Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
LSD Chemist William Pickard to Be Released from Prison (psymposia.com)
515 points by miles on July 25, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 375 comments



The Psychedelic Salon podcast did a long reading of Pickard's novel, The Rose of Paraselsus, which included an introduction which went in to Pickard's background.

It's well worth listening to.

The first episode of the series can be heard here: [1],[2]

[1] - https://psychedelicsalon.com/podcast-609-the-rose-garden-int...

[2] - Direct link to the mp3: https://media.blubrry.com/psychedelic_salon/archive.org/down...


Thanks for the link. Haven't listen to that podcast in many years, but am excited for this. It's funny that his style of thinking and writing is clearly kind of similar to Nick Sand, if you've listened to the previous episodes with him.


This is delightful news. I really hope in the coming decades the research of organizations like MAPS get more attention and become completely mainstream.

Making psychedelics Schedule 1 set us back decades that could have been spent doing important research on a large number of mental health conditions.


MAPS (multidisciplinary association of psychedelic studies) is systematically demonstrating the positive effects of psychedelics.

Their most impressive work is in PTSD. In Phase 2 trials, they took people with established PTSD (for years) and undertook ~3 guided psychotherapy sessions with MDMA. Within 2 months, 53% no longer met criteria for PTSD and at 12 months 68% didn't.

Far more efficacious that anything else we have. Powerful tool for psychologic healing.


What about the control groups in those trials? How many people?

Hard to tell how effective the treatment is with nothing to compare to.


22% in the drug-free therapy control groups. It's a pretty major difference.

Psychedelics work at changing the mind and they work astonishingly well, provided their consumption accompanies skilled counseling.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-019-05249-5


EMDR also works.


For those that want LSD but not have to be a criminal I recommend trying 1-P LSD which has the functional class of LSD without being illegal in most countries, happy tripping. If you're on the wall about trying it micro dose and work your way up to something functional.


In the UK we had an act introduced to combat legal highs by making essentially everything illegal and then legalising products, rather than trying to ban legal highs as they were discovered.

https://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2015/05/27/the-government-j...


Despite this 1P-LSD is still being sold in the UK in a supposedly legal way. It's sold as micro dosing pills that are low enough dose to not produce any psychedelic effects if you just take one. There's nothing stopping you from taking 10, though.

(I have no idea if this supposed workaround would actually be seen as legal if taken to court, but the company has been active and selling in the UK for over a year now, they are a sister company of the well known lizardlabs)

https://micro1p.com/


Looks like they ship from the Netherlands.

Always worrying ordering anything from there although I've never had any issues.


Why is that worrying?


They do not appear to ship to certain countries, which is too bad.


Is LSD schedule I in the US? If so it might be prosecutable under the federal analogue act, although whether that act matters seems to be somewhat debated.

I know some other countries have blanket bans on RCs and analogues as well.


> Is LSD schedule I in the US?

Yes. Most psychedelics are Schedule I. Though to be fair, that's in large part due to the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, of which only 11 UN member states are not party.


The US was and is one of the driving forces behind the UN convention, however.


It’s illegal in Germany since last year I think. But there is a new one 1P-a LSD (or something like that) which is supposed to be legal.


1cP-LSD


Is the effect exactly the same or somewhat different?


Very close / the same in my experience. I've never had the exact same effect even from two doses of LSD from the same sheet, much less different producers, but 1p-lsd was just fine and felt the same to me.

I bought a bit before it was put on the controlled substances list in my country. A good demonstration that legal LSD doesn't end the world: it was legal, it was LSD, the world didn't end!


>I've never had the exact same effect even from two doses of LSD from the same sheet...

As a retired neurosurgical anesthesiologist (38 years) who has never taken LSD or any psychedelic/psychoactive substance, I found your observation very thought provoking.

More likely than not, the LSD on each unit on a given sheet is chemically identical.

Therefore, the only variables are 1) the amounts in each dose, and 2) the substrate on which the drug will act (i.e., your brain at a given instant is — on the whole — the same, but functionally totally different from second to second as pathways activate and connect).

I would therefore hypothesize that, more likely than not, most if not all individuals who have a strong response to a given dose of LSD will have different responses to repeated doses from the same sheet.

I'm hoping people who've taken LSD will school me.


I think it's important to differentiate between the effect of LSD and the experience of the subject. The effect is always the same (for the same dose) but the experience is different. The differences in experience come because LSD is just a modifier on your perception and thoughts. Thus you can only have the same experience if you repeat the same sensory inputs and thoughts - which is pretty much impossible.


Get yourself some Monero and order LSD, already, for Christ's sake ...


LSD has quite a bit of subjective experience change based solely on mood, set, and settings. Although beyond that, everyone's reality is not the same as the next guy. Aside from that, repeated dosing of anything at all can be different from dose to dose based on body chemistry, tolerance, hormone balance, and dopamine/adrenaline type of responses. Mood plays a large factor in this as well. Tylenol does not work the same way at the same dose in each and every person, either.


It was thought to be a pro-drug for LSD, but I'm not sure that's been proven.

AL-LAD has also been spotted in recent years.


AL and ETH n a bunch more (mipla ...) are all very different to lsd, they only show chemical similarities, but so do melatonin and dmt :)


Having tried AL and the original, I'm not sure I could spot any sort of difference.

