Johann Hari’s Ted Talk

Those of you who have read Johann Hari’s outstanding book Chasing the Scream already have experienced most of this information, but Johann has just had a Ted Talk that is really outstanding.

This is a good one to share with folks, particularly those who have supported the drug war because of their concerns about addiction.

Johann Hari: Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong

Johann Hari Ted Talk

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21 Responses to Johann Hari’s Ted Talk

  1. Stanley says:

    Addiction. Oh yes. I remember that first sip of mother’s milk. Served as a gateway to the harder stuff. Like life’s hardships. Life is all the pain
    we endeavor. Indeed.

    Ban life?

  2. Windy says:

    In reply to:

    Addiction: His presentation is overall pretty decent. He hasn’t presented anything new at all. There are three things that need to be present for addiction to occur: 1) exposure to the addictive substance or behavior. 2) physical dependence 3 psychological vulnerability These three things have been known in medical and mental health for as long as I can remember. Addiction is still a crime. Just as stealing is. Just as assault is. Just as murder is. All a result and part of the drug lifestyle. Should we not criminalize the other categories and hope it stops because of its legalization? For me, it has always been yes and no.
    Paul Rudzuski

    I wrote:
    Do you not see the difference between addiction being a crime and those other things being a crime? Addiction does not violate the unalienable rights of any other person; while stealing, assault, and murder (plus unlawful detention, and fraud) ALL violate someone else’s rights to life, liberty, property and to just be left alone by busybodies and government. Addiction is NOT a crime when it is alcohol or tobacco to which one might be addicted; and it is NOT a crime when it is an “illicit” drug to which one is addicted, either. What someone chooses to ingest is NO business of anyone but the ingestor. No ingestible substance should be criminalized, it is NOT a correct use of government to criminalize certain substances and then harass, imprison, or even kill the people who use them (someone is killed by the cops at least 3 times a day in America, IMNSHO, unjustifiably).
    Further: The federal government has 18 powers conferred by the Constitution, regulating, prohibiting, or criminalizing what people want to ingest is NOT among those 18 powers; therefore, those actions by the fed gov are blatantly unconstitutional; and, unlike prohibition of alcohol, no amendment has been passed and ratified to make it Constitutional. It does not matter that some people think it is a sin, laws should NEVER be based solely on what some people think is sinful, laws should ONLY be based on someone’s unalienable rights being violated (no victim – no crime, and the government in NEVER a victim, nor is the person who does something “sinful” or “inappropriate in polite society” to be considered his/her own victim). The statutes which do claim the gov (or the people doing something that might be harmful to themselves) as victims are criminal in and of themselves in what is supposed to be a “free country”. If we take the idea that people doing something harmful to themselves is criminal then we must prohibit skydiving, rock climbing, skate boarding, skiing, swimming, driving a car, and thousands of other things people do for the thrill or the fun or even the necessity of it. Is that the kind of society in which you want to live? It most certainly is NOT the kind of society in which I want to live.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      What in the world would lead anyone to believe that addiction per se is a crime? Do you think that I could get a reasonable answer to that question if I surveyed the current and active members of Alcoholics Anonymous?

  3. kaptinemo says:

    OT and typically unbelievable:

    Santa Ana cops raid same marijuana shop where officers were videotaped seemingly eating pot candies

    “Borst-Censullo said he received a call Wednesday morning as the closure was happening. When he arrived, he asked the officers to see the search warrant but he said they refused to show it to him.”

    Must be in retaliation for the lawsuit, I guess.

  4. DdC says:

    The WoD Junkies Addiction to Remaining Ignorant.

    House Republicans say no to allowing federal studies of medical marijuana
    The amendment that died Wednesday was seen by some as a potential game-changer. With 23 states allowing medical marijuana — and a handful plus the District of Columbia having outright legalized it — some House Republicans (and Democrats, too) thought that it was finally time to allow more federal testing of marijuana.

    • claygooding says:

      Grassley has struck just as we said he would,,the very reason he was made chair of the Judicial committee,,,keep any marijuana reform bills from reaching the floor for debate.

  5. DEA Agents Raid Urgent Care in Scranton

    The problem here is this is a medical facility helping addicts. The DEA’s big score is the patients medical records here.

    • DdC says:

      To even let these mindless rouge DEAth Weasels out on the streets to spread their disease is poor judgement. The problem here is this is a medical facility helping addicts. The DEA’s big score is the patients plea bargain deals or prison profits. Cheap informants setting up cancer victims, but not if they’re clean.

  6. darkcycle says:

    O/T: It’s a tragedy…but how long will it take for the idiot prohibitionists to link that joint he’s holding to his unfortunate and untimely death??? (you have to scroll down a few images before the joint planted by police joint appears in the crime scene 😉 )

  7. ed says:

    How do we get to rat park?

