Dr. Carl Hart, an associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University who specializes in drug abuse and drug addiction, is also an outspoken critic of the drug war, and made comments in the media recently about how the popular big pharma drug Adderall is pretty much the same thing as crystal meth.
When appearing on All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, Hart spoke about the crack epidemic and how it allowed the media and the politicians to overlook many of the issues with poverty and violence that existed in poor areas of America’s cities and instead use crack as a scapegoat. Hart admitted that crack is dangerous, but that it has been used as a scapegoat by the government, and like many drugs, there is a lot of misinformation out there about it.
Hart went on to discuss crystal meth and made a statement that would surprise many of the mainstream viewers who were tuned into the show, that it is basically the same thing as Adderall, something that is entirely legal and is prescribed to millions. When Hayes replied back that this couldn’t have been true, Hart mentioned a number of studies where the drugs were actually compared and found to be nearly identical.
One thing that was not discussed in the quick interview was the fact that harsh and highly synthetic street drugs would actually not exist if it were not for prohibition. In environments where drugs are legal, there is no incentive for people to create these dangerous synthetics because pure and safe drugs are available to them at low costs.
This is not a perspective that is encouraging drug use, but rather an understanding that prohibition does not work, and that people are going to use illegal substances one way or another if that is what they want to do. In addition to not working, prohibition also makes life more dangerous for everyone because the drugs are dirtier, and a violent black market develops which impacts the lives of everyone.
John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference.