What if everything you thought you knew about drug addiction was wrong? What if somebody told you that your great grandparents could quite legally enjoy a bottle of wine containing pure cocaine? What if you found out that the War on Drugs was not started by Nancy Regan but many decades before, in order to keep blacks, Mexicans, and Chinese people in their place? Did you know that various animals are quite fond of getting high, or that doctors agree pure heroin is not inherently damaging to the body, or that when it comes to the subject of legalizing drugs the most harmful drug in the world has been freely available at your local liquor store for eighty-five years?
My guest today is Johann Hari, an award winning British journalist who did extensive interviews with scientists, addicts, activists, politicians, and cops in order to answer questions about drugs and addiction that have plagued him all his life. The result is the international bestseller Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs which tells us that the war on drugs is actually a war on some of the world’s most vulnerable people and that what they crave is not a fleeting high but a real human connection.