The royal family may have always remained neutral when it comes to politics, yet, many wonder if perhaps Prince William is tipping his hand by asking former drug addicts if Britain should legalize drugs like marijuana. Is it possible that his younger brother Harry’s short-lived drug problem is why William asked this question to former drug addicts?
On Tuesday, when visiting the Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT), Prince William met with three former drug addicts and The Telegraph reported that the Duke of Cambridge asked them point blank on whether they believe that drugs should be legalized.
“Can I ask you a very massive question – it’s a big one. There’s obviously a lot of pressure growing in areas about legalizing drugs and things like that. What are your individual opinions on that?”
One of the former-addicts, Heather Blackburn, told William that she thought that they should be legalized, and with all of the money used to prosecute drug offenders, it would be better to use that money to help those who turn to drugs after “massive trauma.”
William then asked if there needs to be “more of a social element to it?” After given an affirmative answer, he then asked if the current solution, prison, didn’t solve the bigger issue.
“So prison doesn’t tackle the root cause of why someone is taking drugs?”
After his meeting, Prince William thanked the trio for their honest conversation on this matter.
William, along with his brother Harry and his wife, Kate Middleton, have started Heads Together, to help people deal with mental health issues.
Because of his charity work, William has long understood that mental health issues are a big part of homelessness, and based on his questions, he may also believe that mental health issues and trauma are at the core of drug addiction.
On Tuesday, William mentioned his understanding of drug abuse from his charity work, but did not mention his own family in his statement.
The Duke of Cambridge has visited the @spitalfieldscrypttrust (SCT), a charity and social enterprise that helps people recover from addiction & homelessness. HRH met a number of SCT service users and heard how facilities such as a homeless drop-in centre and the personal development & training centre has helped change their lives. SCT also runs two social enterprises that allow those in rehabilitation to start work again. The Duke sampled some coffee from 'Paper and Cup', a coffee-bookshop, and was shown some of the impressive furniture restoration projects at the Restoration Station.
Just a few years after Princess Diana died, Prince Harry, had his own struggles. He was left alone to his own devices at Prince Charles’ country home, Highgrove, for a summer when William was off on his gap year.
According to the Daily Mail, Harry fell in with the wrong crowd and got into drugs, including pot.
“Harry would never smoke it inside the house, though on one occasion he went outside for a joint.”
Prince Charles was told by his staff and, immediately, he intervened. Charles was very familiar with the plight of drug addicts, as he was involved in several drug rehabilitation charities.
Thus, Charles chose an unorthodox method to help his younger son, by having Harry spend a day with drug addicts, and speak to them about their lives. He wanted to let his son know exactly the downward spiral of what he was getting himself into if he continued down this particular path.
“He decided it would be a good idea for Harry to spend a day talking to people coming out of cocaine and heroin addiction to see what happens to you if you start taking drugs.”
This experience shocked Harry straight. Prince Charles chose the right tool to help his younger son.
“He wants Harry to learn from hard experience. These are hard heroin addicts and consequences of their drug abuse shocked Harry into realizing what he was doing was not the right path to go down and that the people he was mixing with were not the right friends to have.”
In addition, a friend also explained that Prince William was a “steadying influence” on his younger brother, and helped him tremendously through this difficult period of time.
Recently, Prince Harry confessed to Newsweek that his life was in “total chaos” the few years after his mother’s death. He also spoke of how eventually, his brother told him to receive professional advice and this made a huge difference in Harry’s life.
Princess Diana’s youngest also explained that these experiences have given him more empathy and understanding for those who have had hard times and perhaps made some self-destructive choices.
“My mother died when I was very young. I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good. I am now fired up and energized and love charity stuff, meeting people and making them laugh. I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl, but I now manage it better. I still have a naughty streak too, which I enjoy and is how I relate to those individuals who have got themselves into trouble.”
Now the question that Brits are asking now that Prince William has started the conversation: Is there any chance that drugs such as marijuana will be legalized in Britain?
According to the Home Office, “This Government has no plans to decriminalize drug misuse.” Instead, they mention that in July, they created a “new drugs strategy” working with “police, health, and community partners” to deal with the drug trade and to help addicts recover.
But British think tank Transform, believes that Prince William is asking the questions that politicians are currently avoiding.
“Transform is delighted that Prince William has the courage to ask one of the most crucial questions of our time.”
“Going where angels fear to tread, the prince is asking the hardest question in an area that has been tragically neglected by our most senior politicians.”
Do you think it was appropriate for Prince William to ask the former addicts if drugs should be legalized? Do you believe that William’s own experience with his brother Prince Harry has something to do with questions on whether or not social services would be more helpful to a drug addict than jail? Do you believe that drugs should be legalized? Do you think that drug offenders should go to jail or receive social services? As always, please share your opinions below.
[Featured Image by Dominique Ecken/DDP Images /Getty Images]