I really thought I was done hearing that name

Remember John Walters? Yeah. We talked about him a lot here back in the day when he was the drug czar.

Well, he resurfaced on my Twitter with this response to cannabis legalization in New York.

The excellent Steve Rolles hit back and drew out even more nonsense from the old czar.

Still the same old John Walters.

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29 Responses to I really thought I was done hearing that name

  1. Servetus says:

    Still active in politics today, John P. Walters (former assistant to disgraced drug tsar Bill Bennett) as of 2021 was appointed the president and CEO of a neocon think tank called the Hudson Institute after lurking about its hallways since 2009 as its VP and CEO. Walter’s tenure is linked to some of the Hudson Institute’s troubling legacies; according to Wiki:

    The Hudson Institute has been criticised for pushing a climate denial agenda and accepting $7.9m from anonymous donors.[90]

    It has received funding from Exxon Mobil and Koch family Foundations both of which actively pursue policies of minimising the impact of climate change.[91]

    The New York Times commented on Dennis Avery’s attacks on organic farming: “The attack on organic food by a well-financed research organization suggests that, though organic food accounts for only 1 percent of food sales in the United States, the conventional food industry is worried.”[92] Another employee at the think tank, Michael Fumento, was revealed to have received funding from Monsanto for his 1999 book Bio-Evolution. Monsanto’s spokesman said: “It’s our practice, that if we’re dealing with an organization like this, that any funds we’re giving should be unrestricted.” Hudson’s CEO and President Kenneth R. Weinstein told BusinessWeek that he was uncertain if the payment should have been disclosed. “That’s a good question, period,” he said.[93]

    The New York Times accused Huntington Ingalls Industries of using the Hudson Institute to enhance the company’s argument for more nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, at a cost of US$11 billion each. The Times alleged that a former naval officer was paid by Hudson to publish an analysis calling for more funding. The report was delivered to the House Armed Services subcommittee without disclosing that Huntington Ingalls had paid for part of the report. Hudson acknowledged the misconduct, describing it as a “mistake”.[94]

    The institute, which publishes frequent reports on China, has received funding from the Taiwanese government.[95] Critics note that although the funding is declared in its financial returns “none of their researchers disclose the potential conflict of interest between Taiwanese funding and advocating for more U.S. security guarantees for and trade with Taiwan.”[96]

    The institute is described by its critics as “neoconservative”.[97]

    The institute has also received funding from the Pentagon. The group has recently pushed for “lead-ahead advancements like stealth aircraft” to compete with China and a greater focus on cyber warfare capabilities. The group received a $356,263 contract directly from the Pentagon this year to produce a “final report/brief” on aircraft defense. In 2020, it was paid nearly half a million dollars to produce reports and workshops on behalf of the Defense Department

    In terms of drug related policies that might interest someone like John Walters, the Hudson Institute is linked to Big Pharma, in this case, Eli Lilly and Company through the Institute’s funding in part by the Lilly Foundation. It is linked to Monsanto, makers of RoundUp, the herbicide the US wanted to apply to coca fields in South America until prevented from doing so by international health experts. It also has links to former VP Mike Pence, who famously said tobacco doesn’t cause cancer and then a short time later received a campaign donation from tobacco distributor RJ Reynolds.

    John Walter’s recent statements about marijuana and its consumers have officially cast his name back into the drug enforcement rackets. The Institute’s new prohibitionist meme will now increase public awareness of the woke killers within the contemptible war-bucks-themed Hudson Institute. Walter’s organization will not resonate well with civic minded cannabis connoisseurs, peace activists, agriculturalists, environmentalists or health care professionals.

  2. Son of Sam Walton says:

    The real problem is synthetic opiates. A wave of Pills to synthetic Mexican crap. England taught us that when you outlaw, you create a flood. Safe injection sites and all the goodies they give to take with you make the problems worse in one aspect while decreasing the problems in another–because of addiction and drug laws. Some say shooting up is more dangerous and can lead to quicker addiction. Yet there is a surge in free needles which is a ‘request’ for the more dangerous side of things, considering this surge (which always happens during war) is a giant byproduct of all the pills thrown out to Americans.

    Cannabis and hallucinogens will–should help alleviate chunks of the mental illness problems existing inside drug addictions and homelessness . . . it’ll rewire their brains for healing, problem-solving, and empathy.

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  21. Servetus says:

    Prince Harry — The Duke of Sussex – likes drugs.

    …reveals in his new memoir “Spare” that he has taken psychedelic drugs, smoked marijuana and even done cocaine over the years, which has helped him not only escape, but “redefine” reality. […]


  22. Servetus says:

    Former New York City mayor and prohibitionist Rudolph W. Giuliani, who promoted a warrantless stop-and-frisk scheme that plagued many New Yorkers, is getting some payback by one of his former employees. Noelle Dunphy says working for him sucked and he kept hitting on her. She’s suing him for $3.1 million.


