Time to Say No More to the War on Drugs?
Carl Hart’s new book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, which I (Fred Heide) reviewed recently for PsycCRITIQUES, undercuts many of the myths that have swirled around illegal substances for decades. For example, Hart points out that 75 percent of those who use crack or methamphetamine never become addicted, that cognitive tests of methamphetamine users are in the normal range, and that the number of murders directly caused by drug addiction is miniscule. He also notes that the war on drugs has affected minority communities at dramatically higher rates than non-minorities, and in 40 years has failed to reduce daily use of cocaine, heroin, or cannabis despite a 3,500-percent increase in spending and a 700-percent explosion of the American prison population. Is it time for society to reconsider the war on drugs?
By Frederick J. Heide
PsycCRITIQUES, 2014 Vol 59(21)