91 pounds of LSD?
March 15, 2005 8:53 AM   Subscribe

91 pounds of LSD?...at that dosage level, Pickard and Apperson possessed 2 billion hits of acid—enough to give every person in the Western Hemisphere two doses and still have 250 million hits left over.

Ryan Grim is writing about acid again at Slate.
posted by Gankmore (98 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
You mean the police is lying about the quantity and value of the seizure made during a drug bust? Stop the presses! Surely THAT's never happened before!

/sarcasm
posted by clevershark at 9:07 AM on March 15, 2005


You know how drug scheduling works, right? Any salts or close preparatives of the drug can be classified as that drug for the purposes of measuring quantity and assessing criminal charges.

They're not "lying" so much as using ever trick written down in the lawbooks to make sure you get as much jailtime and to have as many of your possessions taken as humanly possible.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:14 AM on March 15, 2005


With cocaine I believe the actual amount of cocaine present is not the legal issue. If you sell me a bag of white stuff that weighs 4 ounces and contains 10% active ingredient, its still a 4 ounce offense.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:14 AM on March 15, 2005


From what the article says it even appears that they could have included in their totals a table on which LSD had sat... which probably makes up a lot of that "91 pound" mythical figure.

The war on drugs has taught me not to trust cops.
posted by clevershark at 9:15 AM on March 15, 2005


well, this (the general stoppage of LSD use) would explain part of the conservative agenda taking hold. It's hard to challenge the status quo without a little help. Conversely, it's impossible not to while whacked out on acid.
posted by wah at 9:20 AM on March 15, 2005


If I, like, had 91 pounds of acid, I would totally dump it in the Quabbin reservoir and make Massachusetts FREAK OUT!
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:28 AM on March 15, 2005


Maybe it's just me, but "the general stoppage of LSD use" seems a bit overrated. I guess I've always had a hard time finding it.

I certainly do agree that Amurkans could use a hefty dose right about now.

Donations to support research on psilocybin and LSD as cluster headache treatments are needed.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:29 AM on March 15, 2005


If I, like, had 91 pounds of acid, I would totally dump it in the Quabbin reservoir and make Massachusetts FREAK OUT!

There's another school of thought that believes that someone beat you to it.

I certainly do agree that Amurkans could use a hefty dose right about now.

Yes, the lava lamp and black-light poster industries have been suffering for years now.
posted by jonmc at 9:31 AM on March 15, 2005


I wonder why the doseage has gone down over the years. I'm sure it used to be about 200-300 micro.g. per hit way back when (or so I recall being told).
posted by peacay at 9:33 AM on March 15, 2005


When I think of 91 lbs of LSD, why can I only imagine Homer's giant sugarball?

The two must go hand in hand.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:35 AM on March 15, 2005


My friend remembers a strong dose.
posted by peacay at 9:37 AM on March 15, 2005


well, this (the general stoppage of LSD use) would explain part of the conservative agenda taking hold.

Easy there, hubris boy. I agree that the "war on drugs," is an ineffectual farce, but don't start with the "they're afraid of the drugs because of how enlightened it makes us, man. It's all about freedom! We're all gonna be naaaked, man!..." bullshit that always destroys any sane discussion of lifting drug prohibitions.
posted by jonmc at 9:37 AM on March 15, 2005


Makes my eyes open wide and get all sparkley just thinking about it...
posted by Balisong at 9:38 AM on March 15, 2005


From the second article:

"The cultural hunger for a substance that lets you hold affordable conversations with God, watch walls melt, breathe colors, and explore your psyche remains unsated."

Thank god...when that is gone we are in fact completely numb...

Not that i think Zoloft or Paxil have anything to do with it.

/sarcasm
posted by schyler523 at 9:39 AM on March 15, 2005


I think it was William Burroughs who said that "LSD makes people incompetent." Of course, he wasn't exactly the steadiest pole in the tent himself, so who knows.
posted by jonmc at 9:41 AM on March 15, 2005


Where is Owsley now that we need him?
posted by fixedgear at 9:44 AM on March 15, 2005


Where is Owsley now that we need him?

He's here.
posted by Gankmore at 9:50 AM on March 15, 2005


Mr. Natural, Purple Microdot, Blue Saucer, Green Clovers..... Mmmmm... 91 pounds? Fucking amateurs.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:55 AM on March 15, 2005


As Mayor of Drugachusetts, I declare this post to be... awesome!
posted by Tullius at 9:57 AM on March 15, 2005


Owsley used to sell belt buckles & stuff on Grateful Dead tour but now you can get them here!
posted by birdsong at 9:58 AM on March 15, 2005


LSD is a great antidepressant. As long as nobody kills herself while you're there.
posted by davy at 9:59 AM on March 15, 2005


I think it was William Burroughs who said that "LSD makes people incompetent." Of course, he wasn't exactly the steadiest pole in the tent himself, so who knows.

So says the heroin junky.... ('god' rest his wonderfully twisted soul)
posted by melt away at 10:25 AM on March 15, 2005


It's nice to see that some people tried to Free William Pickard. Does anyone know if there is a current effort?
posted by alms at 10:28 AM on March 15, 2005


they're afraid of the drugs because of how enlightened it makes us, man. It's all about freedom!

