Dr. Carl Hart & The Argument for the Legalization of Drugs


3 years ago



Hamilton Morris

3 appearances

Hamilton Morris is the creator and host of the Vice TV documentary series "Hamilton's Pharmacopeia," now in its third season.


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#1615 - Hamilton Morris


3 years ago


The J.Rogan Experience. Well that's Dr. Carl Hart's argument as well. He prefers heroin. Yes, yeah. Have you been paying attention to all the controversy about his new book? Really interesting. It is really interesting. I mean I read it cover to cover, it's great. I love that guy. Me too. He's so brave. Like the way he talks about things for the guy to be a professor at Columbia and to just be openly stating I enjoy heroin and it makes me feel good, it makes me compassionate, you know, and he uses pure heroin. He likes to sniff it. It's tremendously brave and I was working on my show for such a long time and you're doing it in isolation and then it comes out and you're wondering what people think of it. So I was name searching myself and saw some Reddit thread of all these people kind of insulting Carl Hart and I just felt like I think the average person doesn't get it. I don't think they understand exactly how brave Carl Hart is because I have traveled around the world. I have interviewed countless academics. I've been in academic circles throughout my life. Drug use of the sort that he describes is extremely common. It's extremely common, but being honest about it is incredibly rare and is commendable and if more people were like him, I think a lot of these stigmas would be reduced. And I've even heard people say, well, how dare he reduce the stigmas associated with these things. That's cruel. If you reduce the stigmas, you're hurting people. They should be stigmatized. No, they should not be stigmatized. Maybe they shouldn't be encouraged, but if you find yourself in that sort of situation, you shouldn't be ashamed. You should see it as, if anything, a medical problem or a social problem, not something that you need to be hated for. Right. Because we don't hate people for being alcoholics, right? We praise them for their sobriety. Like when they get their 90 day chip or whatever they get, you know, people say they don't, they look at you like, you know, you're, you're some sort of a fool because you couldn't handle alcohol. They go, Oh, he was an alcoholic, but he sobered himself up good for him. Oh yeah. Yeah. You know, heroin use is just so stigmatized and I'm not a heroin user. I haven't used heroin, but I did have a morphine drip once when I had a surgery. It was awesome. Oh my God. I kept hammering that thing. You press a button to give you a morphine drip. I had knee surgery and I was in the hospital and I was on this perpetual motion machine. You ever seen one of those? Cause I had an ACL reconstruction arterial cruciate ligaments. It's a big injury. They take a piece of your patella tendon, a piece of your shin bone and a piece of your knee and they open you up and screw them and drill them in place pretty fucking painful. And so while you're lying in bed, my knee is on this thing and it's going like bending and straightening my knee over and over and over again. And I'm lying in there and they give you a drip. And anytime you want, just press that button and you get a little drip of morphine and I'm going bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. It's just, I felt so good. I felt so good. I was like, Oh, now I get it. Now I know why people like this shit. Morphine's basically heroin, right? Pretty close. Extremely close. Yeah. Yeah. I get it. Morphine. I get it. Yeah. Probably awesome. I mean, he's talking about pure heroin, small amounts. He understands it. He's a chemist and I mean, he really gets it. No, he's a research scientist. He understand, you know, he was a complete straight lace guy. It wasn't doing anything until he was in his thirties. Yeah, I know. Pretty crazy story. It is a crazy story. And what I really appreciate about what he does is I think there's a lot of perhaps justified insecurity in the world of drugs. So people have been oppressed for such a long time that they needed justification of some kind. I'm using psychedelics because it's religious. I'm using psychedelics because it's medical. It's a therapy. I'm using psychedelics because it's traditional. It's part of my religion. I'm using psychedelics for this reason or that reason. It's very rare that people will just stand up and say, I'm using these things because that's my freedom. I don't need to justify it. I don't need to say that I have chronic back pain and it's treating it and I should be allowed to treat my pain. It doesn't matter. It's just my choice as an adult. Even if it's bad for me, it's my choice as an adult. Yeah. And it needs no justification. Like whiskey. Yeah. I mean, whiskey's celebrated and it's on television. You can watch ads for whiskey during TV shows. It's like, celebrate it. Have a glass of whiskey. And I like whiskey. But you drink a lot of whiskey, it will fuck you up. And we don't care. We're just accustomed to it. It's become a part of our culture. So it's a traditional use. It's sanctioned by the government. You get a nice tax stamp on it and so we're okay with it. But all of these patterns I just described emerged during prohibition as well. Yeah. So alcohol is prohibited, so you have medical whiskey. You get a prescription from the doctor for whiskey because it's good for your nerves. One of our sponsors, Buffalo Trace. They've been around longer than the United States. They've been around since 1773. And they made whiskey during prohibition. They're still running. They're the longest running distillery in America. And