The War on Consciousness - Johann Hari #61

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The war on drugs, which in many ways is really a war on the freedom of our minds, restricts a natural, evolutionarily adaptive human behavior, that of exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness. Johann Hari — British journalist and author of Chasing the Scream — spent three years and journeyed thirty-thousand-miles investigating the war on drugs. In this show, Johann shares some of his discoveries through the stories of the people he met and interviewed along his journey. Let's have a look at some of the unexpected outcomes of restricting human access to psychoactive medicines.

Episode Breakdown:

  • Is drug addiction real?
  • Substance abuse when coping with pain
  • The cultural repercussions of prohibition
  • Drug-related violence
  • Portugal’s experiment and the case for legalization
  • Animals and drug use
  • Modern drug education for children
  • Is there an end in sight for the war on drugs?

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Meet Johann

Johann Hari is a British journalist. He has written for many of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, the New Republic, the Nation, Slate, El Mundo, and the Sydney Morning Herald. He was a lead op-ed columnist for the Independent, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, for nine years.

He was born in 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, and has lived in London since he was a baby. His mother is from the Scottish tenements and his father is from the Swiss mountains. He graduated from King’s College, Cambridge with a double first in Social and Political Sciences in 2001.

Johann was named ‘National Newspaper Journalist of the Year’ by Amnesty International twice. He was named ‘Environmental Commentator of the Year’ at the Editorial Intelligence awards, and ‘Gay Journalist of the Year’ at the Stonewall awards. He has also won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for political writing.

He is currently working on his next book, and he is a Visiting Fellow with Purpose, the New York-based progressive campaigning group.