Matthew Perry Has Some Pretty Strong Opinions About Drugs
"You don't know what you're talking about." Well dayum! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! America's 90s-est Dream Boyfriend, Matthew Perry has been a staunch advocate for a more compassionate and medically focused handling of drug addiction and addicts in the world. Given his own struggles, it's none too hard to see why. And he let those opinions fly on a particularly lively segment of BBC news program Newsnight, placed in a bit of a battle with conservative author and journalist, Peter Hitchens.
And it's pretty satisfying to see the Old Guard opinion — all drug users are criminals and should be treated as such! — rallied against with such intelligent and rational abandon. Oh Hitchens, you old scallywag, you! Trying to upend things like facts and science with your opinions. Luckily, Perry chose not to back down — perhaps to better fuel his ragefire going into his stumping for drug courts in the UK this week.
With firsthand knowledge on his side, Perry explained to the panel (which included Baroness Molly Meacher, a political advocate for the decriminalization of drug use), "I'm a drug addict," explained Perry. "I'm a person if, I have a drink, I can't stop." Perry's contributions to the world of helping drug addicts — going so far as to turn his fancy Malibu home into a rehab facility — is just one example of what happens when you treat addicts medically rather than as criminals.
But of course, Hitchens went on to claim that the American Medical Association and anyone else who believes addiction is a medical issue is mistaken. It's all a matter of self-control, he asserted — without a medical degree or any number of years doing hard, lab-based research on the matter. Surely he must know better than those who've devoted their life's work to demystifying the stigma lobbed against addicts because he perceives it to be true, right? Hitchens perceives that society's fallen into an irreparable collapse of drug-fueled hijinks thanks to an increase in compassion. And since he's so very pragmatic, he must be right. He just must! There is no such thing as drug-related misinformation in Hitchens' world. And don't even try to talk to him about the benefits or certain drugs, either.
It is unfortunate that the Friends star seemed to have left his assertive, non-jocular approach to arguments at home, simply following up Hitchens' request for hard facts with a few equally-as-ineffective "no, you're wrong!"s and rogue characterization of Hitchens as Santa, though. Especially considering there are hard facts available to back up Perry's claims. But his own personal insight and experience with addiction makes him more of an expert than Hitchens' lack thereof, so at least he still wins.