they made whiskey for medicinal purposes during prohibition. It's just kind of hilarious. And of course we see it with cannabis as well. And I get it. I understand why people are doing this because it remains very controversial and so you want some kind of justification. But you should remember at the end of the day that no justification should be required. Right. If you're lost in the justification, you might forget why you're doing it in the first place. Like an analogy that I've been thinking about for years, like this is kind of like a long analogy so it's gonna be like a one minute analogy. But like it would be like if in the 60s people started listening to music for the first time. And they decided that it was associated with the counterculture anti-war movement. And people were listening to music too loud and causing irreversible damage to their hearing. And so medical doctors said, okay, this is clearly a problem. This person is deaf as a result of listening to music. We've got to regulate it. We've got to prohibit it to protect people because it's a problem. And then on top of that, there's an added advantage that because everyone is going to continue listening to music, we can selectively prosecute the people that we want to because it's a little crime that everyone is committing. And then that keeps going for years and people continue listening to music and playing music. They create their own biases where they say, it's okay to listen to music. It's just as long as you don't perform it or record it. It's all right as long as you're just a listener. And then eventually some scientists get together and they all say that they've never listened to music before because if they had, it would somehow bias their understanding and that would be terrible. So they've never listened to music before, but they've looked at old pre-prohibition information on music and they've decided scientifically that it is in fact very good and can be used as a medicine. And then everyone embraces it as a medicine and says, oh, I just listened to music today. It was so wonderful for my anxiety. It was really fantastic. And that would be great and that would be good. And that would be a way to make music legal again, but it also would entirely miss the point that music doesn't have to be a medicine. And to be clear, you could do these studies with music. Music is a medicine. There is music therapy. I'm sure you could design a study where music treats neurodegenerative diseases or music treats depression. I guarantee it. And you could get positive results and you could then say that music is a medicine, but so what? It doesn't need to be a medicine. And I just want people to, as much as I enjoy this new medicalization and the decriminalization that's taking place, I just hope people remember that it doesn't need to be any of those things. And this history of justification is ultimately something that we are doing because we're afraid, afraid that to acknowledge the fact that we should be free to do whatever we want, regardless of whether or not it's good. Yes. Yeah. Well said. So, I mean, you could use that for anything, right? You could say that about exercise. You could say that about running. You like to run. Well, there's been medical studies that show that running is bad for your knees. You should stop running. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Fuck. Like we should outlaw CrossFit. We should fuck up their back, tear shoulders for CrossFit. Well, we need to stop CrossFit. You could say that about anything. And the problem is a lot of what you get when you have people telling people to not do things is people that don't have any experience in those things, telling people not to do them. And whether they're drugs or whether they're physical activity or whether there's a lot of different things that people do that you could, racing cars, you could deem them detrimental. And I am a proponent of freedom. And I don't think there's any all-knowing, all-seeing being that's wiser that understands the correct way for all human beings to move forward in life and the correct decisions to make. There's no father figure. There's no God-like human being out there that can guide us the correct way. It's not, there's pros and cons to everything. You could abuse almost everything you do. You know? Like if you show that people, if they jog a little bit every day, it actually turns out to be good for you. But ultra marathons we have to outlaw because these people are getting rhabdomyelosis. They're pissing out Diet Coke. They look terrible and they're dying. No, you gotta be able to do whatever you want to do. You're a human being. And you are finite no matter what. It's not like if you die, the entire world suffers some irreversible loss and millions of people starve to death because you decide to run 100 miles. No, it's you and your life. Do what you want. Whether it's smoking marijuana or running 100 miles or doing whatever the fuck you want. And unless we embrace that, we're going to see more of this nanny state nonsense that we've been dealing with since prohibition in this country. And we're dealing with it right now. There's a lot of things that will never kill you that are illegal. Cannabis being one of the big ones because that's the most preposterous one. Watch new episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience for free only on Spotify. Watch back catalog JRE videos on Spotify, including clips. Easily seamlessly switch between video and audio experience. On Spotify, you can listen to the JRE in the background while using other apps and can download episodes to save on data costs all for free. Spotify is absolutely free. 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