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.


Twitter: @drcarlhart


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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