Today we welcome Carl Hart. He is the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is known for his research on neuropsychopharmacology and his advocacy for the decriminalization of recreational drugs. Carl is the author of High Price and has co-authored the introductory textbook Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior with Charles Ksir. His most recent book is called Drug Use for Grown-Ups.
In this episode, I talk to Carl Hart about drug use and addiction. Society is quick to judge all drug users as addicts but Carl’s research found that the majority of drug users do not meet the criteria for pathology. Recreational drugs, when used responsibly, can have positive effects on people. Instead of waging a war on drugs, Carl advocates for laws that better regulate the production and sale of substances. We also touch on the topics of health, law, racism, cognition, and sociology.
02:32 Carl’s interest in neuropsychopharmacology
06:12 The brain disease model of addiction
11:22 Should we talk about drugs with kids?
13:47 Responsible drug use for grown-ups
17:08 Drugs in pursuit of happiness
22:54 The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act
29:28 Scott’s experience with edibles
33:21 Why we need drug checking facilities
37:01 The drug user tropes in media
41:59 Predictors of drug abuse and addiction
46:42 Drug overdose and safety
50:09 Personal responsibility in drug addiction
52:45 Our moralism is killing us
55:06 Coming out as a heroin user
57:52 Bob Marley and James Baldwin
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