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You’re being lied to. It’s often as simple as that. For almost a century now the UK and, more zealously, the United States have waged a war on drugs. The cost? Hundreds of billions in taxpayer money and countless lives wasted and families’ social mobility hurt by criminal convictions. Governments have a lot invested in the line that drugs are bad, horror stories fill the newspapers and substances get the blame for all kinds of social illness. As far as the White House and Westminster are concerned, the debate is settled.
Of course, the real world is not so black and white. The only enemy to progressive conversation is disinformation and misinformation. The War on Drugs, like any war, has been a dirty conflict of myth casting and scaremongering. In the past, the public could be forgiven for having been sold lies and propaganda, but the relentless and roaring digital modernity we live in won’t tolerate it one bit. The thirst to conform our legal system to something less archaic is real.
This week’s guest, Dr Carl Hart, grew up in a poverty stricken neighbourhood in Miami. An abuser and seller of drugs he would keep a handgun in his car for protection. He, like many, was convinced drugs and addiction were the cause of his neighbourhoods problems. After joining the military then studying neuroscience, that all changed. Under real scientific scrutiny the drug myths spun to him his whole life collapsed.
Now an Ivy League university professor, TED fellow, author and multiple prize winner in his field, Carl – like the great Neil DeGrasse Tyson – promotes education to dispel the misinformation that has fogged public judgement for so long.
The problem doesn’t seem to be the drugs but how we handle them.
Leave your opinion at the door for this one, regardless of which side or trench you usually find yourself, and let’s talk real science with Dr Carl Hart.
[0:09:40] How do you normally introduce yourself.
[0:10:33] Most people who use drugs wouldn’t be addicted.
[0:11:20] Risk of overdosing with heroin is very low. Just don’t combine it with other things.
[0:12:05] A drug free world is impossible, and I certainly don’t want to live in a drug free world.
[0:13:15] The drug in baseball is Amphetamine
[0:13:40] Drug free world is not possible and doesn’t excite me.
[0:15:30] Heroin withdrawal. Media bias.
[0:16:30] Opiates. Impurities in heroin.
[0:21:40] Crack was the worse of all. No that is fiction.
[0:22:28] I didn’t see any crack withdrawal.
[0:23:12] Something’s really wrong in it.
[0:24:45] Do you think we would be allowed to give people 1000’s of doses of crack cocain with funds from the US government to US citizens with taxes from US citizens if it was as dangerous as it was made out to be?
[0:27:40] We can’t viliify marijuana users anymore.
[0:28:40] When new drugs hit the market, its easy to believe.
[0:29:43] Parent’s are overwhelmed.
[0:31:00] TEDxtalk: Let’s quit abusing drug users.
[0:32:00] When it comes to drugs, the UK is one of the most backwards place.
[0:34:00] David Cameroon and Barack Obama on cocain. Ronald Reagan on the War On Drugs.
[0:36:00] US media is still in the 1980’s when it comes to crack cocain.
[0:36:40] Professor David Nutt and Bruce Alexander in Vancouver.
[0:37:00] Talking to the government is a waste of effort because they are not leaders. I talk to the voters.
[0:39:20] Michelle Alexander in her book The New Jim Crow. Law enforcement and drug laws. Prison.
[0:40:00] It’s our responsiblity to shame.
[0:41:00] What was it like growing up as a Black kid in Miami?
[0:42:18] My background to help promote the ideals and to call out people who are not doing this.
[0:43:30] The problems are not the drugs anymore the problems are poverty, unemployment, selective employment, ignorance.
[0:44:00] If the problem is addiction, the vast majority do not have a problem.
[0:44:50] Drug trafficking – as long as there is economic gain there will always be such activity.
[0:47:45] Not having selective law enforcements.
[0:49:00] Impact at the level where laws are passed.
[0:49:35] Decriminalisation of drugs. Portugal and Czech Republic does that and they are happy with the policy.
[0:50:45] I now argue for legal drug regulation.
[0:50:54] The drugs themselves are less dangerous than the adulterant of the drugs.
[0:51:55] My job as a scientist and an educator.
[0:54:20] The same conversation every year. Regulation of drug in the UK – Anne Marrie Cockburn.
[0:55:00] Legalisation of marijuana.
[0:55:55] Drugs laws have been excellent tools to control people we don’t like.
[0:56:30] Real actions about race.
[0:58:00] They are focused on what are the bad things we can pull out of these.
[0:58:50] The group I least like to talk to are scientist.
[1:01:20] One hit will get you addicted is so ridiculous.
[1:03:50] The class of people who are attracted to psychedelics are typically pillars of our society.
[1:04:18] Perceived value of the users.
[1:05:40] It’s a matter of courage.
[1:06:30] Their stereotypes are shattered.
[1:07:10] What is the life of Carl Hart like?
[1:08:10] Using my position to make other people’s life a little easier.
[1:10:00] First Science Tenured Professor in University of Columbia.
[1:10:40] I’m the best. I work hard to be the best.
[1:11:22] It should be an embarrassment.
[1:12:00] What’s your relationship with the media?
[1:12:22] Joe Rogan.
[1:12:50] Most of the people invite me and then they think they are the experts.
[1:12:40] Bring you on to endorse a position they already had.
[1:14:30] A force multiplier that helps me get my message out.
[1:15:00] Personal habit. Success secrets.
[1:16:45] Conversations with kids.
[1:18:20] Being civically engaged.
[1:19:10] Start with lower doses.
[1:22:00] Don’t blame the drug.
[1:22:50] Advice with the 20 year old Carl Hart
[1:24:00] Best advice ever received.
[1:24:30] Advice to the 20 year old.
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