John Walters and William Barr linked to Nazis

Former ONDCP Director John P. Walters is at it again, only this time he has help from Donald Trump’s former US Attorney General, prohibitionist William P. Barr. Barr joins Walters in authoring a Hudson Institute publication claiming that marijuana is dangerous and its legalization was a big mistake. Their announcement was quickly debunked online here and here.

The Hudson Institute was originally founded by a nuclear war strategist named Herman Kahn who later became the inspiration for the character portrayed by Peter Sellers in Stanley Kubrick’s movie Dr. Strangelove. John Walters became the Institute’s CEO in 2021, and William Barr joined in 2022 as a “distinguished fellow.” What distinguishes Barr and Walters is an attitude common to the Nazis who viewed marijuana as “polluting the Aryan immune system.”

Blood pollution (or purity) and decadent foreign bodies were top priorities for Nazis. It’s why pot smokers were sent to concentration camps along with Jews, Roma, intellectuals, writers who criticized the Reich, private citizens who grumbled about the Reich, and other social outliers such as opioid and cocaine addicts. Identity cards carried by drug users incarcerated in the camps were colored red while ID cards for Jews were purple. Since the Second World War little has changed for people like former KKK leader David Duke and American Neo-Nazis who accuse Jews of working hard to get America stoned. They say Jews control the marijuana industry. They don’t. The US cannabis industry is democratically authorized by a voter majority and it’s defined and controlled by state governments and local laws.

Fascism seeks to redefine freedom. Under fascism people are free to do as they are told and the government is free to do as it wants. One way of creating a fascist society—other than engaging in drug wars—is to imitate Barr, Walters and the Nazis who dumb down their dialog and message to prevent their listeners or readers from engaging in complex and critical reasoning. Lies become the rule. Relevant science and research gets ignored or suppressed. For tyrants seeking political or social dominance drug hysteria is an easy effective tool that can be used against unproven enemies of the state or society.

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9 Responses to John Walters and William Barr linked to Nazis

  1. Son of Sam Walton says:

    Do you think the Nazi’s view on marijuana was shaped by the League of Nation’s Drug Laws of the 1920s, coinciding with the decadence of the Weimar Republic and scapegoating further economic glut coming in after 1928?

    • Servetus says:

      Interesting question. All of it played a role. I think religious differences and conflict are the main motivators behind drug prohibitions. Religion influenced the Nazis in this case. They adopted a severe fascist approach to drug enforcement because they found it useful to do so and because Catholicism and other religions have been waging drug wars for centuries.

      Drugs are a moral issue for most religions and little else. Petty moral issues get prioritized over the secular concerns of life and death. Somehow feeling good is bad. It certainly doesn’t benefit a religion if a drug out-competes a faith that promises its believers happiness and a better life but fails to deliver.

      In Hitler’s case he was an avowed Catholic, a former alter boy who needed the neutral backing of the Church to carry out the Holocaust and his war. To please the Church and get it to ignore him he was required to be a good Catholic in every aspect – that meant Hitler had to be publicly anti-drug – even though he became a heavy user of speed and morphine thanks to his personal physician who continually dosed him so that Hitler could carry out his crazed mission day or night.

      The problem for Catholicism is it’s gone nowhere on the drug issue since at least the 19th century. Their dogma is seriously out of date. The justifications the Vatican uses regarding recreational drug use are always circular: people shouldn’t use drugs because then they would be using drugs, etc. Below is how the current Pope Francis feels about cannabis, what may someday turn out to be considered the most medicinally beneficial plant on earth:

      A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use. – Pope Francis (2013)

      A Catholic Church catechism further states:

      The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense.

      Secularism and science have played effective roles in countering the drug war only recently. In the last ten years alone there’s been a massive infusion of science into the debates. The literature and discussion on the topic keeps growing. A book is due out in a few weeks that finally reveals details of the bizarre history and relationship between Nazis, drug enforcement, and US drug laws. I will review it here when it becomes available.

  2. Servetus says:

    Swiss researchers investigated what effects if any medicinal marijuana had on mental health in the United States. Their results show marijuana benefits its medical users and does not cause mental problems for recreational users.

    4-APR-2024 — In a new study, researchers from Basel have now investigated whether medical cannabis legislation in the USA is improving the situation for sick people and whether it has a negative impact on the mental health of the overall population. […]

    For their analysis, the researchers combined two large datasets. They used data from almost eight million people who took part in telephone surveys between 1993 and 2018 as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which collects data about mental well-being, among other things. But they also used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which collects information on health-related issues such as drug use in the United States.

