For a century most Western governments have banned recreational drugs other than alcohol and tobacco. Now there are signs of a shift in perception. Canada and many states across the US have legalised the personal use of cannabis - creating a multi-billion dollar business and source of tax revenue. While Portugal decriminalised all drugs 19 years ago with falls in deaths from overdoses and drug related crime.
Should we resist this change on the grounds that all drugs are a threat to well being and undermine human experience? Or, is this shift a rational decision about cost and benefits? And might the use of some psychedelic drugs be actually beneficial for our mental health and state of being?
Imperial College psychiatrist and former government drugs adviser David Nutt, philosopher of mind Peter Sjostedt-H, and Annemarie Ward get to the bottom of getting high.