I certainly believe it's a 1st Amendment issue: not only is the use of psychedelics "an establishment of religion," it's also a matter of free speech. If I am able to express myself in an unique way only when on LSD, who is the goverment to say I can't "speak" in such a way? (I'll admit that few legal scholars agree with me ... though I know one who does!)

I think it was William Burroughs who said that "LSD makes people incompetent."

"I don't like any of the stronger psychedelics. I would never take LSD... I hate it."

"You've tried it?" (Obviously.)

"I've tried it. I just hate it. I don't like the feeling.... It makes me nervous. My coordination isn't good and there's a metallic taste in my mouth and there's nothing I like about it. I've taken mescaline, psilocybin. The only one I've been able to use with consistency is cannabis."

"Has anything useful come to you with mescaline or psilocybin?"

"Yes, but mostly of an unpleasant nature. There is one interesting one though, yage', but I've never been able to get any since I left South America. There's Banisteriopsis in it; that's the main ingredient but not the only one. The medicine men use it to potentiate their powers, to locate lost objects and that kind of thing. But I'm not impressed much by their performance. Everybody has telepathic experiences all the time. These things are not rare. It's just an integral part of life. The faculty is probably increased to some extent by any consciousness expanding drug."


He also said: "Billie Holiday said that she knew she was cured when she stopped looking at T.V." Heh.

Interview here.

LSD is a great antidepressant. As long as nobody kills herself while you're there.

At least you could find a link to back you up.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:32 AM on March 15, 2005


the charges of acid's decline are not exaggerated.

no one is saying that people need acid to question the status quo, but people are not being taught how to think critically by their parents, schools, or churches -- so someone, or something, has got to do it... and has, in fact, done it for decades. this war on drugs is doing humanity, and this country, a supreme disservice on so many different levels.
posted by Embryo at 10:36 AM on March 15, 2005


If I am able to express myself in an unique way only when on LSD, who is the goverment to say I can't "speak" in such a way?

Well, if taking substances=free spech then hey, it would technically be OK if downed a quart of whiskey, put on a party dress and took a dump on someone's porch, right?

It's not the scourge of humanity and it's not the key that unlocks the fucking cosmos either. It's a substance on a tab of blotter paper that lets you see a pretty light show and think stupid shit is profound for a few hours.
posted by jonmc at 10:37 AM on March 15, 2005


*licks jonmc*
posted by matteo at 10:38 AM on March 15, 2005


You may want to take a shot of insulin, and possibly antabuse, after that.
posted by jonmc at 10:40 AM on March 15, 2005


It's a substance on a tab of blotter paper that lets you see a pretty light show and think stupid shit is profound for a few hours.
If that's what you think, you haven't taken enough. Seriously. Or maybe try 5+g of shrooms.
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:44 AM on March 15, 2005


Well, if taking substances=free spech then hey, it would technically be OK if downed a quart of whiskey, put on a party dress and took a dump on someone's porch, right?

I don't see that there's a felony there.

Besides, if they start outlawing whatever makes one "think stupid shit is profound for a few hours", we'll all be arrested for being MeFites. It's not exactly like anyone's going to reach enlightenment by reading any thread here.
posted by clevershark at 10:46 AM on March 15, 2005


If that's what you think, you haven't taken enough.

To repeat my self, that's the kind of presumptuous thinking that destroys sredibility in these kinds of discussions. I've dropped acid a time or two (detailed here). It was OK, but it in no way lived up to the the hype. The drug war needs to be eased up on because it's needlessly imprisons people, drains law enforcement resources from real problems, and strengthens organized crime, NOT because it's impeding some nitwits quest for enlightenment by looking at a lava lamp.

Or maybe try 5+g of shrooms.

I won't even eat mushrooms on a pizza, I'm sure as hell not chowing down on ones that'll have me tripping. I'll stick with my beer and Camel Lights, thanks.
posted by jonmc at 10:57 AM on March 15, 2005


Well, if taking substances=free spech then hey, it would technically be OK if downed a quart of whiskey

Yes.

put on a party dress and took a dump on someone's porch, right?

No. Where the hell did that come from?

It's not the scourge of humanity and it's not the key that unlocks the fucking cosmos either.

If you don't think so, don't do it. Chill out with the smug dismissals.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:58 AM on March 15, 2005


I won't even eat mushrooms on a pizza, I'm sure as hell not chowing down on ones that'll have me tripping.

Well, you ought to try it one of those days. They're really fun. Besides, if even the Japanese -- whose drug laws make the US war on drugs look almost libertarian -- don't think there's anything wrong with magic mushrooms, they can't be that bad for you.
posted by clevershark at 11:05 AM on March 15, 2005


Well, you ought to try it one of those days.

Actually, I think what we need here is less hubris and more sense.
posted by jonmc at 11:06 AM on March 15, 2005


Seriously jonmc, if you're going to continue going with the "I've never taken drugs and I never will" vibe, by your own admission you have nothing to contribute here.

You deny holding the view that "drugs are the scourge of humanity", but your denials are starting to sound real hollow.
posted by clevershark at 11:07 AM on March 15, 2005


Actually, I think what we need here is less hubris and more sense.

