Gabbard stated in her interview with Chuck Todd on NBC's Meet the Press: As a veteran... and as a soldier, I've seen firsthand the true cost of war. I served in a medical unit during my first deployment. Every single day, I saw firsthand the very high human cost of war. I see it in my friends who now a decade after we've come home are still struggling to get out of a black hole. I think it's most important for us as we look at our choices as to who our next Commander-in-Chief will be... is to recognize the necessity to have a Commander-in-Chief who has foresight, who exercises good judgment... who looks at the consequences of the actions they take before they take those actions, so that we don't continue to find ourselves in those failures that have resulted in chaos in the Middle East and so much loss of life.
I know how important it is that our Commander-in-Chief has the sound judgment required to know when to use America's military power--and when not to use that power.
As vice chairman of the DNC I am required to stay neutral in Democratic primaries, but I cannot remain neutral any longer. The stakes are too high.
That’s why today I’m endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders to be the next president and Commander-in-Chief of the United States.
We need a Commander in Chief who has foresight and good judgment... who understands the need for a foreign policy which is robust in defending the safety and security of the American people. Who will not waste precious lives and money on interventionist wars of regime change. Such counterproductive wars undermine our national security and economic prosperity.
As elections continue across the country, the American people are faced with a clear choice. We can elect a president who will lead us into more interventionist wars of regime change... or we can elect a president who will usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.
With this clear choice in mind, today I am resigning as Vice-Chair of the DNC so that I can strongly support Bernie Sanders as the democratic nominee for President of the United States.
And now, I ask you … Stand with me …. And support Bernie Sanders. Thank you.
DNC Vice-Chair Tulsi Gabbard expresses concern about the lack of Democratic debates
Representative Tulsi Gabbard explains how criminal justice reform will have an impact on society, family, and the nation's economy during the American Justice Summit in New York City.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) calls on Saudi Arabia to stop funding Islamic extremist groups if they want to be US allies
Representative Tulsi Gabbard and then-Representative Bernie Sanders (before the Iraq invasion) share thoughts on interventionalist, counterproductive wars and regime change.
Pharma's futile effort in improving American mental health has essentially pushed non-drug means of resilience to the side and created an extreme shortage of behavioral health providers in the United States, especially in rural and low-income communities where these resources are needed the most. Lack of mental health care has inevitably contributed to self-medication with addictive FDA approved substances such as alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines.
Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont recently challenged a panel of leaders to address the root cause of America's prescription opioid problem: FDA who approves, Big Pharma who lobbies top levels of government with huge sums of money, and physicians who inappropriately prescribe opioids.
Shumlin: "Our biggest enemy... because, you know... the beautiful comments of Joanne Peterson. I have heard more stories like Joanne's, and so have we all. And you know what we do? We go, 'God, that's just so heart-wrenching. It's just so horrid.' But you know, we're up against some big financial pressures here. Just a few years ago, the combined pharmaceutical industry spent $435,000 per member of Congress lobbying for their views, let's just get this out there. $435,000. That's big money.
So I say, if governors, on a bipartisan basis, can say listen, we are above all of that, we're going to come up with protocols to make a difference."
"And I'm just asking us, do we have the courage? Do we have the heart to do it?"
In addition to changing prescribing practices, politicians must hold the FDA accountable for reckless approval of psychoactive prescription drugs that do more harm than good and push non-drug means of resilience out of American society.
Victims of U.S. Psych Pharma: Children as Young as 2 Years Old and Seniors Inappropriately Given Antipsychotics
Bad Combination: Over-reliance on mental health medications in American healthcare has made behavioral health care in the U.S. unavailable, unaffordable, and essentially nonexistent.
Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who experienced mental distress were pumped full of a cocktail of mental health medications like every other American because of a thoroughly gutted and inefficient behavioral health care system.
U.S. Mental Health: No Profit Motive for Mindfulness Meditation, Despite Public Endorsement by the U.S. Surgeon General and Successful Studies Showing that Meditation Can Change Unruly Behavior in Schools
NIH Award Winner: Mindfulness-Based Pain Relief (video)
Do American Politicians Have the Brains to Challenge the Status Quo?
Transcendental Meditation Discussed by Veteran on DAV.org: "Through nearly half a year of treatment, Jensen was prescribed five different kinds of depression medication, three types of anxiety medication and two different sleeping aids. But none of it provided the relief he was hoping for."
PBS NOVA: The process of approving Addyi, the female Viagra. As Lori Brotto, a psychologist and women’s sexual health researcher at University of British Columbia, says of women’s sexual dysfunction, it’s “a lot of science mixed with a lot of politics mixed with, some might even argue, hidden agendas, and it’s hard to sift through it all.”
The Big Picture: Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont Holds FDA, Pharma, Physicians Accountable for #RxProblem
We have serious mental health and substance-use problems in the United States. The only FDA-approved substances to treat anxiety are marginally effective antidepressants that take weeks to see any effect and addictive benzodiazepines that kill 8,000 people each year.
Benzodiazepines are often co-prescribed with opioids despite the fact that both cause respiratory depression and increase the risk of overdose when taken together.
