Carl Hart on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Grown-Up Highs

Carl Hart, a Columbia University neuroscientist, is making bold new ideas about how to think about drugs policy, substance abuse and freedom in a world that has seen drug legalization initiatives on the rise.

The controversial book he wrote Growing up with drugs: The Land of Fear, Chasing LibertyHart supports Hart’s argument that intoxicants should be available to adults of any age. Hart says that “The Declaration of Independence guaranteed freedom, life and happiness for all of our citizens, provided we do not disrupt anyone else’s ability.” That means that we have the freedom to choose how we live our lives, and as they see fit. Many Americans take drugs as a part. He writes that his use of drugs—including heroin—helps him be a better person. He states that “I don’t have a problem with drug use.” “Never have. Every day I fulfill my professional, parental and personal responsibilities. I pay my taxes, serve as a volunteer in my community…and contribute to the global community as an informed and engaged citizen.”

This live recording of Nick Gillespie Interview: The Reason, Hart talks All that and more about his groundbreaking research into addiction. He also discusses how he went from being an avid supporter to becoming a leading critic of the drug war, the elitism of legalization, and the conversations he has with his children and students about responsible drug usage.

Interview with Nick Gillespie, edited by Adam Czarnecki.

Photo Credits: Shane T. Mccoy/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Jim Gehrz/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Francois Pesant/Polaris/Newscom