Heed your own advice, my friend. You're the one spouting the "my experience was not x, therefore no one else's experience could possibly be x" argument.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:08 AM on March 15, 2005


To repeat my self, that's the kind of presumptuous thinking that destroys sredibility in these kinds of discussions.

Who's being presumptuous? I said I bet you hadn't taken much LSD before, and it looks like I was right.
I'm telling you that there are far more intense experiences that can result from drug usage (and, from what I hear, meditation.) The world-shattering intensity of having your ego annihilated (for instance) cannot even be approached by words. The hypnogogia and tactile synaesthesia are fun and cool, but don't presume you've seen it all based on that. You haven't.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:09 AM on March 15, 2005


jonmc: put on a party dress and took a dump on someone's porch, right?

ludwig van: No. Where the hell did that come from?

He's talking about last night.
posted by RockCorpse at 11:11 AM on March 15, 2005


sonofsiam, jonmc already said that he has taken LSD and didn't have a very profound experience. That still doesn't justify his conclusion that no one could possibly have a profound experience on LSD, however.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:11 AM on March 15, 2005


Oddly enough, I was offered acid a few weeks ago for the first time in years. So, anecdotally speaking, LSD is back - at least in my circle of friends.

IMHO the stuff can be just what you need sometimes, and of course at other times it's the very last thing you need. I used to feel a certain "build-up" in my brain & think "I need to clean out the closet" (the closet being my brain). After a good trip, the closet was clean, the cobwebs gone, and the ol' brain was ready for more clutter.

I haven't done it in many years now, but I imagine I've at least a few more good trips in me before I die. Maybe after my kids have grown up and flown the coop.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:14 AM on March 15, 2005


ludwig_van: That's exactly what I said.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:16 AM on March 15, 2005


Seriously jonmc, if you're going to continue going with the "I've never taken drugs and I never will" vibe, by your own admission you have nothing to contribute here.

Clevershark, you obviously aren't reading very closely. I've admitted to indulging in plenty of drugs in my time: pot, acid, tranqs, coke, I've done 'em. You're not talking to some narcophobe here. My point of veiw of these substances is based on my experiences. YMMV.

The world-shattering intensity of having your ego annihilated



I quite enjoy my ego, thanks. My experiences with psychedelics were OK, but not my cup of tea. Give me drunkenness any day. Matter of taste, ultimately, although nobody ever tried to claim booze as a mind expansion tool, and rightly so.

Look, if you like your acid, then fine, go nuts with it, although frankly I find the claims of instant enlightenment to be hollow self-justification (to be fair, I find the "I thought I could fly and jumped out the window," to be so much BS as well) and I've been hearing the whole shpiel about acid since I was a teenager, and I'm just a wee bit sick of it.

jonmc: put on a party dress and took a dump on someone's porch, right?

ludwig van: No. Where the hell did that come from?


grimm was talking about how acid allowed to uniquely express himself. I countered with an example of the type of stupid shit drunk people do as an example of unique expression. It was half a joke.
posted by jonmc at 11:16 AM on March 15, 2005


jonmc, you seem to have a fascination with lava lamps and hallucinagenic (sp) experience. My advice to you would be...go outside for your next trip. Nature is amazing, even more so when you can taste the green of the grass, smell the wind blow, and feel the flower's color.

man.

;-)
posted by wah at 11:21 AM on March 15, 2005


I haven't RT entire FA -- since I'm on the go -- but I'll fire off a quick comment anyways: I don't think the numbers are so far-fetched. Once you have all the equipment and prerequisite ingridients, it's (as far as I understand) pretty easy to make a lot of LSD. Also, it's a very vulnerable compound IIRC and you can count on a lot of it being destroyed if it is exposed to much sunlight or harsh temperatures. I also imagine that a lot of it evaporates off the blotter sheets. Finally, 20 micrograms is a very small hit, I think doses of 60-120 are what the 60s had in mind.
posted by ori at 11:24 AM on March 15, 2005


from said link:

In 1997, 34.7 percent of seniors perceived great risk in using LSD once or twice, and 76.6 percent said they saw great risk in using LSD regularly. More than 80 percent of seniors disapproved of people trying LSD once or twice, and almost 93 percent disapproved of people taking LSD regularly.

LSD bad. Beer good!

on preview:

Well, if taking substances=free spech then hey, it would technically be OK if downed a quart of whiskey, put on a party dress and took a dump on someone's porch, right?

It's certainly OK up to the point where you take a dump on somebody's porch. WTF? I think I'm missing your analogy. Or it's a bad one.

It's a substance on a tab of blotter paper that lets you see a pretty light show and think stupid shit is profound for a few hours.

I don't think you took enough of it. If you can read all the the history and literature surrounding the drug, and still say it's just a pretty light show, well, that's certainly your right. (Yes, I know we've had this conversation before (though I can't seem to find it). No need to rehash ... I disagree but I respect your opinion ... Blah blah blah.)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:29 AM on March 15, 2005


ludwig_van: That's exactly what I said.

Sorry, I missed the "much" in "haven't taken much LSD before."
posted by ludwig_van at 11:32 AM on March 15, 2005


Besides, if even the Japanese -- whose drug laws make the US war on drugs look almost libertarian -- don't think there's anything wrong with magic mushrooms, they can't be that bad for you.