  23. Servetus says:

    How DMT alters perceptions of reality:

    20-MAR-2023 – In a study at Imperial College London, detailed brain imaging data from 20 healthy volunteers revealed how the potent psychedelic compound, DMT (dimethyltryptamine), alters brain function. During the immersive DMT experience there was increased connectivity across the brain, with more communication between different areas and systems. The changes to brain activity were most prominent in areas linked with ‘higher level’ functions, such as imagination.

    DMT is a potent psychedelic found naturally in certain plants and animals. It occurs in trace amounts in the human body and is the major psychoactive compound in ayahuasca – the psychedelic brew prepared from vines and leaves and used in ceremonies in south and central America. […]

    The fMRI scans found changes to activity within and between brain regions in volunteers under the influence of DMT. Effects included increased connectivity across the brain, with more communication between different areas and systems. These phenomena, termed ‘network disintegration and desegregation’ and increased ‘global functional connectivity’, align with previous studies with other psychedelics. The changes to activity were most prominent in brain areas linked with ‘higher level’, human-specific functions, such as imagination. […]

    AAAS Public Science News Release: Advanced brain imaging study hints at how DMT psychedelic alters perception of reality

    PNAS: Human brain effects of DMT assessed via EEG-fMRI

    Christopher Timmermann, Leor Roseman, Sharad Haridas, Fernando E. Rosas, Lisa Luan, Hannes Kettner,
    Jonny Martell, David Erritzoe, Enzo Tagliazucchi, Carla Pallavicini, Manesh Girn, Andrea Alamia, Robert Leech, David J. Nutt, Robin L. Carhart-Harris

    • NorCalNative says:

      I lack personal knowledge of DMT. I would like to change that someday, given the opportunity. I’ve watched YouTube videos of folks describing their experiences and a common theme is “seeing” alien-like entities that speak.

      The purpose of this comment though is curiosity about future studies where they are contemplating “continuous IV infusion” of DMT in order to lengthen the experience. Might be the best thing in the world for the study patients or may it be too much? If the trip is usually around 20 minutes does it make sense to prolong the experiment for science?

      OT. Feeling a little sadness today. Just learned that Professor Raphael Mechoulam of Israel, the father of cannabis research died earlier this month at age 92. His work was continuously funded by the U.S. since the late 60’s with no interference. It wasn’t his primary source of funding and apparently American interests chose not to attempt to influence his work. He will be missed.

      • Servetus says:

        Yeah, too bad about Mechoulam. I haven’t taken DMT either. As I recall, the drug was introduced to the market as the “businessman’s acid” or “trip” because its effects were of such a short duration it could be taken during an office lunch break with no lingering effects when work began again. Maybe DMT will see business use again as psychedelics become more available as a thinking tool.

  24. Servetus says:

    Genetics plays a major role in the addiction process:

    22-MAR-2023…“This study represents a major advance in understanding how genetic factors predispose people to substance use disorders,” Agrawal said. “While we have known for a while that many genetic factors are shared between different substance use disorders, our study identified some of the contributing genes, providing avenues for future biological and therapeutic discoveries for individuals with multiple addictions.”

    The genetic signature associated with substance use disorders encompasses variations in multiple genes and is linked to regulation of dopamine signaling. Dopamine is a key signaling molecule in the brain’s reward system. Studies have shown that repeated exposures to addictive substances can cause the dopamine pathway in the brain to adapt to the effects of these substances, requiring more of the substance in order to receive the same amount of reward.

    Previous research has implicated dopamine signaling in addiction, but most such studies have focused on a single substance. Further, the regulation of dopamine and neuronal development from the newly discovered genetic signature can help narrow down the specific forms of neuronal communication that are affected in substance use disorders.

    “Anytime we look at addiction, we think dopamine is involved,” Hatoum said. “But here, we can implicate more specific mechanisms by which the brain regulates response to dopamine across different substances, and ultimately find processes that could reverse maladaptive regulation that leads to addiction.”

    As part of the study, the researchers compiled a list of approved and investigational pharmaceutical drugs that have the potential to be repurposed to treat substance use disorders because the drugs may target the effects of the newly discovered genetic signature associated with addiction. The list includes more than 100 drugs to investigate in future clinical trials, including those that can influence regulation of dopamine signaling. […]

    Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis: Multiple substance use disorders may share inherited genetic signature
    Findings could lead to universal therapies for alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, opioid addictions

    Nature Mental Health: Multivariate genome-wide association meta-analysis of over 1 million subjects identifies loci underlying multiple substance use disorders

