This article was originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald on April 2, 2010. Original article can be found here.

Sting calls for legalisation of marijuana

April 2, 2010

Sting ... sounding off about marijuana.

Sting has called for the legalisation of marijuana.

The Fields of Gold singer insists America should spend the money it uses jailing users of the drug on tackling poverty and global warming.

Sting, 58, wrote on his blog how he feels marijuana users are imprisoned for a crime that doesn’t hurt anyone.

He said: “The ‘War on Drugs’ has failed – but it’s worse than that. It is actively harming our society. Violent crime is thriving in the shadows to which the drug trade has been consigned.

“People who genuinely need help can’t get it. Neither can people who need medical marijuana to treat terrible diseases.

We are spending billions, filling up our prisons with non-violent offenders and sacrificing our liberties.”

Sting – real name Gordon Sumner – called for people to support the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), an activist group who campaign for those jailed for non-violent drugs offences to be released from prison.

He continued: “For years, the ‘Drug War’ has been used as a pretext to lock people in prison for exorbitant lengths of time – people whose ‘crimes’ never hurt another human being, people who already lived at the margins of society, whose voices were the faintest and whose power was the least.

“Meanwhile, resources to fight genuine crime – violent crime – have been significantly diminished.”

The comments immediately elicited an angry response from anti-drugs groups.

A spokesperson for DARE, which teaches schoolchildren about the dangers of drug use wrote: “He should stick to singing and not meddle in matters he doesn’t understand.

“We do not need pop stars coming out and making irresponsible statements like that.”

Bang Showbiz

Poll: Do you agree with him?

Yes 87%
No 13%

Total votes: 6783.

(Poll closed 4 Apr, 2010)