They were banned in Japan in June 2002.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:33 AM on March 15, 2005


ori, read the whole article for lots of contradictory claims.

mostly, this is a good post for illustrating how the War on DrugsTM has effectively created a new reality where 91 pounds actually equals 7 ounces.

Once you have all the equipment and prerequisite ingridients, it's (as far as I understand) pretty easy to make a lot of LSD.

got a link? ;P
posted by mrgrimm at 11:35 AM on March 15, 2005


most of the kids i grew up with (the ones who were in the recently released nationwide surveys) thought acid was scary. weed, mescaline, shrooms, and good ol' Robitussin seemed a lot safer than LSD. Plus there's all them nifty new designer drugs to try out and coke coming back in a big way. Acid just seemed to sketchy. Probably not based on any science, just popular young drug-culture opinion.

personally, acid was way too stressful for me...i actually prefer robitussin over it...
posted by es_de_bah at 11:36 AM on March 15, 2005


this is why you wanna get busted with liquid or blotter, and NEVER sugar cubes. Its the difference between peon and kingpin right there and it happens regularly from all accounts.
posted by 31d1 at 11:37 AM on March 15, 2005


Yes, I know we've had this conversation before

Here.

I'm way too old to be traversing the cosmos at this point, plus I have a day job.

LSD bad. Beer good!

In living up to the hype terms, beer does come out ahead. It delivers what it promises dependably (unless you believe the "beer will get you laid by hot women if it's the right brand" crap).
posted by jonmc at 11:38 AM on March 15, 2005


If that's what you think, you haven't taken enough.

If that's what you think then you've taken far too much. Ha ha.

And yes, I've had the odd expedition to Mt. Lysergic myself, before you ask. Some of them very odd indeed. Often highly entertaining, sometimes actually awe-inspiring, occasionally scary and disturbing. Yet I still tend towards jonmc's gleefully provocative dismissal. I just don't tend to think we make good calls about meaning, perception and reality when we're whanged off our tits, you know?
posted by Decani at 11:42 AM on March 15, 2005


Well, acid gave me a very profound experience that did not seem at all dimished in memory the morning after. I'm happy to accept that it doesn't do it for everyone, but for a great many people it really can do something important in a way that no other drug I know of can match. I haven't used it in years and have no particular desire to, but the LSD was a big help in my spiritual relationship with the world. It's hard to imagine where the world would be if it hadn't been made illegal, but I think it would make a big difference.

Matter of taste, ultimately, although nobody ever tried to claim booze as a mind expansion tool,

I'm sure many people have, actually. I seem to recall that Omar Khayyam took it pretty seriously. Too bad it has such nasty side effects.
posted by sfenders at 11:43 AM on March 15, 2005


Hey jonmc, committing crimes isn't free speech. I think the point that was made was about actual speech itself and artistic expression under the influence of certain substances. There are scientific studies (linked on the blue!) that demonstrate the sorts of drawing done during different states of LSD influence vary greatly. There's an interesting conversation in whether discouraging use of these substances actually is suppressing certain states of mind and certain art. But we could just as easily dismiss it with a half-joke about drunken idiocy that results in illegal actions!

I enjoy your generalizations from the perspective of the normal guy who's pretty cool with stuff, but it's a shtick that wears really thin when people are trying to have conversations about things slightly out of your norm.
posted by mikeh at 11:48 AM on March 15, 2005


This isn't to say I buy into the "you're cutting off my inner voice by denying me my pharmaceuticals" angle, but I think that some people would be able to argue it much better than I and that interesting things would be said.

But, think of the day glo posters, etc. etc., insert some cliches, beer and cigarettes.
posted by mikeh at 11:53 AM on March 15, 2005


but it's a shtick that wears really thin when people are trying to have conversations about things slightly out of your norm.

Actually, the shtick has a point in this particular instance. The "drug war" blinkeredness that allows for legal oddities like the one detailed here is far more disturbing than anyones claims of enlightenment (although it's an interesting side issue).

I'm just of the opinion that if the pro-legalization factions (and I count myself among them with resrevations) couch their arguments in terms of cosmic exploration rather than cold hard facts about what the drug war is costing society in pragmatic terms, then our entreaties will fall on deaf ears.

The rest is just me wanting to deflate a little mythology and an ongoing playful war of words me and grimm have had on and off.
posted by jonmc at 11:55 AM on March 15, 2005


Light shows? I never got light shows.

Set, setting, and dosage, Johnmc (and those razing his views). Johnmc probably isn't the sort to get a profound and beneficial experience (else he wouldn't prefer booze). That's his set. My set is such I don't get light shows (no visual hallucination at all). Instead I talk to the trees and the bedrock of Manhattan Island, and a mood that keeps me walking a foot off the ground for a couple days, or even more trippy stuff.
posted by Goofyy at 12:00 PM on March 15, 2005


The drug war needs to be eased up on because it's needlessly imprisons people, drains law enforcement resources from real problems, and strengthens organized crime, NOT because it's impeding some nitwits quest for enlightenment by looking at a lava lamp.

Jon actually has a point here, but no one is listening apparently.

And how many times does he have to mention in the same fucking thread that he has taken several drugs, including acid, already? A little reading would be nice, but I guess concentration skills go out the window with the drug use (ooh Snap!).
posted by Ynoxas at 12:06 PM on March 15, 2005


Johnmc probably isn't the sort to get a profound and beneficial experience (else he wouldn't prefer booze).