It was years apart and it's all very subjective though.


I tried ETH AL and 1p half a month apart , they all been a lot of different

AL lad 150ug was happy ish almost no visuals, very slight mind changes

ETH lad 75ug played most with my mind visuals were weak but very distinct to lsd, touch was amazing,but was extremely easy to get afraid of smth(thought loops etc)

1p lsd 125ug was just like lsd with maybe more vasoconstriction atleast hands felt colder n hikes were more exhausting than lsd


I find it extremely close. I believe that it metabolizes into LSD in your system. If I'm not mistaken.


There was an article several years ago in Vice which mentioned him: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/nndz9z/life-is-a-cosmic-g...


Please read this, Krystle is an evil person https://thislandpress.com/2013/07/28/subterranean-psychonaut...


Wow, what a crazy and sickening story! I remember that I've stumbled across her Youtube-videos (Neurosoup) about 10 years ago. I had no idea...


Any kind of TL;DR for this? It's quite a commitment to read.


According to the testimony of Brandon Green (the victim), Cole actively participated in his torture and mutilation alongside Skinner, she apparently even paid Green's rent in advance so nobody would look too hard for him. The case is really fucked up: https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ok-court-of-criminal-appeals/125...

She got off basically scot-free (she's on youtube and IG) because she most likely snitched, and it probably helped that she was a young white woman.

Not that Skinner doesn't deserve everything bad that could happen to him, he was the main torturer of Green, and a DEA informant and the reason Pickard got caught, and got life.


It's a gripping read.

It describes a drugging, kidnapping alongside a torture, in part arising out of a love triangle and a clanenstine drug lab in an ex-Military middle silo.



A+ interview and history


I urge you to look into Krystle's story more. She's an absolutely vile person who participated in the torture and attempted murder of her boyfriend, Brandon Green.

https://thislandpress.com/2013/07/28/subterranean-psychonaut...


If that's true, surely there's a less rambling source available than that one?


The Caselaw link posted by masklinn provides a legal summary of the kidnapping and torture of Green by Skinner and Cole.

However, in contrast, I found the This Land article "Subterranean Psychonaut" by Mason, Sandel, and Chapman to be a fascinating and in-depth read. It's replete with endnotes and provides information about Cole's actions after the police picked up Green.


Ironically if prisons in the US were actually for rehabilitation, LSD therapy could help some.


This should be at the top. There is so much truth to this!


People like the DEA and the FBI can just make up statistics to make themselves look good and they're reported as fact. The drugs seized had a street value of N million dollars, the supply of LSD went down 95% after his arrest. Good job DEA


> The drugs seized had a street value of N million dollars

In the words of Ali G: You're probably getting ripped off if you have to pay that much.

[0]: https://youtu.be/B6Sg8D2Ci0Q?t=15


Is this comment sarcastic? What is good about this "job"?


>> Is this comment sarcastic

yes


For some reasons the feds in the 90s were unusually interested in prosecuting psychedelics. I'm of the opinion that all drugs should be legal, but even if I wasn't, I think I would still question why LSD manufacturers were getting such long sentences around that time. Never really made sense to me.


Friend of a friend got caught with two sheets in the 90s and I think he got 20 years for each one. Downstate Illinois.

My recollection was the weight of the blotter paper was considered as the drug itself and that easily increased the federal sentencing guidelines.


> 20 years for each one

That is incredible. For a crime that harms noone.


Probably a good time to remind people that the cops who killed Breonna Taylor haven't yet been prosecuted.


Having no experience with it, nonetheless, the popular impression of LSD is that an incredibly small amount of it can be on something and inadvertently ingested, so I can see the perspective that making, having, or dealing it is an unacceptable risk of harm to people who didn't consent.

Is there some reason that's unrealistic?


Counterpoint: PFOA / PFAS long chain polymers even at extremely low levels act as endocrine disruptors. DuPont leaks this stuff at its plants, people living near by have elevated types of specific cancers, and nothing is done.

If you can get 20 years for two sheets of LSD, I’d expect life in prison for everyone at the companies who continue to leak this toxic stuff, and full payment of affected people:s medical bills, for starters.

It doesn’t happen because LSD can be used recreationally, “drugs are bad,” and PFAS is only used by well-respected businesses.

https://theintercept.com/series/the-teflon-toxin/


Presumably they aren't dumping beyond the legal limits. That's how our system works. The EPA or other agencies attempt to determine what's safe, the government makes some regulations, and if you follow those regulations, you don't go to prison. Even if the regulations are bad.


> "Presumably they aren't dumping beyond the legal limits. That's how our system works."

They have and probably still do though[1]. Lived only a couple hours from the location of the film and my wife grew up in a city on the Ohio River they were dumping chemicals into. Was in the local paper here almost weekly during the late 90s and early 00s.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Waters_(2019_film)


That says they were dumping. It doesn't say they were breaking any government regulations.

In fact, it sounds like the government was lacking regulations on PFOA.


Sure, only because the chemicals weren't regulated yet by the government (and they fought as hard as they could to keep that from happening). Funny enough, DuPont actually had its own regulations for dumping such chemicals and knowingly violated them (which became the cornerstone for the class action lawsuits against them).

That said, there's plenty of cases of illegal dumping out there with chemicals that are regulated.

For example: https://apnews.com/9717f8be97db4944a825088dc5eee379/US-prose...