    The researchers formed different groups using statistical assignment. They include individuals who are highly likely to abstain from using marijuana, to use marijuana as a recreational drug or to use it for medical reasons. It was also possible to identify individuals with a high probability of chronic pain. Mental health was measured using self-assessment, in which respondents reported the number of days they had had mental health problems in the previous month. […]

    Using statistical methods, the researchers were able to estimate the impact of the legal approval of marijuana for medical use. The result: Easier access improves the mental health of individuals who use marijuana for medical reasons. The same applies to people who are very likely to suffer from pain. The study authors estimate that these two groups spend 0.3 days less per month in poor mental health due to the change in the law.

    At the same time, the researchers found no effect on the mental health of recreational users or on younger populations. “Overall, our results show that medical cannabis legislation in the USA benefits the people it is intended for without harming other groups,” summarizes the study leader, Prof. Alois Stutzer from the University of Basel. […]

    University of Basel: https://www.unibas.ch/en/News-Events/News/Uni-Research/Liberalization-of-medical-marijuana-and-mental-health-in-the-USA.html

    Health Economics Policy and Law: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/health-economics-policy-and-law/article/medical-marijuana-laws-and-mental-health-in-the-united-states/D655A58049CC6194FC716EB78435F320

    Jörg Kalbfuss, Reto Odermatt and Alois Stutzer

  3. Servetus says:

    Researchers at Dartmouth College reveal Cannabis receptors are among receptors implicated in the way the brain regulates emotions:

    3-APR-2024 …”Our results showed that receptors for cannabinoids, opioids, and serotonin, including 5H2A, were especially rich in areas that are involved in emotion regulation,” says senior author Tor Wager, the Diana L. Taylor Distinguished Professor in Neuroscience and director of the Dartmouth Brain Imaging Center at Dartmouth. “When drugs that bind to these receptors are taken, they are preferentially affecting the emotion regulation system, which raises questions about their potential for long-term effects on our capacity to self-regulate.”

    Serotonin is well-known for its role in depression, as the most widely used antidepressant drugs inhibit its reuptake in synapses, which transmit signals from one neuron to another.

    5H2A is the serotonin receptor most strongly affected by another exciting new type of treatment for mental health — psychedelic drugs. The study’s findings suggest that the effects of drugs on depression and other mental health disorders may work in part by altering how we think about life events and our ability to self-regulate. This may help explain why drugs, particularly psychedelics, are likely to be ineffective without the right kind of psychological support. The study could help improve therapeutic approaches by increasing our understanding of why and how psychological and pharmaceutical approaches need to be combined into integrated treatments. […]

    ScienceDaily: Researchers map how the brain regulates emotions–Study identifies multiple emotion regulation systems, providing targets for therapy

    Nature Neuroscience: A systems identification approach using Bayes factors to deconstruct the brain bases of emotion regulation.

    Ke Bo, Thomas E. Kraynak, Mijin Kwon, Michael Sun, Peter J. Gianaros, Tor D. Wager.

  4. Servetus says:

    University of Leipzig researchers examine the molecular mechanisms of the opioid receptors and their different functions:

    12-APR-2024 — Drugs that target opioid receptors sometimes have severe side effects. Thousands of people around the world die every day from overdoses involving opioids such as fentanyl. An international team of researchers has taken a closer look at the molecular mechanisms of these active substances. The research, carried out by Dr Matthias Elgeti, a biophysicist at Leipzig University, in collaboration with research groups from the US and China, has now been published in the journal Nature.

    Opioid receptors are of great pharmacological interest because opioid substances regulate the perception of pain. “Our findings provide insights into how an opioid receptor can perform different functions. It is able to reduce pain, but also to regulate digestion or breathing,” explains Dr Elgeti, co-first author of the study from the Institute for Drug Discovery at the Faculty of Medicine. […]

    Opioid receptors are members of the large family of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which control many signaling processes in the body, such as taste and smell, while others bind neurotransmitters and hormones or are activated by light. Understanding the molecular interactions of these receptors with drugs and other signaling proteins is very important for drug development. As all GPCRs are structurally very similar, the researchers hope that their findings on the opioid receptor can be applied to other receptors. […]

    Univesitat Leipzig: Researchers Shed Light on the Molecular Causes of Different Functions of Opioid Receptors

    • NorCalNative says:

      I’ve applied what little mental skills I have to the study of cannabinoid G-coupled protein receptors like CB1 and CB2 over the last ten years. This study you reference is about opioid G-protein coupled receptors. They both are also known as 7-transmembrane receptors due to the way the protein chains pass through the cellular membranes. Kind of like a needle and thread.

      Kratom tickles the G-protein coupled opiate receptors. It’s an agonist at the Mu opioid receptor and a mixed agonist/antagonist as the delta and kappa opioid receptors. I’m struggling with weigh-bearing issues related to osteoarthritis and sciatica. Taking a modest 3-gram dose of Red Bali Kratom allows me to go grocery shopping and do yard work. Shit saved my ass!

