Dr. Carl Hart: Doing His Part

Dr. Carl Hart: "We can very well say marijuana is a gateway drug to the White House."

The guy with the long dreads arguing in favor of marijuana on The Dr. Oz Show was Dr. Carl Hart, a former pot dealer who now teaches science at Columbia University. He's the author of the autobiography, High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.

On Oz's "Is Weed Addictive?" segment on Dec. 4, Hart reminded the host that "the last three presidents of the United States have all smoked marijuana… That's a good thing, because they pay taxes, they are responsible individuals just like the majority of people who smoke marijuana."

At a Congressional hearing on June 24, he made the same point: "When we talk about marijuana as a gateway drug, we have to remember that the last three occupants of the White House have smoked marijuana," adding with emphasis: "We can very well say marijuana is a gateway drug to the White House."

In an interview, Hart explains his stand on marijuana law reform: "The people of Colorado and Washington, bless their hearts. They took matters into their own hands. I don't argue for legalizing drugs, though. I argue for decriminalization because I think we're too ignorant to legalize drugs. If we decriminalize and have a corresponding amount of education, I'm fine with that. Maybe later, we can legalize. But legalization is not something that I actively advocate for; that's not what I do."

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.