In addition to a regulation’s existence, EPA must also do the testing and prosecute violations. I’m not sure they do here, even before the trump era, especially since for a while EPA was steadily lowering the safe limits. I think instances of that are contained within those articles, but unfortunately they are walls of text and you and I have no reason to greatly trust my memory.

My post was in response to this question:

> I can see the perspective that making, having, or dealing [LSD] is an unacceptable risk of harm to people who didn't consent. Is there some reason that's unrealistic?

My point was that the factors of “unacceptable risk” in regulations are laden with things that have nothing to do with actual levels of harm to people. You corroborated that point with your post; I’m only clarifying here. This is the system we have, and it can be quite bad at actual harm reduction due to cultural factors.

It’s weird to live in a world where a substance that showed great promise in therapy, fighting alcoholism and other addictions etc. has been banned for 50 years, while another substance that makes dish washing and floor cleaning easier but causes cancer and birth defects in people close to where it’s made is broadly sanctioned.


It is an unacceptable risk for people who didn’t consent, but that’s a different matter. We should punish people who give others dangerous things without consent.


Well, you can get into trouble if you start playing around with radioactive material, too. I think "The Radioactive Boy Scout" has been mentioned on HN a few times.

I think a reason why dangerous things are regulated is because even though they don't always lead to harm, the harm can be grave and impossible to undo. Even if an unexpected trip doesn't technically lead to permanent brain damage, if the behavior were misinterpreted (for instance as a psychotic episode) it could permanently wreck a person's life.


As long as you think the same arguments apply to toilet bowl cleaners, oven cleaners, windshield washer fluid, tylenol/paracetamol, antifreeze and visine, this makes sense.


Yes, I think the same argument applies to everything. That's not to say all hazards are equal or all substances need identical regulations.


> That's not to say all hazards are equal or all substances need identical regulations.

This is a non informative answer. Let's talk numbers, is 20 years a reasonable time to be incarcerated for a sheet of LSD? How many years is appropriate for a pack's worth of hand smoke, then? How about carbon monoxide from driving year round?


People don't experiment with household cleaners like they do with pyschoactive drugs.



Better to combat by certainly permanently wrecking someone's life with 20 years in prison.


I think there's no reason there should be a single person on both sides of the equation, never mind arbitrary choices of the harm scenario. In a contrived utilitarian scenario, you could save 1,000 people and send one to prison, or vice versa.


Apparently it's dead comment time, yay! But yes, some things are dangerous. LSD is less dangerous than many many legal things, such as guns, alcohol, driving, etc, so why is it illegal?


I read Stephen King's Firestarter at an early age, so that, and other things influenced by MKULTRA, factors in to why I think LSD is scary.

The other issue I have is that when people say that LSD can harm people with a predisposition to schizophrenia or whatever, it's frightening because it seems like a stereotyped thinking pattern that's useful for denying unacceptable causal hypotheses that might in fact be real.


There is no LSD radiation though. It can't beam itself into your mouth. Bystanders are never inadvertently drugged.


>Bystanders are never inadvertently drugged

I don't have a counterexample, as the allegations I was reading on Wikipedia are generally of intentionally drugging people,[1][2] but I wouldn't be particularly confident in your statement; how would one know it hasn't happened?

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1951_Pont-Saint-Esprit_mass_po... [2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra#LSD


Yes. At any gathering of a certain type that’s large enough, like a music festival, you run the risk of eating or drinking something that’s been spiked with something. Most people who do so try to be up front about the “bonus content,” but because of legality they will often couch it in lingo like “space brownies” and the like. If you don’t know what that means, you could be in for a wild ride without anyone having ill intentions.


People playing around with radioactive stuff, even if they are well-intentioned, can easily mess up and contaminate themselves and others with it. Radioactivity is not detectable to any of our senses, only radiation poisoning is. Things are completely different with LSD and other drugs. You could argue that making meth is a dangerous activity in itself, but a properly regulated industry could evaporate any real need to home-brew large amounts.


Ah the whataboutism is strong here. The point is, life is inherently dangerous. We make laws to punish people for making it more dangerous. People have had massive overdoses of LSD [see Wikipedia entry for LSD], several thousand times the standard party dose, and gone on to lead normal lives. All the arguments you make are exactly the same as arguments against alcohol, but LSD is actually much safer.


By what mechanism will people who didn't consent come into contact with LSD? As residue accidentally transferred by physical contact? By that logic peanuts and other tree nuts should be illegal because trances of its oils can kill those who are sensitive, unlike LSD which is pharmacologically safe. Additionally, while there are many examples of trace residues of tree nuts triggering anaphylactic shock in those not directly handling the nuts, I haven't heard of a single person accidentally ingesting LSD that wasn't willfully handling the drug (which implies consent to any accidental ingestion in my book).



A friend of mine was dosed without her knowledge or consent at a festival. She thinks it was from a cup of punch she was given, input to this day can’t be sure of the route of ingestion. She was familiar with LSD and realized what was happening, but was not prepared for it and had a rough time.

It’s completely irresponsible to give someone a drug without consent, outside of some forms of medical intervention, regardless of your intentions.


Well, we don’t do much to regulate the most common date rape drug, Alcohol, so it’s not clear why we need to do so much to prevent adults from consensually taking it.