    • NorCalNative says:

      I think you start by finding some Manor “Cheese,” and share it with friends.

      OT. I’m disappointed no one on the couch has brought up Mark Klieman’s use of the term “Ansliger gerrymandering” as a critique of Hari’s book.

      Pete linked to a conversation on awhile back where Klieman repeatedly used the term Anslinger gerrymandering.

      Kleiman had the look of a biker using alcohol to recover from a two-week meth binge in that video. He was on something, or he’s got some medical issues.

      To recap: CHEESE!

  8. Servetus says:

    Part of the NIDA’s job is to justify the existence of prohibition and prohibitionists. For the NIDA, the ends justifies the means. So naturally the addiction research vampires who feed off the blood of drug consumers, who continue to support themselves with US tax dollars, will choose the lowest common denominator regarding alleged scientific studies. It’s the path of least resistance for achieving their objective.

    As many here know, a common way to confuse journalists and keep NIDA research dollars flowing is to use the old correlation scheme, to “link” drugs to some general set of criteria that offends certain people while touting some scary headline in the news media title. Journalists not well versed in scientific epistemology are led to believe that an actual cause-and-effect relationship has been discovered between drugs and something else considered bad.

    New, late-breaking, NIDA sponsored research (July 9, 2015) illustrates the technique. First, the actual title of the science publication:

    Effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on early sexual behavior: Gender difference in externalizing behavior as a mediator

    And now the title used by the NIDA researchers in their news release about their work, the one that’s encountered by journalists who report on scientific studies:

    CWRU researchers link prenatal cocaine exposure to adolescents engaging in sex by age 15

    Scary stuff, right? Well, maybe if one is a conservative American parent of an American teenager, but not necessarily if one is a Dutch parent of a Dutch teenager. Because in the Netherlands teen sex is tolerated, often being allowed by common assent of the teenagers’ parents. And because it’s tolerated instead of being prohibited, and thereby controlled, teen sex in Holland lacks all the ill effects it allegedly has in the US:

    “Early sexual engagement has been associated with an increased risk of unintended teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. ” – NIDA researcher

    In their study, NIDA puritans discovered that:

    Compared to 23 percent of non-cocaine exposed (NCE) teenagers, 29 percent of prenatally cocaine exposed (PCE) teenagers living in foster/adoptive care and 42 percent of PCE teenagers living with their birth mothers or blood related relatives reported having sexual intercourse before age 15.

    Cocaine-exposed teenage girls who reported having behavior problems during their preteen years were more likely to have early sexual intercourse.

    64 youth (or 18 percent; 37 PCE and 27 NCE) reported having sex as young as 13.

    Levels of lead in the blood during preschool years was also related to a greater likelihood of early sexual intercourse.

    Greater parental monitoring decreased the likelihood of early sexual intercourse, while exposure to violence increased the risk.

    The NIDA research is reporting on a culture war, and on socioeconomic factors, not drugs. The research is out of the NIDA’s drug-related purview. Their unprofessional behavior goes well beyond the standards set for valid scientific research. What it really represents is a kind of criminal fraud. Americans are being fleeced while being lied to and manipulated about drugs effects on people and society. If a law doesn’t exist to quash this type of insidious NIDA conduct, then one is needed. Perhaps one day we may better regulate the NIDA, or abolish it.

    • Windy says:

      How do they account for teens who engaged in sexual intercourse early back in the 40s and 50s, before cocaine was much known or much used in this country? I graduated from HS in 62, I knew one girl in jr high who had sex at the age of 13, her parents were religious conservatives; there was only one other girl I knew with parents that restrictive and she waited until marriage to have sex, while most of the girls in my school system had sex first around age 15-16 (which I believe is the “norm”).

  9. Will says:

    Johann Hari is obviously not the first to question the standard line regarding addiction and how to sanely approach it as an individual and societal issue. But thankfully he’s keeping the conversation going, at least for now. Some will say, “Ah, I need to rethink this addiction thing”, while others will hold tight to the old line. Sometimes we just have go round and round and slowly watch light bulbs come on. Light bulbs that cause defenders of the status quo to yelp and scurry, with fewer and fewer places to hide.

    [Note: I read “Chasing the Scream” thanks to NorCalNative sharing a copy with me. Much appreciated NCN]

    • NorCalNative says:

      Will, it was my pleasure and worth it to plug cannabis researcher and M.D. Sunil Kumar Aggarwal on Pete’s blog.

      My master-plan is to use that brilliant mind of yours to “infect” other Texan’s into our tribe of “magicians and sorcerers” h/t to MMYV!

      Also, as a blues-guitar playing, pot-smoking maniac I’m still chasing and trying to duplicate the Austin sound of Stevie Ray Vaughn. Texas might be a red state but Austin holds a special place in my heart.

      Guitar playa with a bag o’ weed, formerly known as NorCalNative.

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