The Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, which consists of two foundations with assets of more than $7 billion, is based in Eden Prairie, MN, a well-to-do suburb of Minneapolis. When Minneapolis was shaken by protests after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died at the hands of police, the Cargill Philanthropies, like so many others, felt a need to respond.
“The senseless killing of George Floyd is evidence of the underlying inequities and racism that continue to exist in our community and our country more broadly,” the philanthropies said.
This is a remarkable moment for psychedelics. Elite universities, including Johns Hopkins and Imperial College in London, have opened centers to research the medical benefits of drugs such as psilocybin, a hallucinogen found in certain mushrooms.
The nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is recruiting people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to participate in FDA-approved clinical trials using MDMA, better known as molly or ecstasy. CBS News’ 60 Minutes last fall reported on life-changing psychedelic journeys.
So far, the psychedelic renaissance has focused on the potential of these drugs to address mental illness and rightly so. A growing body…
A hundred years ago — before anyone put together the initials PTSD — a public hospital in the Bronx, NY, began to care for World War I soldiers who suffered from “mental and nervous disorders.”
Shell shock, it was called. It was notoriously hard to treat. PTSD remains so.
That hospital, now known as the James J. …
In a rebuke to the activists, politicians and government officials who have led a crusade against youth vaping, a group of eminent tobacco scientists are urging authorities to consider the benefits of e-cigarettes as well as their risks.
Writing in the American Journal of Public Health, fifteen past presidents of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) say that a growing body of evidence indicates that vaping can help smokers quit, although the research is not definitive.
Bans on flavored e-cigarettes enacted by five states and numerous cities at the urging of groups like the Campaign for Tobacco-Free…
E-cigarettes have fractured the tobacco-control community. Some researchers argue that vaping nicotine saves lives by helping smokers quit. Others say that e-cigarettes are dangerous, especially for young people. The debate is by no means settled.
So you’d think that all involved would welcome more science. Sadly, that’s not so.
Consider, for example, what happened after a debate about conflicts of interest in tobacco science, part of a seminar series organized by academics.
One one side: Joanna Cohen, the Bloomberg Professor of Disease Prevention at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. She argued that journals such as…
Stanton Glantz, one of the world’s best-known tobacco researchers, had everything going for him — a first-class brain, financial support, a tenured professorship and a passion for his work. No scientist, it seemed, was more committed to reducing the death and disease caused by smoking
Glantz led the creation of an invaluable archive of tobacco-industry documents at the University of California at San Francisco, where he was a professor of medicine. He famously called attention to the risks of second-hand smoke, which helped turn public opinion against smoking. He inspired many.
“He was a hero of mine,” says Michael Siegel…
In the epilogue to Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, Daniel Okrent’s lively and deeply-researched history of prohibition, he writes:
In almost every respect imaginable, Prohibition was a failure. It encouraged criminality and institutionalized hypocrisy. It deprived the government of revenue, stripped the gears of the political system, and imposed profound limitations on individual rights. It fostered a culture of bribery, blackmail and official corruption.
Much the same could be said about the 50-year-old war on drugs, which has been prosecuted with enthusiasm by every president since Nixon.
No matter that the drug war was rooted in racism…
Last month, a scientific journal published a peer-reviewed study with encouraging news for anyone concerned by the toll that smoking takes on people’s health.
The study in the American Journal of Health Behavior identified more than 17,000 cigarette smokers who purchased a Juul starter kit, which includes a rechargeable e-cigarette and four flavored pods. A year later, more than half said they had stopped smoking and switched to e-cigarettes, which, by nearly all accounts, cause much less harm than combustible tobacco.
In 1976, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, a brilliant and eccentric chemist who concocted hundreds of psychoactive drugs in a home-based laboratory in the hills of Berkeley, California, cooked up a batch of MDMA, the drug that later became known as Ecstasy or Molly. He then tried some, as was his habit.
He loved it. “I feel absolutely clean inside, and there is nothing but pure euphoria,” he wrote in his lab notes afterwards. “I have never felt so great, or believed this to be possible. The cleanliness, clarity, and marvelous feeling of solid inner strength continued throughout the rest of the…
Atlantic Sapphire, a Norwegian company, calls itself the largest land-based aquaculture company in the world. It is building a giant salmon farm, known as the Bluehouse, on what used to be a tomato field in Homestead, FL, about 40 miles southwest of Miami.
Lately, things have not been going well.
In March, Atlantic Sapphire destroyed five hundred tons of fish, the equivalent of about 600,000 salmon (1), after a filtration system failed to keep water tanks clean. “Fish gathered at the bottom of the tanks, disrupting the flow of new water, causing increasing mortality,” the company said.