Is there a reason stealing 20 years is realistic for a victimless crime? Poisoning someone actually has serious criminal consequences.


Meanwhile rapists and child molesters often serve only a few years, if that...


Taking drugs and potentially becoming addicted has societal externalities. We currently have a opioid overdose epidemic in the US which taxes the emergency response system, not to mention the pain it causes to friends and family. There's a reason opiods are regulated in the medical industry (some would say too little).


LSD and opioids are very very different things, and a major driver of the opioid epidemic is certain companies in the pharmaceutical industry legally pushing it.

IMHO if alcohol and nicotine are legal, then anything "soft" that is not particularly addictive should be legal. It's fundamentally unjust to lock people up for using or having substances that are for the most part less dangerous than entirely legal and socially acceptable substances.

Alcohol is actually kind of nasty stuff if you look at the real statistics, especially if used in excess.

I'm not claiming LSD is absolutely harmless, just that it's not physically addictive at all and not nearly harmful enough to merit the harsh criminalization and heavy sentences it receives. LSD can be safe and rather interesting if used occasionally but heavy use or use by people with pre-existing psychotic tendencies can be psychologically dangerous.

My personal opinion is that drugs like LSD should be subject to some kind of licensing regime similar to other hazardous activities like driving a car, flying a plane, or owning and using firearms (in some states). I would also be in favor of blanket bans or at least heavy restrictions on any advertising for drugs, including alcohol, nicotine, and pharmaceuticals.


>My personal opinion is that drugs like LSD should be subject to some kind of licensing regime similar to other hazardous activities like driving a car, flying a plane, or owning and using firearms (in some states).

I disagree. Driving a car or flying a plane can directly harm others, so the licensing process makes sense. Consuming LSD though? It doesn't directly harm others when I consume it.


Addicted to LSD?


Not sure I’d agree with “harms noone.” I have taken LSD and easily walk in the middle of the road with no cause for concern. Imagine a child accidentally eating some of it, etc. Could be worse than a loaded gun.

I’m all for legalizing natural stuff (mushrooms, cannabis, even coca plants) but once chemists start concentrating things or turning them into droplets it becomes extremely dangerous.

For instance, mushrooms grow on poop (and taste like sh*t), coca leaves are probably bitter to the taste (and not agreeable). So not much incentive to accidentally eat them.

One tab—the whole sheet even—of LSD tasteless and odourless, even hard to detect.


My rebuttal is “alcohol”. That settles any safety related debate, let’s move on.

I’m dismissing “think of the children” and “equivalent to a tool designed to kill” (and that tool is completely legal in the US) lines as obvious trolls, I encourage anyone else rebutting to ignore that as well.

Edit: To dismiss your argument that you edited in about dosage size and accidental ingestion. If LSD was legal, manufacturers would want to prevent accidental ingestion and design an RoA that isn’t a tiny tab of LSD. Keeping it legal means it will remain as is now. You’re arguing for legalization and don’t even realize it.

Furthermore, a quick google search shows some academic papers from the 70s about children accidentally ingesting LSD, and a news report from 2016 where a child may have ingested LSD accidentally, but there’s very little evidence that it’s a problem.


I agree with all of what you’re saying, but the comment I reply to says it “harms noone.” I am saying it does harm people.

To be frank, I have taken a decent amount of LSD in teenage years and suffer permanent effects from it (all mental stuff like anxiety and paranoia). Granted some of it was probably made in someone’s garage (legal stuff could have some sort of standards). But still, LSD is dangerous and point being it has potential to make people do things without cause for concern, and cause damage to others. It also lasts easily 8-24 hours depending on dosage.

Another point: if LSD was legal, then it would be legal for a cult to use it in rituals and as a way to manipulate individuals. Think Charles Manson—that’s a lot more dangerous than run-of-the-mill narcotics.


> To be frank, I have taken a decent amount of LSD in teenage years and suffer permanent effects from it (all mental stuff like anxiety and paranoia).

What proof do you have that your anxiety and paranoia are caused by your teenage LSD intake? There are plenty of people who have issues with anxiety and paranoia that have never taken drugs.

Consider that 70-90% of schizophrenics are tobacco users, and most started young. This is an astounding rate of smoking for a population subgroup. Did tobacco use cause the schizophrenia or did schizophrenics seek out tobacco?

Plenty of cults operate without drugging their members with LSD, if it was effective I assume it would be more widespread considering mental, sexual, and physical abuse are illegal and used as tools by cult leaders to maintain the cult and its membership. See NXIVM for a recent example. Giving people LSD is far more benign than beating or raping them.


I had a bad trip and afterward I had anxiety. No anxiety before then.

I don’t have “Anxiety” requiring meds and such—the effects taper off over the years.

Believe me, I know the effects I felt and what it did to me—statistics and external “scientific proof” are not required.

Also, true there are many ways to manipulate people. It’s what you can make them do while they are on LSD that is scary. If you try LSD you will know what I mean—you could walk into a train without hesitation or fear. At least if the other methods are used to manipulate people their underlying emotions, hesitations, and consciousness is intact.

Again, I agree certain drugs should be legalized. And perhaps LSD can be therapeutic in a good way. But, it is also very dangerous stuff—more so than other drugs.

