I've studied psychoactive drugs in academic and clandestine labs around the world and have been making documentaries about drugs and their impact on society for close to a decade. I've released five hour-long episode of my new show "Hamilton's Pharmacopeia" on Viceland and the season finale airs this Wednesday at 10:00 PM. You can watch the season premiere for free on YouTube and a trailer for the finale here.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/cd4al6kg291y.jpg

I'm glad I could answer a few of your questions, it was a pleasure, I hope you all watch my series and enjoy the season finale this Wed as I think it's the best piece I've ever made. All the episode can be purchased on Amazon and iTunes, I love you all. Goodnight.

Comments: 924 • Responses: 25  • Date: 

NKarman178 karma

What psychoactive substances will you never try? What draws the line for you?

HamiltonMorris_169 karma

I'm not in a huge rush to try 4-chloroamphetamine or 6-hydroxydopamine or domoic acid or ciguatoxin.

CClarity23 karma

Just wondering, what are your thoughts on 5-MeO-6-APB?

Also how experienced are you with the lower base tryptamines. MET, EPT, MPT? I just recently got a chance to sample some MET and was very much impressed. Was wondering what direction you would go next first, if you were in my shoes :P

And where does psychedelic chemistry go from here? Any new skeletons on the horizon? It seems like we're running out of interesting substitutions on the tryptamines (correct me if I'm wrong). What's the next trend you predict? More of Shulgin's unproduced phens? Do you have any thoughts on desoxymescaline and why it hasn't appeared in the market considering the prevalence of other mescaline analogues? How could it not be active? I bet it was a freak response and my intuition tells me it deserves to be explored further. Is it a technical/economic/synthesis thing?

HamiltonMorris_51 karma

MPT is worthwhile when taken parenterally, it has a friendly, filthy, golden character. Sort of feline. I was never able to achieve a particularly interesting state with MET (insufflated, smoked, and taken orally with moclobemide). It always felt like the dialkytryptamine equivalent of Grimace from McDonaldland, I don't necessarily mean that in a good way. When I published an article on the qualitative effects of 5-Br-DMT it became an RC, which made me think twice about the impact of publicly commenting on substances that haven't been tried before.

It's really interesting you bring up 4-desoxymescaline, it's actually discussed briefly in the season finale of my show, which airs this Wednesday. 2,6-dimethoxytoluene is dirt cheap so I can't say why it and the three carbon derivatives have yet to appear on the market.

joos19866 karma

it has a friendly, filthy, golden character. Sort of feline

What the fuck? Wow.

Unfortunately YT video not available in my region. But I will find a way around it, and I will watch it (hope that's k with you).

HamiltonMorris_57 karma

Your italics indicate an eagerness to buy the episodes legally on iTunes and Amazon, correct?

aphir140 karma

It's possible pulverizer marijuana for later snort?

HamiltonMorris_166 karma

I'm extremely glad you asked. The answer is yes, here is some supporting information: http://www.vice.com/read/ask-hamilton-and-jason-pulverizer-marijuana-for-later-snort

quipkick138 karma

Hi Hamilton,

How did you get such a solid background in both chemistry and journalism to the point where you got to do this as your job? What I'm saying is, how did you get where you are? As someone who studies and works in chemistry research and also makes mini (albeit poor) documentaries myself, what you do is a huge inspiration.

HamiltonMorris_327 karma

The question I'm asked most frequently is some variation of "How did you get your job?" It's a question that's built on a lot of interesting misconceptions. Most people would never ask a novelist or a filmmaker or a musician they admire "How did you get your job?" Because they weren't given what they do, and what they're doing isn't a "job" in a typical sense of the word (they didn't apply for it after seeing a listing). They create things and then sell them to record labels or film distributors or publishers. (How they do THAT is a different question entirely and one that's rarely asked.) So if the question is how did I get where I am, the simple answer is that I went to the Vice office when I was twenty and pitched some stories that interested me, wrote them, got them in print and then never stopped writing stories.

Creative work isn't something you do because you took a special class or have a certain degree. It's work you do because you want to communicate something, so if there are stories you want to tell you should go tell them however you can.

controlpad00890 karma

Do people on twitter ever successfully answer your random questions about organic synthesis?

