Friends star Matthew Perry debate drug policy on Newsnight.
The actor debated the perception of drug addiction with Baroness Meacher and journalist Peter Hitchens.
Himself an addict, Perry fought the corner of drug courts, arguing that addiction must be treated as an illness and not be dealt with exclusively with imprisonment.
The actor clashed with Daily Mail columnist Hitchens who claimed that abusing alcohol and drugs is a choice, with Perry at one point telling him: ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’
Asked by Paxman why he has faith in drug courts, Perry said: ‘I see that they work. I’ve been involved with them for a little over four years and people that go through drug courts have a 55% less chance of seeing handcuffs ever again.’
Hitchens said that Perry and Baroness Meacher believed in a ‘fantasy of addiction’, and argued for a ‘stern and effective criminal justice system which persuaded [victims] it was unwise to take drugs in the first place,’ leading Perry to retort: ‘I didn’t come here to listen to ludicrous things like that.’
Perry has spoken very publicly about his battle with drink and drugs and also visited Downing Street and the Ministry of Justice during his trip to the UK to give his support for drug courts