That is my opinion and not based on rigorous research. But I have done a lot of drugs in my day—and I can say if I went back in time I still would have done the natural stuff (mushrooms, cannabis) but never would touch the man-made chemicals.


So, you don’t have proof, you just happened to develop anxiety around the time you started taking LSD, which was as a teenager, a time of notable change.

> If you try LSD you will know what I mean—you could walk into a train without hesitation or fear.

I’ve done LSD a number of times, the most recent was 8 days ago. I’ve never lost the interest in self-preservation while tripping on LSD. You cannot control someone’s mind when they’re on LSD.

Please provide me with a drug that LSD is more dangerous than, keeping in mind that mind control with LSD isn’t possible. I’ve been a heroin addict and severe alcoholic, and I’ve also taken LSD a number of times. Being an addict/alcoholic is so much more dangerous and detrimental than any use of LSD than I find it hard to take you seriously when you make such claims.


Replace LSD in your argument with "alcohol", "bleach", "nailpolish remover", "cigarettes" or any other dangerous stuff you can find in the household that are supposed to be locked away when children are around. Yes, most of these are smelly, but toddlers can be too curious for their own good and are not that discerning for bad tastes yet.


Imagine a child eating Tide Pods too. Or eating blood thinners. Or ...


Eating nails! We need to ban nails immediately. 20 years prison per nail!


Worse than a loaded gun? That’s insane, the gun can kill you. LSD can’t. There are a multitude of things in every household that a child could kill themselves with (various medicines, cleaning supplies, knives). That is not a reason to ban those things, it’s a reason not to leave small children unattended.


> Imagine a child accidentally eating some of it,..

When all else fails, won't somebody think of the children!!

That just goes to show how weak your argument is.


A child seems more likely to harm themselves with a kitchen knife than a blot paper lying around. But sure, I would support laws that makes you legally responsible for safe handling of the substance, like not giving it or making it accessible to minors.


... and loaded guns are legal!


Just how the feds when weighing pot plants weighted them with pots and all.


we should be grateful they were not weighting the transporting truck right ?


Carry the mass of the earth and... you're imprisoned for <lifespan of cosmos>


When I was arrested and searched the police didn’t even find the 200 tabs I had on me.

They found everything else, but LSD is incredibly easy to hide from regular law enforcement.

They found everything else, but in typical stupid-police fashion, they ballsed that up too and ended up entering a nolle prosequi (do not prosecute) at the district court level.

The police prosecutor was sufficiently annoyed, and I was sufficiently elated and thankful for the woman who went before me (case unrelated) and set a strong precedent.

Any chance I get to gloat.

Edit to add: this happened in Australia in 2012. Not keen to repeat the experience.


> but LSD is incredibly easy to hide from regular law enforcement

Not that I intend to leverage that knowledge, but you can't just write this and leave it at that. Why so? I've never seen any LSD, so I am not sure why that would be.


Most people who have taken LSD have never seen any LSD either, because the dosage is so small. A strong dose is something like 300 micrograms--this amount of crystal is almost invisible to the naked eye.

This also presents problems for chemists, because measuring out such small amounts is prohibitively difficult. So typically they dissolve a measurable amount (say, 30mg) into a volume of liquid (water or alcohol) and distribute it across a sheet of blotter paper divided into 100 squares, so that when the liquid dries, each square contains the desired dose (in the example, 300mcg)[1]. This is why the image most people have of LSD is a half-centimeter by half-centimeter square of paper--they're not seeing LSD, they're seeing the paper the LSD crystals are trapped in.

Since I'm posting this under my real name, I should clarify that the reason I've researched this is that I did volunteer harm reduction at festivals. I don't even drink alcohol, let alone take drugs.

[1] To be clear, LSD at stable temperatures is a solid crystal. There's no such thing as "liquid LSD"--that's LSD dissolved in a solvent.


Thanks a lot for this insightful comment. I guess it could be hidden in any liquid or absorbing medium (paper, cardboard, textile, sponge, whatever... thus making it easy to conceal).

I had no idea the drug was that potent... Presumably some neurotoxins have the same potency? This is quite scary to think of.


LSD also seems to be extraordinary non-toxic.

This document (PDF) from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) claims:

The LD50 of LSD varies from species to species. The most sensitive species is the rabbit, with an LD50 of 0.3 mg/kg i.v. [52]. The LD50 for rats (16.5 mg/kg i.v.) is much higher [52,53], though mice tolerate doses of 46– 60 mg/kg i.v. [52,54]. These animals expired by paralysis and respiratory failure. Monkeys (Macaca mulatta) have been injected with doses as high as 1 mg/kg i.v. without any lasting somatic effects [55].

There have been no documented human deaths from an LSD overdose. Eight individuals who accidentally con- sumed a very high dose of LSD intranasally (mistaking it for cocaine) had plasma levels of 1000–7000 μg per 100 mL blood plasma and suffered from comatose states, hy- perthermia, vomiting, light gastric bleeding, and respira- tory problems. However, all survived with hospital treat- ment and without residual effects.

https://maps.org/research-archive/w3pb/2008/2008_Passie_2306...


You're correct that no one dies from LSD overdose, but there are other serious concerns here. High doses of LSD can result in hallucinations so extreme that the person is not seeing reality--they're literally blind. A rational reaction to this might be to sit down and wait for the trip to pass, but people on giant doses on hallucinogens may also be experiencing high energy and restlessness which cause them to move around and run into things, fall down stairs, etc.