Actually, I was, once upon a time. As a student of 60's rock and pop culture, I heard all about acid from most of my cultural heros, and from their descriptions I was expecting to see God dancing the hokey-pokey on a flying donut. It didn't deliver the advertised profound experience. Booze delivers a buzz that relaxes me, and when the mood strikes me, obliterates me completely. Plus I don't have to worry about scoring and ripoffs.

But like I said that's not my point. Ynoxas seemed to catch what I was getting at nicely.
posted by jonmc at 12:15 PM on March 15, 2005


Jon, I do get your point regarding the drug war and it's a good one. But please don't belittle other people's experiences because you didn't have a similar one. People who've had deeply moving and profound experiences while on drugs are not lacking in intellectual rigor or irrational beings, they've just experienced something you have not. You seem not to want to either, and fine, whatever works for you. But enough with the name calling, please.
posted by cali at 12:26 PM on March 15, 2005


And while I'm here,
"I laid in a field of green grass for four hours going, 'My God, I love everything.' The heavens parted, God looked down and rained gifts of forgiveness unto my being, healing me on every level - psychically, physically, emotionally - and I realized our true nature is spirit not body, that we are eternal beings and God's love is unconditional and there's nothing we can ever do to change that. It is only our illusion that we are separate from God or that we are alone. In fact, the reality is that we are one with God and he loves us.

Now if that isn't a hazard to this country... you see my point. How are we going to keep building nuclear weapons, you know what I mean? What's going to happen to the arms industry when we realize we're all one? It's gonna fuck up the economy! The economy that's fake anyway! Which would be a real bummer, you know. I can see why the government's cracking down on the idea of experiencing unconditional love."
/mandatory Bill Hicks quotation
posted by cali at 12:29 PM on March 15, 2005


I'm just of the opinion that if the pro-legalization factions (and I count myself among them with resrevations) couch their arguments in terms of cosmic exploration rather than cold hard facts about what the drug war is costing society in pragmatic terms, then our entreaties will fall on deaf ears.

What does this have to do with a MeFi thread? No one is trying to get things changed by the words they're posting to the blue, so I don't see how this argument applies.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:30 PM on March 15, 2005


What does this have to do with a MeFi thread? No one is trying to get things changed by the words they're posting to the blue, so I don't see how this argument applies.

Well, we are conversing with eachother here, and often people converse with the intent of maybe changing someone's mind about an issue*, so I think it applies to a degree.

*I seem to recall matt once saying that one of his goals for MeFi was that it would be a place where someone's mind could be changed or at least where they could understand the other persons point of view.
posted by jonmc at 12:34 PM on March 15, 2005


In terms of drugs that are highly addictive, easy to overdose on, and destructive to health, families and society in general, LSD can't even hold a candle to Heroin or cocaine.

And in terms of domestically-produced drugs that destroy neighborhoods by their intense flammability and environmental toxicity, as well as relative likelihood to cause a paranoid homicidal rampage, well, meth's got LSD beat by a ridiculous margin.

Adding the fact that marijuana is virtually benign (if not actually beneficial) by any of these terms, these drugs should not even be on the same page in regard to scheduling and sentencing.

We'd be better served if the DEA would spend a little more time on the really ugly drugs, if they must, rather than just always trying to make a point or send a message or whatever the hell it is they think they're doing these days.
posted by obloquy at 12:52 PM on March 15, 2005


jonmc: I think we've had this same discussion middle of last year. As then, so now, I'll say that LSD is not like a static interruption in your current consciousness. LSD's effects depend on dose, set & setting. Since you'll never know what other people experience on LSD (& vice-versa), there's no way to prove whether LSD is mind-expanding or not. All you have are testimonials. Of which, the ones affirmatively supporting the enthoegenic claims are far many, and with many of them made by people other than hippies just looking out for a cheap thrill. LSD is not a telegram with the Answer to Everything, but a tool that needs to used skilfully.

Besides the entheogenic aspects, there's also potential with creativity
posted by Gyan at 12:54 PM on March 15, 2005


More than 80 percent of seniors disapproved of people trying LSD once or twice,

hmm... I'm beginning to think that maybe the opinions expressed on Metafilter do not necessarily reflect those of the majority of Americans.
posted by sfenders at 12:54 PM on March 15, 2005


obloquy : " Adding the fact that marijuana is virtually benign (if not actually beneficial) by any of these terms, these drugs should not even be on the same page in regard to scheduling and sentencing."

Some NIDA consultants came to the same conclusion.
posted by Gyan at 1:00 PM on March 15, 2005


LSD's effects depend on dose, set & setting. Since you'll never know what other people experience on LSD (& vice-versa), there's no way to prove whether LSD is mind-expanding or not.

I don't neccessarily disagree. But the tone of some of the responses here ("you're just not taking enough" etc. and the suprising level of anger at someone questioning the recieved wisdom [it's not the government's recieved wisdom, true, but it's a counterpoint recieved wisdom] about acid) make it seem like the only way you could not view it as a mind-expansion is if you're doing it wrong. Which is bullshit.

