United Kingdom

Richard Branson: War on Drugs Doesn't Work

Founder of Virgin Group pushing for decriminalization


In Portugal, things are a little different. Possession of small amounts of drugs there remains illegal, but under changes made in 2001, it becomes an administrative rather than a criminal offence.

The offender goes on to appear in front of a board of legal experts, social workers and psychologists, rather than a courtroom with a judge. The onus is on help, not punishment.

Billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson thinks a similar system could work here. He is part of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which wants the drug problem to be tackled as a health issue instead of a criminal scourge.

The commission is made up of a number of former world leaders, figures who, Sir Richard insists, would implement vastly different drug policies if they had their time in power over again.