Recently Columbia Professor and research scientist Carl Hart has been receiving backlash about his comments about using heroin.
Hart wrote the book “Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear,” and he appeared on The Breakfast Club to explain further about his drug use.
At the beginning of the interview, Hart explains his book and the title, he said that he really wants people to focus on the “subtitle” ‘Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear.’ He said, “The declaration of independence guarantees all of us three birthrights: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness,” adding that you can live your life however you choose, and I was using drugs as a topic.”
This was when the conversation started to get heated. Hart said, “Why should people care about what you put in your body as long as you’re a good person?”
He explained, “People will attack you if you engage in certain behaviors that have been deemed evil. There was a time when homosexuality was deemed evil, being black was deemed evil.”
In response, Charlemagne said it “hurts people, including the people who use them.” At this point, the professor tries to explain to Charlemagne the positive benefits of using heroin. He never says that drugs can’t be harmful; it’s just how you use them. He said, “heroin is a medication that is approved for treatment; heroin and morphine are essentially the same drugs.” He continued, Heroin is a perfectly good pain reliever, and it also induces euphoria, including a wide range of effects we desire like pleasure.”
“Drugs can certainly harm you if they overdo it, and they don’t know what they’re doing; you can be harmed, just like driving a car,” he said.
The purpose of the book is to have a grown-up conversation about drugs. In the video, you can see that Hart is getting frustrated with the statements from the hosts of the show.
Shortly after, DJ Envy asks Hart, “Do you considered yourself a drug addict or when was the last time you used heroin?” Hart responded, “umm, I don’t know, more than a year ago.” Dj Envy then adds, “The press makes it seem like you use every morning.”
Hart says, “I want people to understand it’s the New York F*cking Post, when has the New York Post been favorable towards Black people?”
In the middle of the video, Charlamagne asks him for the message of his book. Hart brings up ASAP Yams and Stephen Rodriquez and their drug overdoses. He said for years he wanted to educate the public about drug overdoses because many people mix opioids with sedatives, and unfortunately it increases the likelihood of ‘respiratory depression.’
He says, “This is the message that the F*cking New York Post does not say and it upsets me so much when I have nothing but love and compassion and people are attacking me.” Charlamagne then implies that he looks like he is going through withdrawal, he says, “I’m watching your body language and I see you shaking you look upset so I’m wondering is are you going through withdrawal or are you just upset.”
He said, “come on give me a break, I have too much respect for y’all to come here and not come correct.” He said, “Obviously I’m upset about what has been said about me because I have children and family.”
The video continues to discuss drug use, overdoes, and the stigma that America places on drugs.