Sorry for offering a counterpoint. Didn't know you were so protective of your worldview.
posted by jonmc at 1:05 PM on March 15, 2005


Best quote of the article has nothing to do with drugs:

They apprehended Apperson, who was driving the truck, but Pickard, piloting the Buick, took off on foot and outran several agents half his age.

"We didn't know beforehand that Pickard was a marathon runner," Agent Nichols says.


Heh.
posted by jeremias at 1:18 PM on March 15, 2005


Sorry for offering a counterpoint. Didn't know you were so protective of your worldview.

Please, jonmc. God, you're prickly as all hell. Nobody's angry. All I said was that, based on your descriptions of your experiences, and based on my own experiences, I'd bet you didn't take enough to get to "the good stuff" that you've heard described.

Frankly, I don't see what the problem is.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:24 PM on March 15, 2005


Frankly, I don't see what the problem is.

Meaning, since I didn't come to the same conclusion as you, I must be doing it wrong. There's a word for that kind of thinking.

God, you're prickly as all hell.

Like a fuckin' cactus, man.
posted by jonmc at 1:29 PM on March 15, 2005


jonmc: I don't neccessarily disagree.

You can't disagree, since you can't prove otherwise.

But the tone of some of the responses here make it seem like the only way you could not view it as a mind-expansion is if you're doing it wrong. Which is bullshit.

No, it's not. That's what set/setting means!
posted by Gyan at 1:32 PM on March 15, 2005


jonmc: so if I drank one beer, and didn't feel anything, and said it was waaayyy overrated, what would you recommend?
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:37 PM on March 15, 2005


Psychoactive drugs themselves are not mind-expanding. They all provide experiences that can be used to expand your mind, but those experiences can also be ignored and trivialized, or abused to confirm your prejudices, or turned into a destructive habit, or blocked up behind a wall of fear, or whatever. But psychoactive drugs do provide experiences that can be used, more easily than most other kinds of experiences, to expand your mind. Including, without a doubt, both alcohol and LSD. In my opinion there's only so much mind-expanding potential in each. Almost everyone in my peer group has consumed so much alcohol, and taken that experience to its limits so many times, that the potential has all been used up. Once you reach that point it is no longer really beneficial for mind-expansion purposes unless your mind changes to the point where it can be useful again.

Anyway, if it's not mind-expanding then you're ... not doing it wrong maybe, but not doing it in the mind-expanding kind of way.
posted by sfenders at 1:40 PM on March 15, 2005


jonmc: so if I drank one beer, and didn't feel anything, and said it was waaayyy overrated, what would you recommend?

Could mean any number of things. Alcohol dosen't do much for some people, or they might not cotton to the sensation. There's other factors. I took a full hit of street blotter acid for my trip, along with some pot and some rum. The people I was with were tripping their balls off if what they said was any indication. People can do the same things and have very different results.
posted by jonmc at 1:43 PM on March 15, 2005


But the experience of drunkenness is a very real one for you, isn't it? Even if my own experiences don't yet match up?

Do you think if I drank some more beers, I might then begin to feel the experience of drunkenness? (Genetic factors, etc. aside.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:46 PM on March 15, 2005


Do you think if I drank some more beers, I might then begin to feel the experience of drunkenness?

I don't doubt that I was experiencing an acid trip, sonofsamiam. I'm just saying that the experience did not live up to the hype. And I did try it again and the results were more or less the same.

I'm sure that knocking back a sixpack would have a physical effect on you. What that effect does for you is a whole other story and a highly subjective one.
posted by jonmc at 1:50 PM on March 15, 2005


jonmc: I'm just saying that the experience did not live up to the hype. And I did try it again and the results were more or less the same.

I didn't have a 'cosmic experience' on acid, till my 6th trip, which wasn't my highest dose to date. Alcohol and pot(unless taken on comedown) both dampen the acid effect.

Here's a double-blind experiment conducted with psychedelics when they were still legal.
posted by Gyan at 1:58 PM on March 15, 2005


Corrected link.
posted by Gyan at 1:59 PM on March 15, 2005


The "drug war" blinkeredness that allows for legal oddities like the one detailed here is far more disturbing than anyones claims of enlightenment (although it's an interesting side issue).

well said.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:32 PM on March 15, 2005


but on the other hand, enlightenment shouldn't be disturbing.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:34 PM on March 15, 2005


I would actually side with jonmc, and say that booze can be a tool of enlightenment for some people, even though that's not even what he's saying.

However, considering the exposure to alcohol vs. the exposure to psychedelics, I think that today's youth could use a bit of a tilt in the other direction.

I also agree with the rest about dosage, setting, etc. You gotta get past ideas of right and wrong, maaan.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:38 PM on March 15, 2005


More than 80 percent of seniors disapproved of people trying LSD once or twice.

Are these the same seniors that thought that journalists shouldn't be able to publish without permission from the government?

If they are...they need to be dosed, without their permission.
posted by schyler523 at 3:38 PM on March 15, 2005


If I, like, had 91 pounds of acid, I would totally dump it in the Quabbin reservoir and make Massachusetts FREAK OUT!

LSD isn't water soluable, sadly.

Psyclobin, on the other hand...
posted by delmoi at 5:13 PM on March 15, 2005


I've taken mushrooms, and I definetly enjoy them. Some of my friends have had bad experiances though.