    Alexander S. Hatoum, Sarah M. C. Colbert, Emma C. Johnson, Spencer B. Huggett, Joseph D. Deak, Gita A. Pathak, Mariela V. Jennings, Sarah E. Paul, Nicole R. Karcher, Isabella Hansen, David A. A. Baranger, Alexis Edwards, Andrew D. Grotzinger, Substance Use Disorder Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, Elliot M. Tucker-Drob, Henry R. Kranzler, Lea K. Davis, Sandra Sanchez-Roige, Renato Polimanti, Joel Gelernter, Howard J. Edenberg, Ryan Bogdan & Arpana Agrawal

  25. Servetus says:

    Overdose death rates spike in categories related to race, gender and location:

    22-MAR-23…extracting rates by race and gender in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Profs. Maria R.D’Orsogna, Lucas Böttcher and Tom Chou considered the impact of four main drug categories: psychostimulants with addiction potential such as methamphetamines; heroin; prescription opioids and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and its derivatives.

    They found significant increases in overdose deaths from all categories except heroin in 2020, with data surpassing predictions derived from 2013-2019 trends. Rates among black individuals of both genders exceeded those for white individuals for fentanyl and psychostimulants starting in 2018; the gap continued to widen in the years since. The largest 2020 death rate is for black males in the District of Columbia due to fentanyl with a rate almost 10 times higher than that for white males.

    The authors believe that pandemic-related anxieties, and a greater availability of cheaper drugs that may be easily ordered online contributed to the rise in fatal overdoses. […]

    Dr. D’Orsogna says: “The third wave of drug overdose deaths began in 2013 with the arrival of fentanyl on the illicit drug market. Although overdose deaths have steadily increased since then, the pandemic year 2020 saw a significant rise of fatalities in many states.”

    Dr. Böttcher adds: “Perhaps most surprising to us were the results for the District of Columbia. Here, the 2020 fentanyl-induced mortality was 134 deaths per 100,000 Black male residents but only 14 deaths per 100,000 White male residents. These disparities existed even prior to the pandemic, and are seen in other states as well, such as Illinois or Missouri.”

    Dr. Chou notes: “…it is essential that we conduct more local-level studies and better understand the unique needs of specific groups, as well as the ways in which culture, socio-economic factors, and geographic conditions influence substance use.”

    AAAS Public Science News Release: Racial disparities in US drug overdose fatalities significantly higher in 2020

    PLOS Global Health: Fentanyl-driven acceleration of racial, gender and geographical disparities in drug overdose deaths in the United States

    Maria R. D’Orsogna , Lucas Böttcher, Tom Chou.

  26. Servetus says:

    Researchers in Indianapolis have altered the molecular structure of CBD to produce more effective antidotes for opioid overdoses than the stand-alone naloxone remedy:

    28-MAR-2023 — There’s been a recent push in the U.S. to make naloxone — a fast-acting opioid antidote — available without a prescription. This medication has saved lives, but it’s less effective against powerful synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. In an interesting twist, researchers are now looking to cannabidiol (CBD), a component of marijuana, as a possible alternative to the popular antidote. […]

    “Fentanyl-class compounds account for more than 80% of opioid overdose deaths, and these compounds aren’t going anywhere — it’s just too much of an economic temptation for dealers,” says Alex Straiker, Ph.D., the project’s co-principal investigator. “Given that naloxone is the only drug available to reverse overdoses, I think it makes sense to look at alternatives.” […]

    “Ideally, we would like to discover a more potent replacement for naloxone,” VanNieuwenhze says. “However, finding something that works synergistically with it, reducing the amount needed to treat an overdose, would also be a success.” […]

    Earlier research suggesting that CBD can interfere with opioid binding inspired the current effort. In research published in 2006, a group based in Germany concluded that CBD hampered opioid binding indirectly, by altering the shape of the receptor. When used with naloxone, they found CBD accelerated the medication’s effect, forcing the receptors to release opioids.

    To augment these effects, Gudorf altered CBD’s structure to generate derivatives. Taryn Bosquez-Berger, a graduate student in Straiker’s group, tested these new compounds in cells with a substance called DAMGO, an opioid used only in lab studies. To measure their success, she monitored a molecular signal that diminishes when this type of drug binds. Armed with feedback from these experiments, Gudorf refined the structures she generated. […]

    In the end, they narrowed the field to 15, which they tested at varying concentrations against fentanyl, with and without naloxone. Several derivatives could reduce fentanyl binding even at what Bosquez-Berger described as “incredibly low” concentrations, while also outperforming naloxone’s opioid-blocking performance. Two of these also showed a synergistic effect when combined with the antidote. […]

    AAAS Public Science News Release: Marijuana-derived compounds could reverse opioid overdoses.

  27. NorCalNative says:

    This study suggests I’ve been using CBD wrong by pairing it with Kratom. If true, this would result in less effective analgesia from the Kratom dose which works primarily on the Mu opioid receptors.

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how helpful Kratom has been for me. I’m using it a few times per month to keep from developing tolerance.

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