      At the 3-gram dose I’m getting more cocaine-like stimulation than analgesia. However, it’s enough of a boost and mild analgesic to allow me to get shit done. It’s constipating and causes sexual dysfunction so I take it sparingly as possible. I had over a decade where I had opiate-dependance from morphine (MS Contin.)

      I try to not take it more than 3-days-in-a-row to minimize potential tolerance development. If you were to use it daily and multiple times daily you WILL develop an opioid tolerance that will cause withdrawal symptoms if you quit cold turkey. I save it for when I really need it and it’s my rescue medication. I wish I could say cannabis offered me similar benefit but it’s not really even close to how Kratom helps me. The fact I can purchase this stuff legally without prescription ROCKS.

      • NorCalNative says:

        More on opiate receptors. I had a physician who recommended Salvia Divinorum. He later asked me to keep his recommendation confidential after discussing it with his advisor.

        Salvia Divinorum is the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen, and is unusual in that it interacts with only ONE receptor in the human brain– the kappa opioid receptor (KOR).

        I smoked it three times maybe 20-years-ago and it was definitely interesting. I bought it at a head shop. Don’t know if it’s still available today. Hallucinogenic experience through an opiate receptor just seems odd to me.

        An almost instant hallucinogenic experience is a TRIP! I likened it to passing through a threshold. A few times a small dose got me to the door but not through it. A larger dose did the trick. I’ve seen YouTube videos of people who would tie themselves to something so they wouldn’t wander around while high. Trippy stuff.

        One time I felt like I was being rolled up in a carpet while a pair of glowing eyes stared at me from a distance. Red glow in darkness. It was a bit weird. Another time I became a rose growing on a stone fence. My existence was stationary and all I could see was roses and fence.

        There are studies on Salvia, that due to its use of the Kappa opioid receptor it’s considered a substance that can help with addiction. A few times after coming down I would have this feeling of well-being and peace. Really nice. I think that’s what my doc (who was featured on a PBS special titled “Chinese Medicine Master”) was hoping for. He was prescribing morphine and I think he was interested in getting me off the opiate.

        I think he’s doing telemedicine now due to narcolepsy. Once while he was doing electro-acupuncture on me (why he went to China for PBS) he left the office for about twenty minutes while I had several needles in me. I got good results for the electro-acupuncture but this occasion I had trouble keeping my position and when I moved the needles were a bit painful. He never said anything and I learned about his narcolepsy later. Pretty sure he had to take a short nap.

  5. Servetus says:

    More that might be useful, Mount Sinai researchers have identified a brain pathway that is affected by addictive drugs:

    18-APR-2024–…researchers, in collaboration with scientists at The Rockefeller University, have uncovered a mechanism in the brain that allows cocaine and morphine to take over natural reward processing systems. Published online in Science on April 18, these findings shed new light on the neural underpinnings of drug addiction and could offer new mechanistic insights to inform basic research, clinical practice, and potential therapeutic solutions.

    “While this field has been explored for decades, our study is the first to demonstrate that psychostimulants and opioids engage and alter functioning of the same brain cells that are responsible for processing natural rewards…“These findings provide an explanation for how these drugs can interfere with normal brain function and how that interference becomes magnified with increasing drug exposure to ultimately redirect behavior compulsively towards drugs—a hallmark of addiction pathology.”

    …researchers were able to track how individual neurons in a forebrain region called the nucleus accumbens respond to natural rewards like food and water, as well as to acute and repeated exposure to cocaine and morphine in a cell-type-specific manner. They discovered a largely overlapping population of cells that respond to both addictive drugs and natural rewards, and demonstrated that repeated exposure to the drugs progressively disrupts the cells’ ability to function normally, resulting in behavior being directed toward drug-seeking and away from natural rewards…

    “After withdrawal from the drugs, these same cells exhibit disorganized responses to natural rewards in a manner that may resemble some of the negative affective states seen in withdrawal in substance use disorder.”

    “By tracking these cells, we show that not only are similar cells activated across reward classes, but also that cocaine and morphine elicit initially stronger responses than food or water, and this actually magnifies with increasing exposure,”….

    Moreover, the research team identified a well-established intracellular signaling pathway—mTORC1—that facilitates the disruption of natural reward processing by the drugs. As part of that discovery, investigators found a gene (Rheb) that encodes an activator of the mTORC1 pathway that may mediate this relationship, potentially providing a novel therapeutic target for future discovery in a field of medicine that currently offers few effective treatments. […]

    “We’ve known for decades that natural rewards, like food, and addictive drugs can activate the same brain region,” says Dr. Friedman. “But what we’ve just learned is that they impact neural activity in strikingly different ways. One of the big takeaways here is that addictive drugs have pathologic effects on these neural pathways, that are distinct from, say, the physiologic response to eating a meal when you are hungry or drinking a glass of water when you are thirsty.” […]

    AAAS Public Science News Release: A common pathway in the brain that enables addictive drugs to hijack natural reward processing has been identified by Mount Sinai

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