94 - Dr. Carl Hart - The Autonomy of Body & Mind

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I wrote 40 e-mails to Carl Hart to ask him for a podcast. and I would have written 50.To me he is one of the most fascinating scientist that came on the radar in the context of the psychedelic renaissance a few years ago. Finally two weeks ago, I was able to talk to him at Neue House in New York. Dr. Carl L. Hart, Ziff Professor at Columbia University and former chair of the Department of Psychology. is is one of the world's preeminent experts on the effects of so-called recreational drugs on the human mind and body. Dr. Carl Hart is open about the fact that he uses drugs himself, in a happy balance with the rest of his full and productive life as a researcher and professor, husband, father, and friend. In his book Drug Use for Grown-Ups, Hart draws on decades of research and his own personal experience to argue definitively that the criminalization and demonization of drug use--not drugs themselves--have been a tremendous scourge on America, not least in reinforcing this country's enduring structural racism.Dr. Hart did not always have this view. He came of age in one of Miami's most troubled neighborhoods at a time when many ills were being laid at the door of crack cocaine. His initial work as a researcher was aimed at proving that drug use caused bad outcomes. But one problem kept cropping up: the evidence from his research did not support his hypothesis. From inside the massively well-funded research arm of the American war on drugs, he saw how the facts did not support the ideology. The truth was dismissed and distorted in order to keep fear and outrage stoked, the funds rolling in, and Black and brown bodies behind bars. "Drug Use for Grown-Ups" is controversial, but Carl's way of talking about the war on drugs and how it brought us here where we are in terms of body autonomy, is fascinating. In this podcast we discuss all kinds of things around drugs, but mainly we talk about the autonomy of body and mind.

IG: @carlhart