I met a person who, while on a ~1/2 lb dose of psylocybin mushrooms, fell face first down stairs onto a train platform without even putting his hands out, breaking his nose, smashing out all his front teeth, and getting a severe concussion--it's easy to see how this could have been much worse had he fallen off the train platform.

And that's just the physical effects. I've met a few people who were fingerprinted (moisten a finger, press it into a tray of crystalline LSD, and consume whatever sticks to your finger) and at those doses, they all reported long-term hallucinations (in medical parlance, hallucinatory persisting perception disorder or HPPD). Others were diagnosed with PTSD after bad trips (one reported being "psychically attacked" by evil spirits, another was convinced that everyone was trying to kill him).

There are numerous cases of people being assaulted sexually or violently while on hallucinogens, and feeling that they could have defended themselves had they not been tripping. That's not to say they are to blame for the actions of their attackers. People who are on drugs are vulnerable, but the reaction I'd like to see is not to blame them, but instead for communities to care for them and protect them while they're vulnerable.

Now, I'm well aware that as someone volunteering in harm reduction, I only got to see the bad cases. For every patient reporting a negative experience, there are hundreds if not thousands of people who use hallucinogens and have positive experiences. I'm not against drug use, I'm merely advocating that people do so in an educated, responsible manner, understanding the very real risks they're taking. Just because the LD50s of LSD and psilocybin are very high, doesn't mean that a high dose of these drugs is not risky.


It's odorless and colorless.

You can literally dip a Bible in liquid LSD, let it dry and it would be impossible to tell you're carrying thousands of individual doses.


> dip a Bible in liquid LSD

How’s /that/ for a religious experience?


Blotter sheets and disguised in other liquids in plain sight. For example, if you were to sell LSD it could be as disguised as being a simple spiralbound notebook, but the parties in the know understand that the cardboard backing is entirely laid with LSD.


Google "lsd paper sheet".

It looks like a paper sheet.


NB: if you do this, note that a lot of the images you may get are quite magnified because they are focusing on the art.

While it's very difficult to predictable dose LSD off blotter, it may be helpful to know that most folks aim to have a single "dose" be 6-8mm squares


Bottler usually has drawings and cutoff that make if very easy to recognize though.


There is a famous story of how the album from Plastikman (Richie Hawtin) had a blotter paper album cover that was perforated landed someone in jail because they thought it was LSD. The father of the son arrested contacted the label (novamute I think?) and they shipped another copy to the law enforcement agency to explain.

Sheet One is the title of it, not in a position to share the URL but please take a look. Great album and artist too.



Only if you buy it already in sheet form.


Yeah, but you aren’t going to be buying crystals lay blotter from unless you’re a dealer.

If you’re buying small quantities of lsd in a liquid you’d be silly to try and lay blotters from that.


YMMV


I feel like you wouldnt carry around liquid in big enough volume not to be sketchy.


> and set a strong precedent

Which was?


I can't respond extensively at the moment, come back in 10hrs or so. My time zone suggests I should go to bed :)


More details please. Sounds like a fascinating story.


> My recollection was the weight of the blotter paper was considered as the drug itself and that easily increased the federal sentencing guidelines.

Which is of course the entire reason for switching away from using sugar cubes and to blotter paper as delivery media.


I will never understand how people in the US are okay with this. Don't people care about justice at all over there?


You see giant protests occupying cities for weeks and your first thought is that americans are totally OK with the state of things? All those folks on the street in Hong kong - they must just be out there celebrating their loss of liberties! It's a big party!


There may be giant protests, but Americans continue to elect leaders that refuse to serve their interests.


Continued gerrymandering keeps the incumbents in power. Ongoing voter suppression targeted at minorities silences their political voices and swings elections, denying democracy its due. Since 1990, the Republican party has won the popular vote for president once, but won the presidency 3 times. 2018 was a wave year where the left picked up a huge number of seats in the house. And the federal government isn't everything. State and local governments hold enormous power, and where progress can be made, progressives are elected. Theres also huge amounts of money in politics thanks to a really destructive supreme court ruling. And do you really think the people in Minneapolis protesting are going to vote for trump and support officials that refuse to serve their interests? I understand you might not be familiar with why people are protesting and the ways the political system is broken. Hell, I don't know what's going on in the UK with brexit and their protests everything for example, and I dont know what the electoral dynamics and structural problems are. And that's fine, because I'm not going around oversimplifying issues I dont understand and saying "wow these dumb Brits are so self destructive why do they keep voting for dumb stuff." Same thing. I'd recommend actually understanding what's going on before making sweeping incorrect statements about how America works. Again - Americans electing leaders that refuse to serve "their" interests. Do you think this deeply politically divided country is some sort of monolith? Do you really think the people protesting are the ones that voted for Trump?


There are serious structural problems with American elections - it is not as simple as that.


Indeed.. When the public has only two candidates to realistically choose from, both of whom represent parties which run on massive legalized bribery ("donations") and coordinate to systematically keep incumbents out - it's not fair to blame the American public for "electing" leaders that maintain and strengthen the status quo. They don't really have much of a choice.


Those protests in the US have nothing to do with justice. They are about power.


Not really. When you ignore all the marketing material about "freedom" and such that accompanies a discussion about the US, you see that we are an extremely authoritarian country.


