The benefits of legalizing recreational drug use — even if it makes us uncomfortable

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Woman smoking marijuana at home. Photo by Shutterstock.

Should science be driving our drug policies? Columbia University professor of psychology Dr. Carl Hart, who has researched drug use and addiction for 30 years, says yes — even if it makes us comfortable. In his book “Drug Use for Grown Ups,” he says that most substance use scenarios cause little or no harm, and that some reasonable drug use scenarios are actually beneficial for human health and functioning. Hart is also highly critical of U.S. drug policy and misinformation. 

Host Jonathan Bastian talks with Hart about why, as a society, we need to be realistic about the fact that people are going to use drugs, and as a result, that society would be better served to make the process safer and more controlled. Hart has been open about his own drug use, arguing that people can lead productive lives and ingest banned substances, even if that includes heroin or methamphetamines.  


Columbia University psychology professor and author Dr. Carl Hart. Photo courtesy of Dr. Carl Hart.

Credits

Guest:

  • Carl Hart - Neuroscientist and Chair of the Department of Psychology; Professor of Psychology, Columbia University; Author - @drcarlhart

Producer:

Andrea Brody