Basicaly it comes down to control. You basicaly have no control over your mind while tripping hard. You're "internal monolog" can stop for quite some time. For a lot of people, that's really frightening because it's like if you're not "thinking" are you dead?

It's not the twisting of external things, it's all internal. You can't close your eyes and stop it.

But if you're comfortable, a trip is acompanied by physical plesure that can be very intense. I've heard people say that the "high" you get from shrooms is actualy more intense then cocane, but I've never tried that.

Another positive benifit of mushrooms is that they sort of "clear your head". A good experiance on shrooms can leave you feeling nice and happy for weeks.
posted by delmoi at 5:22 PM on March 15, 2005


hmm, forgot to spellcheck that, sorry.
posted by delmoi at 5:22 PM on March 15, 2005


"...make it seem like the only way you could not view it as a mind-expansion is if you're doing it wrong. Which is bullshit."

Good point. I pretty much figured that "mind-expansion" stuff was bullshit as a teenager when some people I knew "expanded" themselves into some serious problems including death. Sure, every now and then I'd get some "insights" on acid, including some that must have been pretty "profound", but then I could also have similar thoughts without drugs while shovelling snow or scooping the litter box -- and I could also eat a bunch of acid and sit there giggling while the paint on the wall put on a show for me. This mind-expansion-on-drugs stuff is an advertising gimmick that became a pseudoreligious dogma; I do drugs because it's FUN, or at least more fun than not at any particular time, but if I wanted to "expand my mind" I'd actively learn or do something.

And some people just don't get an effect from certain drugs, or don't like the effects they do get, and they're entitled to whatever reaction they have. "Okay dude, that's more for me then. Cheers!"

Then again, I've never needed drugs to get that "he must be on some heavy drugs" reaction; to put it another way, a lot of people spend a whole lot of money and go to a whole lot of trouble to get like I get naturally. Y'all must be doing something wrong.

(By the way, this is davy on half a gallon of jasmine tea.)
posted by davy at 5:59 PM on March 15, 2005


In short: people who need heavy chemicals to expand their minds ain't got much to work with to begin with. Save your money and watch less TV.
posted by davy at 6:12 PM on March 15, 2005


It's not the twisting of external things, it's all internal. You can't close your eyes and stop it.
...
In short: people who need heavy chemicals to expand their minds ain't got much to work with to begin with. Save your money and watch less TV.

Funny you should mention that davy; I've found that watching television can "turn off" most of the effects of a trip. The catch is that if you're in a bad way, you'll likely not remember that you can get out of it by watching tv.
posted by juv3nal at 6:40 PM on March 15, 2005


Sure, every now and then I'd get some "insights" on acid, including some that must have been pretty "profound", but then I could also have similar thoughts without drugs while shovelling snow or scooping the litter box -- and I could also eat a bunch of acid and sit there giggling while the paint on the wall put on a show for me.

Your sneering quotation marks are ever so cute. In my experience with psychedelics, which does not include LSD, it's not about the things you think, it's about the way you relate to those thoughts and the way you experience your environment. Most of us have an emotional wall between ourselves and the rest of the world. This wall is necessary for survival - we wouldn't get much done if we were brought to tears by every sunset, every tree, every flower. I could sit here and look at a painting and think it's pretty, but chances are it's not going to make me feel much. Looking at the same painting on mushrooms, however, it affects me in a much stronger way. I may be moved to tears, I may be filled with joy, but it's not an experience that I could (or would want to) have under normal conditions. I can sit here right now and say that death is a part of life and that one day I will die and it will be perfectly peaceful, and it's a purely intellectual statement. But when I was on mushrooms was the first time that fact really hit me in an immediate way, and it was very sad and very beautiful and difficult to describe.

Then again, I've never needed drugs to get that "he must be on some heavy drugs" reaction; to put it another way, a lot of people spend a whole lot of money and go to a whole lot of trouble to get like I get naturally. Y'all must be doing something wrong.

If I rolled my eyes any further I'd be looking at the back of my head.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:15 PM on March 15, 2005


anecdotally, the supply of LSD in the states has dwindled in the past decade or so primarily due to 2 factors. One, the breakup of the Grateful dead, whose followers were the primary distribution channel of LSD. And secondly, a cult whose sole purpose in life was to produce massive quantities of LSD and sell it at cost to deadheads was finally caught, after having eluded the DEA for decades. These peopled a religion revolving around LSD, the production and distribution of it to the masses. They had an old ICBM silo that they had converted into a giant laboratory. I've heard tell that they were responsible for something like 40-50% of the total LSD produced in the world during the 70's and 80's.
posted by Freen at 8:32 PM on March 15, 2005


I know this thread is pretty much dead... and how fitting that the last post "anecdotally" is more on-topic with the original content of the FPP... I too have taken this "acid" we all speak of... but it was a few years ago, it was cheap, and it was easy to get... but now, it seems downright impossible to get good acid any more... even in my highly scientific, very formal poll of "jam band" friends i have... they claim that acid is practically non-existant on any scene... appparently having something to do with the fact that these big manufacturers were arrested, and no one else has the fortitude to make new batches at the risk of being spun-out for the rest of their lives off of the fumes... i would have thought that deciphering this urban legend of the acid dry-up would be more compelling fodder for this discussion than explaining our own POV's on drug culture...
posted by cusack at 9:39 PM on March 15, 2005


Anybody here ever read the book Acid Dreams? I wonder how Apperson and Pickard fit in with the whole story.
posted by afroblanca at 9:52 PM on March 15, 2005


Acid just seemed to sketchy. Probably not based on any science, just popular young drug-culture opinion.

