Neuroscientist Carl Hart: Science Says We Should Decriminalize Drugs

"We haven’t had an adult conversation about drugs in America," says acclaimed neuroscientist Carl Hart, who’s trying to do just that with his new book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.

Hart, who is an assistant professor of clinical neurobiology at Columbia University, has both a personal and professional perspective on drugs. A former user and dealer, he’s a featured character in Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In, which explores, among other things, Hart’s relationship with his son, Tobias, a drug dealer facing criminal charges. Hart’s new book, which makes a case for decriminalization, is both a memoir and an exploration of the latest research on the neuroscience of drug use.

Hart spoke at an event held on June 21, 2013 at Reason's L.A. headquarters.

For more drug policy coverage, check out Reason’s new feature-length documentary, America’s Longest War.

Reason’s Matt Welch sat down with Eugene Jarecki to discuss The House I Live In back in October 2012.

About 22 minutes.

Filmed by Tracy Oppenheimer and Paul Feine. Edited by Sharif Matar.

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  • DWC||

    You people keep on bringing up scientific and rational evidence for ending the war on drugs. This suggests that you think the people in the industrial complex behind this war are well intentioned but misguided and have an interest in the well being of society. Americans in general are dupes who can merely parrot back whatever idiocy they have been told, but the movers and shakers behind the drug war couldn't care less about rational arguments and the insanity and social damage wreaked on society. You can not reason with evil, self serving people or with very stupid people or with people with a purely self serving agenda. The war on drugs is working exactly like it is supposed to work and serving the interests of precisely those people whose interest it is designed to serve.

  • Robert||

    This material is aimed at the dupes. Without the dupes, the policy doesn't proceed.

  • SIV||

    Neuroscientists...I hate those guys.

  • Acosmist||

    Science should probably shut the hell up with the normative judgments.

    ETHICS says we should decriminalize drugs.

  • DavidShellenberger||

    Better view: simply legalize all drugs.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    You mean "re-legalize" all drugs.

  • Edwin||

    I generally agree with him, but I don't trust a guy with hair like that, he's probably some kind of black power weirdo, thinks he's fighting "the man" or whatever

  • Inigo M.||

    LOL. No, it's probably some strange new drug, the like of which has never been seen before, that has given him superhuman hair. No doubt the hair also provides him with super strength, just like the biblical Samson. Cops will need a larger caliber weapons to stop his neurobiology work.

  • PH2050||

    Hart was on Stossel before and he didn't come across that way.

  • Solafein||

    i hope you're joking...

    this comment seems entirely unnecessary either way.

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