Carl Hart is coming to Vancouver for a grownup talk about drugs

May 2, 2019

Carl Hart has a novel idea for his upcoming visit to Vancouver: he wants to have an adult conversation about drugs.

“Our current way of dealing with drugs—banning them, for the most part—has forced a lot of responsible adults into the closet…and impacted their civil liberties,” the New York author and neuroscientist told the Georgia Straight by phone. “If people weren’t in the closet about their drug use, people would have better information, like, don’t mix opioids with certain types of sedatives, and make sure the opioids you get are tested for purity and adulterants….That’s not happening, as a result of our current approach.”

Hart, chair of Columbia University’s department of psychology, explained that society generally forbids public discourse about illicit drugs that doesn’t begin with the premise that drugs are bad and therefore should never be consumed for enjoyment.

Carl Hart is scheduled to speak in Vancouver as part of the Peter Wall Institute’s Wall Exchange lecture series on May 23 at 7 p.m. at the Vogue Theatre