Dr. Carl Hart, a Colombia University professor, is claiming that drugs --ALL drugs-- are a fundamental right. He wrote a book, titled Drug Use For Grown Ups, Chasing Liberty In The Land of Fear, which details his thoughts on the matter.
Per his website:
"I wrote this book to present a more realistic image of the typical drug user: a responsible professional who happens to use drugs in his pursuit of happiness. Also, I wanted to remind the public that no benevolent government should forbid autonomous adults from altering their consciousness, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others."
The main theme of the book: if we can do other legal dangerous things, why can't we use drugs? To this point, he says:
"Think about car accidents. There are 40,000 Americans every year who lose their life on the highway because of cars. Nobody’s saying, ‘aren’t you concerned about that we have these cars available?’ No, what we do, is we try to enhance the safety of that activity."
Hart is the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia. His research deals with psychoactive drugs and their effects on humans.
And Hart? A recreational heroin user.
"My heroin use is as recreational 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... Heroin is just another opioid, no more or less scary than other drugs."
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: heroin-involved overdoses in the U.S. increased from 3,036 in 2010 to 14,996 in 2018. Between 1999-2018, 115,000+ Americans died from heroin-linked overdoses.
The university has an anti-drug policy for both students and faculty.