Lack of political courage is to blame for current drug policy that obstructs valuable research with Schedule I substances like cannabis and classic hallucinogens.
Clinton supports moving cannabis to Schedule II–the same legal classification as cocaine–which does nothing to help the thousands that are in jail and have arrest records for non-violent drug offenses.
Chronic Pain Fact: Most physicians are not properly educated in the treatment of chronic pain. Are Big Pharma, FDA, and the American Medical Association to blame?
FDA Addicted: Politics and Faux Morals Trump American Health
Boston.com: Elizabeth Warren open to legalizing marijuana
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently gave unfounded comments to NY Mag linking cannabis to heroin: "I don’t oppose the use of medical marijuana. I just don’t think we should legalize more mind-altering substances if we want to make it less likely that people travel down the path toward using drugs. We have had a resurgence of drug use instead of a decline. There is a huge heroin epidemic... I have individual opinions that may not line up ideologically. They’re formed by my personal experience both as a mom and as someone who grew up really bothered by the drug culture that surrounded my childhood -- not mine personally. I grew up in suburbia."
Newsweek: In states with medical marijuana, painkiller deaths drop by 25%
CNBC: Bernie Sanders files bill to legalize marijuana
When will science finally trump ideology when it relates to American public health, healthcare, and drug policy?
The images and video clips below show how public health, drug policy, criminal justice, and healthcare policies of the United States have put Americans on a different health trajectory than citizens of other countries.
No candidates have discussed rescheduling classic hallucinogens to improve research, prevention, and treatment of mental illness and addiction in the United States.
People with mild to moderate depression and anxiety need more efficient treatments so resources are not taken away from those with more serious forms of mental illness. Overtreating the "worried well" is something that former DSM Task Force Chair Allen Frances has harped on repeatedly. Psilocybin is a potential tool to more efficiently treat this "worried well" population.
According to Johns Hopkins Magazine, psilocybin researcher Roland Griffiths "would like to add more to his roster of ongoing studies, but he and other researchers are hamstrung by a lack of funding. Despite the much-lauded findings on psilocybin, getting government approval for studies is still difficult.
Griffiths argues that there is too much value in those studies for governments and, possibly, drug manufacturers to ignore. “Scientifically, there’s a lot to get at. We’ve known that primary mystical experiences from hallucinogenic substances have been around for thousands of years. But it’s never really been studied.
Now, we can unpack those experiences using functional magnetic resonance imaging and genetics to see how some people are predisposed to such experiences and what that may mean for developing new treatments.”
Physicians are now turning to experimental use of club drug ketamine as a fast-acting treatment for depression and suicidality. Unlike classic hallucinogens, the long-term safety profile of ketamine is unknown.
The United States Needs a Progressive President Who is Willing to Look Past Ideology and Moneyed Interests to Improve American Public Health and Prevent the Next Psychoactive Prescription Drug Disaster
Failure to Fund Research of New Therapies Because of Politics; Not Science, Not Public Health: FDA-Approved Drug Therapies and Classic Hallucinogens to Treat Alcoholism: Barriers, Background, and the Latest Research. More found here.
Potent Off-Patent Medicines want to Help a Broken and Addicted U.S. Mental Health Care System
Identifying Sick U.S. Cultural Institutions that Have Created a Downward Trend in American Health: Pharma Abuse, Reckless Drug Policy and Foreign Policy, Mass Incarceration, Healthcare Lobbying
Prescription Opioid Epidemic,
Crackdown, No Harm Reduction
==> Heroin use
====> Hepatitis C epidemic
Status Quo: Politicians Lack Courage to Implement Comprehensive Harm Reduction Measures, Improve Mental Health Care, and Reform Drug Policy
Pharma Fraud and Price Gouging: Will it Impact the Election?
Medical Ethics: Is it Unethical Not to Fund Research of Current Schedule I Drugs?
Former Top Psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman Discusses Ketamine: When Practice Leapfrogs Science (video)
"Kefauver was a mid-century Southern political leader who fought tirelessly for civil rights, civil liberties, antitrust enforcement, and consumer protection legislation (at a time in our history when such causes were far from popular).
In the years before 1962, Senator Estes Kefauver had held hearings on drug costs, the sorry state of science supporting drug effectiveness, and the fantastic claims made in labeling and advertising.
Opioid Addiction Epidemic: How a Marketing and Regulatory Failure Led to a Public Health Crisis (video)
Senators Markey, Manchin: Reform FDA to Address Opioid Crisis (video)
Culture is Not Your Friend: Identifying Sick U.S. Cultural Institutions that Have Created a Downward Trend in American Health
End-of-Life: Words of Wisdom About Life and Death
The 1962 Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act required proof of efficacy as well as safety before a drug could be approved and marketed. This bill, which Kefauver dubbed his "finest achievement" in consumer protection, imposed controls on the pharmaceutical industry that required that drug companies disclose to doctors the side-effects of their products, allow their products to be sold as generic drugs after having held the patent on them for a certain period of time, and be able to prove on demand that their products were, in fact, effective and safe."