Of course you have. These guys come to mind articlesofunity.org for example.


We're not okay with this but we have no way to change the laws that are made by our Lords.


Well to be fair. If more population were concerned an actively participating in democracy, by at the least get out and go to vote, some thing would change, for sure.

USA has the lowest participation on any democracy I know.

Universal obligatory vote is something that does wonders and produce actual change.


I do vote but I also live in a gerrymandered district so my representative is pre-chosen for me. I also live in a non-battleground state where essentially my president is pre-chosen as well. My vote actually doesn't matter much at all.


In large portions of the country, there is nothing contested and nobody to vote against.

Structural problems can cause lack of participation.

I don't know if I would want voting to be obligatory, but it certainly should be universal.


To make an example out of them and discourage others, prevent a cottage industry from forming. LSD manufacturing scales immensely. One lone wolf could create enough LSD to serve the whole United States demand, maybe even the global demand. LSD is also harder to manufacture. You generally need at least a MS degree and lab experience. The people who fit that profile tend to think about the future enough to respond to the possibiliy of a life sentence.


A friend of mine once asked his TA about (my memory fails here) either how to activate a leaving group or set up a protecting group at a given hypothetical structure. The TA, without batting an eyelid, responded "I think you'll find all the precursors are scheduled, too." The next lab, the TA, presumably having reflected a bit and in the middle of an unrelated discourse, added "remember, always characterise any synthesis you undertake."

Edit: (ratelimit, sorry)

group: small chemical structure manipulated in a single synthetic step. See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaving_group

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protecting_group

scheduling: I have no idea, but it seems likely that at least all the easy precursors were. (ChemE, like systems CS, is all about tradeoffs. It's unlikely anyone bothers to schedule precursors along very difficult synthetic routes. Just like CS people have the IOCCC, synthetic chemists sometimes do small batches with pathways no ChemE would use, just because they're there.)

characterisation: One should do this anyways, to discover if what one has made is what one had intended to make. (compare with unit testing) In the context, I'd consider it a warning that one should especially do this if one plans to partake product.

TA: teaching assistant (post- or just pre-MS in this case, definitely with lab experience)

The punchline is that the TA could guess the intended product given only a single synthesis step for a partial structure. (To be fair, computer geeks love discussing black hat activities, so it shouldn't be any surprise chemists are up on the "abuses" of their science to the same degree.)


What is a group? (Group of people, or some chemical compound, or some kind of corporate structure, protecting possibly illegal stuff going on in one of the groups?)

Are all the precursors scheduled, or is the punchline that the TA was wrong?

Why would one do well to remember to characterise any synthesis undertaken? To protect oneself against legal action by showing that the labs purpose was synthesising legal compounds?

Is "TA" the same as Tax Attorney?


Upvoted because these are good questions, indicating a genuine willingness to understand exactly what another poster is saying. That’s the kind of discussion that I come to Hacker News for. Not everyone has the same background and understanding of terminology and they shouldn’t be down-voted for that.


A "group" is a bundle of atoms that hangs off the side of a core structure, typically. http://www.chem.ucla.edu/~harding/IGOC/G/group.html

When you do a reaction on a chemical, the reaction can often affect multiple different parts of the structure, even if you only want it to affect one site. So, you can pop a "protecting group" onto the site you don't want modified, and then remove it later. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protecting_group

A TA is a teaching assistant; typically a grad student with lots of knowledge teaching a class to undergrads.

You would want to characterize any synthesis- verify your work to make sure you got high quality product that is pure.


The 'groups' are chemical structures present in a compound. The student asks the Teaching Assistant (typically a graduate student who is required to do teach) a general question about how to carry out a multi step process to selectively transform specific regions of chemical compounds.

The punchline is that the Teaching Assistant immediately sees the intent of the question, and goes from the general to the specific and replies: [ you won't be able to synthesise LSD with that approach because ] "all of the precursors are also scheduled."


Leaving groups are the part of the molecule that are designed to "leave" during a particular reaction

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaving_group

You design your synthesis around this and try to pick pathways that are easy, have the highest yields, and don't produce undesirable products you have to remove.


I'm guessing TA is teaching assistant.


In the 1970s, my father worked as a research chemist for CSIRO (Australian government research lab), doing research into new pharmaceutical products. One of his colleagues decided it would be fun to manufacture some LSD after hours for personal use. The colleague made an error in calculating the quantities involved and ended up taking an accidental overdose. It didn’t kill him, but he spent some time in a psychiatric ward as a result. (I’m pretty sure my father was too responsible to try any himself.)

My brother did chemistry at university too. Did an internship at an Australian government laboratory (National Measurement Institute) at which he got to manufacture MDMA - completely legally, it was part of a research project into different synthesis routes, so that by measuring traces they could determine how street samples were manufactured. He must be one of the few people in the whole country to synthesise ecstasy without breaking any laws in doing so. (They were very careful to ensure none of the staff sampled the product; it was all weighed very precisely and signed off by multiple people from precursors to synthesis to analysis to destruction.)


There have been reports of huge overdosis, e.g. by miscalculation by a factor of 1000 or even more.

The physical harm was little to none. The mental harm varied greatly, there were even some people who got improvements in pre-existing mental conditions; with lsd in general, but also with large overdoses in particular.


