Columbia Professor Loves Taking Drugs

There aren’t many things in life that I enjoy more than a few lines by the fireplace at the end of the day.

Cal Hart, Columbia University

Can I get an amen?

Cal Hart is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Columbia University. He studies the effects of psychoactive drugs on humans, and apparently he’s his own favorite lab rat. He does it all - heroin, bath salts, MDMA and methamphetamines. He was referring to heroin in the opening quote, by the way.

He does it all responsibly, of course. He describes his use of illegal narcotics...

...as rational as my alcohol use. Like vacation, sex and the arts, heroin is one of the tools that I use to maintain my work-life balance.

Cal Hart

He says he’s coming clean about his personal drug use habits to advocate for the decriminalization of possession of recreational drugs (read: promoting his book). While that’s admirable, I don’t really see how bragging about your ability to moderate your drug use helps the cause in any way. The people who can control their drug use are not really a problem anyway, so what are you trying to prove exactly?

It’s the ones who cannot control themselves who suffer and end up falling into the viscous cycle of addiction.

I see this from the perspective of an addict, because I am one. And what Professor Hart’s message says to me sounds exactly like what the little devil on my shoulder tells me every single day - it’s ok, you can just have one. Well guess what? I can’t. It’s spreading false hope to true addicts who are just looking for an excuse to drink or use, and many of them will jump at this one.

Hate to break it to you, teach, but your ability to control baby amounts of drugs doesn’t help anyone and it certainly doesn’t make you look cool. It makes it look like your trying to push some fuckin’ books.

It’s hard enough as it is, don’t tempt us.

Illustration by Brian Stauffer