HamiltonMorris_182 karma

Yes. I really like the idea of crowdsourcing research. Obviously the signal-to-noise ratio is going to be heavily skewed toward noise but within the hordes of unthinking commenters there really are smart people who sometimes have amazing insight into very specialized research problems.

controlpad00857 karma

By the way, thank you for making orgo fun.

HamiltonMorris_117 karma

Thanks, I really like hearing that. (Seriously.)

TheNightMansComing73 karma

Do you have any intention of returning to JRE or possibly doing the Duncan Trussel Family Hour soon?

HamiltonMorris_68 karma

I'd love to do either. I emailed Joe a link to the piece about weaponized methaqualone in South Africa but never heard back.

endtelegram68 karma

how many pairs of white pants do you own?

HamiltonMorris_155 karma

Until very recently two identical pairs, but the seat of one pair ripped and now I only have one. It never ceases to amaze me how engaged people are with my pants.

KevyKev56164 karma

What was the sketchiest place you went to on your most reason season of Viceland? And why? Also, will some of the vids from your old YouTube Vice interviews be released on Viceland too?

HamiltonMorris_332 karma

During the PCP episode I really wanted to film in an active PCP lab. I became friends with a cook (who's interviewed in the piece, he's wearing a ski mask) and we started talking and trying to build a trusting relationship with one another. This cook had a bombastic group of friends who were very self-promotional and wanted to exchange lab access for producer credits on my TV show, which they believed would help them break into the industry. I gave the cook some of my scholarly writing on arylcyclohexylamines and he was impressed and started warming up to the idea of allowing us to film, even then I could tell he was deeply conflicted as he knew the shoot represented an unnecessary risk.

Eventually his friends told us to meet them in an abandoned building in Compton in the middle of the night and to bring a handle of vodka, we arrive and our fixer immediately starts to feel suspicious and agitated. He turns to me and says, "I think some shit's about to go down. I just want to make sure you know how to fight, you know how to throw a punch right?" I tell the fixer that, in fact, I do not know how to fight, and even if I did it wouldn't be a good solution in this abandoned building in the middle of the night.

Eventually the PCP cook and his friends arrive and there was no need for concern, we laugh and share stories until dawn. The moral is that the sketchiest person in this encounter was someone on my own crew who got nervous and made the situation more frightening than it had to be. If you are honest, knowledgable, and direct people will generally respect that.

Farkerisme57 karma

In a time where Big Pharma is being brought to task about drugs and their impact on society; what, in your opinion, constituted the most nefarious of drugs from a company standpoint in your research?

HamiltonMorris_194 karma

As a general rule I don't believe in blaming dealers for problems associated with drug use, assuming there is no misrepresentation of the product. This applies to all forms of drug dealer from the psychiatrist to the pharmaceutical company to the Chinese RC vendor to the stereotypical pusher in an alley. I believe we all must take responsibility for the drugs we ingest wherever they come from. For that reason I hesitate to wag my finger at Purdue over rampant overprescription and use of oxycontin.

That said, the cases of fen-phen and benfluorex are truly horrifying chapters in medical history. The manufacturers knew these drugs could cause irreversible cardiac fibrosis that would not be detectible by the user until it was too late and sold them anyway. It's unacceptable any time a pharmaceutical company suppresses information that would allow patients and physicians to make informed decisions about the drug.

glittalogik25 karma

To be fair, Purdue have already copped several well-deserved multi-million-dollar finger-waggings.

From Wikipedia:

In May 2007, the company pleaded guilty to misleading the public about Oxycontin's risk of addiction, and agreed to pay $600 million in one of the largest pharmaceutical settlements in U.S. history. Its president, top lawyer, and former chief medical officer pleaded guilty as individuals to misbranding charges, a criminal violation, and agreed to pay a total of $34.5 million in fines. Those executives are: Michael Friedman, the company’s president, who agreed to pay $19 million in fines; Howard R. Udell, its top lawyer, who agreed to pay $8 million; and Dr. Paul D. Goldenheim, its former medical director, who agreed to pay $7.5 million.

In addition three top executives were charged with a felony and sentenced to 400 hours of community service in drug treatment programs.

On October 4, 2007, Kentucky officials sued Purdue because of widespread Oxycontin abuse in Appalachia. A lawsuit filed by Kentucky then-Attorney General Greg Stumbo and Pike County officials demanded millions in compensation. Eight years later, on December 23, 2015, Kentucky settled with Purdue for $24 million.

