taking drugs."
William then asked: "So there needs to be more of a social element to it? So prison doesn't tackle the root cause of why someone is taking drugs?"
To which Heather added: "No, it just punishes."
Prince William - who is expecting his third child with his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, with whom he already has Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, two - was later praised by the charity's chief executive for his visit.
Steve Coles said after the visit: "He genuinely wanted to come to listen and learn. I thought it was a very interesting question [about legalising drugs]. I think he's open, he wants to listen and get that first-hand experience. It's a big question and it's quite a contentious question in many ways."
And Sheona Alexander, the charity's director of services, added: "I thought it was really interesting that he asked about whether we should legalise drugs. I liked the fact that he wanted to talk to people on the front line."
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