jre hamilton morris

Hamilton Morris

Hamilton Morris is an American journalist, documentarian, and scientific researcher known for his unique approach to the study of psychoactive drugs. Born on April 14, 1987, in New York City, he is the son of acclaimed documentary filmmaker Errol Morris. Hamilton Morris graduated from The New School in New York City, where he studied anthropology and science. Morris gained widespread recognition for his work as the creator and director of the documentary series "Hamilton's Pharmacopeia." In this series, he explores the chemistry, history, and cultural impact of various psychoactive substances. His approach combines rigorous scientific investigation with immersive, hands-on ethnography, offering a nuanced perspective on the world of psychoactives. Morris's work extends beyond television into print and online journalism, where he contributes to various publications on topics related to pharmacology and ethnobotany. His in-depth research and articulate presentation have made him a respected figure in the fields of drug education and psychedelic studies.

Books Mentioned on The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) #1136 - Hamilton Morris

Joe Rogan Experience #1136 with Hamilton Morris

The Joe Rogan Experience podcast #1136 features an engaging conversation between Joe Rogan and Hamilton Morris, a well-known journalist and scientific researcher. This episode delves into various topics, including the cultural and scientific aspects of drug use, the complexities of drug legislation, and personal anecdotes related to psychedelics and other substances.

Early Reflections and The Podcast Phenomenon

The discussion begins with a reflection on the guests’ previous appearance on the podcast seven years prior. Rogan and Morris touch upon the evolution of the podcasting platform and how it has become a significant medium for detailed and nuanced discussions, contrasting sharply with traditional media formats.

Drug Discourse: Kratom and Cannabis

A substantial portion of the conversation focuses on Kratom, a plant-based substance often used for pain relief and its controversial status in the medical and legal landscapes. Morris shares insights on the compound’s effects, misconceptions, and its potential as a less harmful alternative to more addictive opioids.

Cannabis, another major point of discussion, is explored through various lenses. Rogan and Morris discuss its medical benefits, the absurdity of its legal status as a Schedule I drug, and the societal shift towards greater acceptance and legalization.

The Opioid Epidemic and Pharmaceutical Industry

Morris criticizes the simplistic narrative often presented in the media and political discourse about the opioid epidemic. He emphasizes the need to understand the complexity of drug addiction and the role of pharmaceutical companies without resorting to scapegoating or oversimplification.

Psychedelics, Consciousness, and Mental Health

The conversation shifts to psychedelics, discussing their potential therapeutic uses, particularly in treating mental health issues like depression and PTSD. Morris emphasizes the importance of set and setting in psychedelic experiences and the cultural differences in drug perception and use.

The Stigmatization of Drug Use and Misinformation

A significant part of the discussion is dedicated to the stigmatization of drug use and the role of media in perpetuating drug myths. Morris points out how drugs are often demonized in the media, leading to misinformation and harmful stereotypes.

The War on Drugs and Its Implications

The war on drugs is critically analyzed, with Rogan and Morris debating its impact on society, law enforcement, and individual liberties. They discuss the arbitrariness of drug scheduling and the contradictions in drug policy.

The Curiosity of Toad Venom and Psychedelics

A fascinating segment of the conversation revolves around the use of toad venom in psychedelic experiences. Morris expresses his curiosity about the historical origins of this practice and discusses the scientific aspects of the venom, particularly its chemical composition, which includes 5-MeO-DMT and various serotonin derivatives. They delve into the differences between the effects of synthetic and natural sources, emphasizing the importance of sustainable and ethical practices in sourcing these substances.

Ancient Psychedelics and Historical Speculations

Rogan and Morris explore the intriguing hypothesis of ancient psychedelics use, such as the theory connecting Moses’ experience at Mount Sinai with the acacia bush, known for its DMT content. However, Morris expresses skepticism about such historical interpretations due to the lack of concrete evidence and the complexities of ancient psychoactive substance use.

Drug Induced States of Consciousness

The conversation then shifts to the broader topic of drug-induced altered states of consciousness. Morris sheds light on the scientific understanding of these states, discussing the presence of DMT in living organisms, including rats, and the ongoing research into its possible roles in the human body. They touch upon the ethical and experimental challenges in studying these substances and their effects on the human brain.

The Impact of Technology and Social Media

Rogan and Morris discuss the societal impact of technology and social media, particularly the changes in human behavior and interaction caused by the ubiquity of smartphones. They lament the loss of real, face-to-face communication, emphasizing the importance of genuine conversations and human connections.

The Role of Psychedelics in Modern Society

The podcast delves into the potential therapeutic applications of psychedelics, discussing their use in mental health treatment and the importance of set and setting in these experiences. Morris highlights the value of integrating psychedelics into everyday environments, contrasting it with the exoticism of using them in distant locales like the Amazon.

The Ambien Controversy and Drug Misunderstandings

A significant portion of the discussion focuses on the Ambien controversy involving Roseanne Barr. Morris criticizes the simplistic narratives often presented about drugs, highlighting the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of pharmaceuticals. He shares anecdotes and scientific insights to illustrate the profound effects of Ambien, including its ability to induce bizarre behaviors and even temporarily alleviate certain medical conditions.

Exploration of Lesser-Known Psychoactive Substances

The conversation takes a deep dive into various lesser-known psychoactive substances, including Amanita muscaria (the fly agaric mushroom) and its historical and cultural significance. Morris talks about the challenges in using this mushroom effectively as a psychedelic and discusses the broader context of how psychoactive substances have evolved over time, both naturally and through human influence.


The episode wraps up with a reflection on the complexity of drug use, the evolving nature of psychoactive substances, and the importance of an informed, nuanced approach to understanding these compounds. Rogan and Morris advocate for a balance between scientific inquiry, cultural understanding, and ethical consideration in the exploration of psychedelics and other drugs.