Martin Sheen to attend Drug Courts support rally and hearing in D.C.

(Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Laura Donovan Contributor
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“Apocalypse Now” star Martin Sheen will visit the nation’s capital Tuesday to headline a rally and hearing for Drug Court funding.

According to a press release, the Golden Globe Award winner will lead “thousands” of Drug Court professionals, Drug Court graduates, veterans, celebrities, concerned citizens, elected officials, and supporters on Upper Senate Park to support an alternative to incarceration.

“Taxpayers fund the $70 billion dollar annual budget for incarceration and correction in this country and it’s not working,” said West Huddleston, CEO of NADCP Drug Courts, in a press release. “Drug Courts permanently change the behavior of seriously addicted individuals … Drug Courts save as much as $27 for every $1 invested. This is a proven budget solution that must be expanded.”

Drug Courts, led by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), provide seriously addicted drug users with skills and strategies to become productive members of society. As The Daily Caller reported in April, the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) released studies earlier this year to explore problems that they argued drug courts had either failed to address or left unsolved. The DPA report found that drug courts didn’t decrease the amount of incarcerations and sometimes worsened the situations of people in the programs, among other things.

Martin Sheen, who opened up about troubled son Charlie Sheen’s drug and alcohol abuse issues in March, will be joined by fellow entertainment business big names “Stomp the Yard” star Harry Lennix, “Friends” actor Matthew Perry, and “West Wing” actress Melissa Fitzgerald in the public rally, which precedes a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. The celebrities will also present several congressional leaders, including Sens. Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, and Ben Nelson, with the NADCP All Rise Award for their support of Drug Courts.

Following former “Two and a Half Men” comedian Charlie Sheen’s highly publicized January drug binge, television show firing, and radio rant against the sitcom creator Chuck Lorre, Martin Sheen said he understands his son’s demons.

“[W]hen you’re addicted, you don’t grow emotionally. So when you get clean and sober you’re starting at the moment you started using drugs or alcohol,” Martin Sheen told the Telegraph in March. “You’re emotionally crippled.” (Martin Sheen: Charlie Sheen ‘emotionally’ a kid)

Martin Sheen, who reportedly drank heavily and had raging outbursts on the set of “Apocalypse Now” in the 1970s, said he’s certainly been in Charlie’s shoes.

“I know what hell he’s living in,” Sheen told the Telegraph. “I’ve had psychotic episodes in public. One of them was on camera – the opening scene of ‘Apocalypse Now.’ So I know what Charlie is going through.”