I think the problem is that the synthesis of LSD involves some serious chemistry and some not-user-friendly chemicals. A lot of people associate acid with meth in terms of "nasty chemicals," forgetting that the d-lysergic acid is still being extracted from natural sources.

The other thing contributing to the sketch factor is the potency. An acid dose is measured in micrograms, in stark contrast to drugs like cocaine and heroin that are measured in milligrams. Some quick Googling:
Compared to other hallucinogenic substances, LSD is 100 times more potent than psilocybin and psilocin and 4,000 times more potent than mescaline.
And jon_mc, while body chemistries differ from person to person, I suspect the easy quip ("You just need to take more") might actually have some merit to it if your first experience fizzled out
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:11 AM on March 16, 2005


Civil_Disobedient: To summarize the portion of the thread that's tangentially debating the pros and cons of LSD:

It's not just set and setting that matters, but also mindset, and mindset being the most important of all.

LSD and psychedelics are probably not much fun - or even outright dull, or even terrifying - if you're a prickly bastard, or if you have an aversion to play and frivolity, to absurdity, nonsense and silliness, or if you're emotionally defensive and walled, or if you're otherwise rigid or just generally react adversely to shiny things, rainbows, bright colors, and endless washing, roiling tessellations of "what if?" and "just because."

In the right mindset in the right person, I could easily see a heroic dose of LSD producing no more than an irritating buzz or less in said person. In others, threshold doses can produce unignorable, unutterably complex attractions of the mind.

If you don't like psychedelics, please don't do them. Leave them for people who do like them.

And it's a global, cultural travesty that entactogens and ethnogens are contraband as much as they are and misunderstood as much as they are and abused as much as they are. If there's any tangible, living proof of true religion or spirituality on this planet - or at least an explanation of the origins of religion - psychedelics both traditional and modern are quite probably it.

People seem to forget that the use of psychoactive substances - psychedelic and otherwise - probably pre-dates complex spoken language and civilization as we know it. It's not some newfangled thing, it's archaic and arcane and completely woven throughout all known history of humanity, from primal tribal cultures to empires. Coca leaves in the Andes. Coffee, cocoa and tobacco coming to Europe. Nutmeg, clove, and dozens of other psychoactive spices being traded around the known world. Fermentation for alcohol and bread giving rise to agriculture. Mushroom cults in Europe and the Americas. Peyote. Ayahuasca. The list is enormous.

If culture is defined by what it eats, and what it finds taboo to eat, and if traditionally psychedelics, hallucinogens and psychoactives have been used for community bonding, healing, celebration, ritual, and worship, does that mean that the culture that forbids these things is collectively unwilling to to heal itself? To speak with God? To commune? To play? To look within?

The drug war to me is as an absurd a reaction to human culture as it would be for society to cut off its own metaphorical hands because it thought masturbation was a sin.
posted by loquacious at 3:59 AM on March 16, 2005


Lots of interesting data in some of Gyan's links, including:
LSD is primarily used by suburban white males in their late teens and early 20s.
LSD is characterized by infrequent episodic use culminating in "maturing out" after two to four years.
Adverse health consequences of LSD are comparatively rare, with "bad trips" being the most common adverse reaction. Nonetheless, severe bad trips are one of the primary reasons youths discontinue LSD use.
Despite dire warnings, LSD use doesn't result in mental illness and does not damage genes or chromosomes.
It's a rarely used drug, taken almost exclusively within the middle-class, and overwhelmingly by people age 16 - 23, who use it infrequently and almost always stop taking it within a few years.
posted by obloquy at 1:18 PM on March 16, 2005


Well, here's a technical review(PDF,834K) of hallucinogens, using LSD as the prototype.
posted by Gyan at 1:54 PM on March 16, 2005


Note though, obloquy, that the analysis of the data sets [later in the same link] casts a fair amount of doubt on the accuracy of those statistics. I'd suspect that it's almost hard to get accurate statistics about drug use as it is to get accurate statistics about sex. Perhaps moreso; most consensual sex is unlikely to result in a criminal conviction. Additionally, as suggested by the analysis of data error in that link, most of those statistics come from goverment studies, and the government [as noted in the FPP this thread is supposed to be about] has limited interest in dealing with the issue of drugs in a rational manner.

Thanks for that last link, Gyan, an interesting overview.

Finally, Freen - the demise of both the Grateful Dead and Phish has certainly been cited as a major blow to LSD distribution. However, the lack of LSD itself is due to a few large busts. The missile silo one you're talking about had nothing to do with a cult or a religion - a link to the original SF Chronicle article is here .A follow-up, with some bizarre additional details, is here.
You can see the DOJ's claim (including the bit about "91lb of LSD") right here. Reality is sometimes stranger than rumor.
posted by ubersturm at 2:47 PM on March 16, 2005


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