HamiltonMorris_117 karma

This cycle of pharmaceutical opioid promotion, addiction, and finger wagging has been going on for over a century starting with Bayer's introduction of heroin as a non-addictive alternative to morphine. I think it's safe to assume it will never stop. Prohibition is not the answer, but all opiates/opioids should be regarded with extreme caution regardless of their legal schedule or supposed lack of addictive qualities.

randomboredgirl55 karma

Are you single?

HamiltonMorris_117 karma


theodoremcardle53 karma

What are some lesser-known drugs that you think deserve more research and experimentation?

HamiltonMorris_119 karma

Gaboxadol, it's a conformationally constrained derivative of muscimol that's a truly remarkable hypnotic and, I believe, should have been approved for pharmaceutical use. I wrote an article about it for Harper's that is easy to track down online.

everythingsleeps52 karma

Hi Hamilton. I am a longtime viewer and I love watching all of your stuff. I heard you had some interest in kratom and I am a long-time Kratom user. Have you tried it ? And how do you feel about the government trying to ban it?

HamiltonMorris_76 karma

Yes, I have tried it. I find the chemistry, pharmacology, and drug policy aspects interesting, but the qualitative effects were not extraordinary in my limited experience. I found it euphoric and somewhat similar to tramadol in the sense that it seemed to have less sedative character than other opioids, it's fitting that certain misrepresented kratom extracts were actually made from O-desmethyltramadol, I've even analyzed such an extract myself so it really does happen.

spassel50 karma

Where did you get that shirt that shows a lemon being pushed out of an anus?

This here: http://imgur.com/a/cCGN6

HamiltonMorris_53 karma

It was part of an installation at Deitch Projects called “Hello Meth Lab in the Sun” made by two friends Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe. It's one of a kind and a prized possession.

wesley133747 karma

What's it like being roommates with Thomas?

HamiltonMorris_108 karma

He's the best roommate I've ever had. I live alone now and Thomas lives with his girlfriend, but it was a magical time for both of us.

heavierthanair39 karma

Hi Hamilton when you're walking down havemeyer to get a coffee at Oslo what drugs do you like to be on to deal with the grand st stroller crew?

HamiltonMorris_95 karma

This is so insider it feels like I'm getting a phone call from within my own house.

NKarman35 karma

What do your parents think of your work?

HamiltonMorris_107 karma

They are both very supportive, watch my show, and apparently like it. I've actually heard of a few people's parents liking the show, it's a hit with the 'rents.

Incorrect_Rhetoric27 karma

Why does carfentanil exist?

HamiltonMorris_113 karma

Because some chemists at Janssen pharmaceuticals synthesized it in the early 1970s and it had spectacularly high potency, which medicinal chemists often like, and it was approved and manufactured for veterinary use because it's difficult to anesthetize large animals such as elephants for medical treatment and transportation. Just because a drug is potent dosen't mean it's bad.

I_Dumped_Adele20 karma

How do you keep your white clothes so clean when you go out?

HamiltonMorris_75 karma

I don't. A new Vice on HBO piece in which I travel down the Congo river searching for rare Cannabis strains will prove that.

geyseks13 karma

Yo male commenter here! Did you solve that murder yet? How's the book going? Can you do more podcasts?

HamiltonMorris_36 karma

The book is going slowly because making six hours of TV for Viceland took a really long time and pretty much occupied the entirety of my life until this week. I hope to resume work on the book soon, the murder is medium-solved.

tthroraway7 karma

what's your favorite film?

HamiltonMorris_18 karma

I can't name a single favorite but I like a lot of Italian film. I'm a big fan of Antonioni, I've seen every film he directed. I also like Dario Argento and often use Goblin as a reference for the scores in my pieces. I also like Harmony Korine and Nicolas Roeg and so many other people. I recently rewatched the documentary Manda Bala, which is a real masterpiece, definitely one of my favorites.

threeleggeddoge6 karma

Any thoughts on an episode about diethyl ether?

HamiltonMorris_23 karma

Have you ever inhaled DiEtO? It's not really that interesting, I think the smell is beautiful and I love to watch the roiling vapors but the actual intoxication is not all that different from EtOH, though it's shorter acting and perhaps more euphoric at an otherwise equivalent level of intoxication.