The former Pink Floyd band member Syd Barret fried his brains from LSD but it is not clear whether he ODed or did too much of it over a long period of time. Once the initial paranoia subsided he became a complete recluse.

Having said that, I think LSD is a fantastic drug but that is not for everyone. I’ve got a friend who did it constantly for over 2 years and he is a completely sane person. He claims it was one of the experiences that put an end to his alcoholist tendency which might as well be genetic. His dad died due to alcoholism.


> fried his brains from LSD

This, too, is an armchair diagnosis and unnecessarily sensational language. According to Wikipedia:

> Asked if Barrett may have had Asperger's syndrome, his sister Rosemary Breen said that he and his siblings were "all on the spectrum".

> Waters maintains that Barrett suffered "without a doubt" from schizophrenia. In an article published in 2006, Gilmour was quoted as saying: "In my opinion, his nervous breakdown would have happened anyway. It was a deep-rooted thing. But I'll say the psychedelic experience might well have acted as a catalyst. Still, I just don't think he could deal with the vision of success and all the things that went with it."


“Fried his brains” is a figure of speech and not a diagnosis. Not to be taken it literally that Syd fried his brains as in frying an omelette. But after doing a lot of LSD seemed to be a turning point in his life.


A case report from 1974 says that massive LSD overdoses can cause bleeding and hyperthermia, symptoms which could potentially be fatal without medical attention (but, in this case, medical attention was received and all survived)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1129381/


Wow, I wonder if they spoke about it publicly after the fact. There aren't a lot of stories like this. Did they remember the experience? Was it really a coma or some out of body experience? It would be interesting to see how differently their lives went versus their peers.


Don't buy the hype, it's impossible to die from overdose of LSD. The one case I've read of it happening was highly suspect.


What hype? I think it is very likely that a sufficiently high dose of just about any drug, LSD included, will kill someone. If no one has died yet, that just means no one has ever taken a big enough overdose.

We know the LD50 of LSD in rabbits, rats and mice [1]. Surely, there exists a human LD50 as well, it is just that hopefully nobody will ever be evil enough to do the necessary human experiments to determine it. (That's true for all drugs – just because we can't ethically discover the human LD50 doesn't mean one doesn't exist.)

What's the biggest overdose anybody has ever taken? This case report is the biggest one I know about. And yet, they each only consumed "two lines" of 3mm by 4mm by 30 mm, which is less than a gram, administered nasally. They were hospitalised. Would they have lived without medical attention? We don't know, but quite possibly not. And surely it would have been physically possible to take an even bigger overdose than that. How do we know an even more massive overdose would not have been fatal?

People rarely take LSD intravenously. I think a fatal overdose of LSD would most easily achieved with intravenous administration. That's what the animal study LD50s are calculated based on.

Unless you are trying to commit suicide or murder, you wouldn't do it. And if you are trying to do either, there are far more practical methods than massive LSD overdoses.

[1] https://maps.org/research-archive/w3pb/2008/2008_Passie_2306...

EDIT: I deleted my back of the envelope calculations about how much the people took in mg/kg. I don't have confidence I'm doing it right so better not to.


Huxley did 200 micrograms intramuscularly and supposedly it was a nice 6 hour trip before he died of cancer


LSD is a stimulant as well as a psychedelic, and can cause some vasoconstriction.

It might take a lot but physical harm from overdose is likely possible, with determination.


It's possible to overdose on water. I really, really doubt that there's no such thing as a lethal dose of LSD.


anecdotal sample size of one.

i once took 82 hits of acid. ahh, to be 17 years old and think you're invincible again. each hit was a gellcap with about 4 hits like blotter paper. this was at an outdoor rave-festival.

i was curled up in a ball in a tent for 2 days. fully immersive hallucinations. the good thing is when you are so incapacitated, you cant get up and move around to hurt yourself and others. i had sitters watching me and feeding me water.

nothing happened. i slowly returned to sober consciousness with zero bad physical side effects. except dissappointment that i had missed the entire rave.

that was the greatest spiritual experience i have ever had. none of the hallucinations were scary or negative, likely because the setting was outdoors on a rural camp ground in nature. i was talking to the Sun. and the blades of grass. and they talked back. i felt an indescribable oneness with all living beings and a realization that all life is sentient. meaning that our "human consciousness" model is just a tiny sliver of the full spectrum of "living consciousness", only we dont see the greater consciousness while we go about our daily lives trapped inside our limited minds. as an analogy, think of human consciousness like a language--C or assembly. then Universal Consciousness is like Leibnitz's mythical Perfect Language which simultaneously describes and creates our Monadic world.

decades later, that experience is still one of my happiest and i can remember it more vividly than more recent milestone events.

i understand why Steve Jobs said his first time tripping was his #2 greatest life experience.

if you ever have the opportunity to take 360 hits of acid, i recommend you go for it. you will see God and it will permanently reprogram your brain.


You can die from an overdose of water.



You also need precursors (like ET) which is difficult to get. Though China is a pretty good source if you can pull it off (and for other things like safrole, etc.).


Difficulty is relative. Laundering Sigma Aldrich purchases at scale is challenging but not out of the realm for the level of resources + expertise needed for an LSD manufacturer.

It's not "backyard meth lab ordering 40ft container of pseudoephedrine" levels of ridiculous.


What's ET? It's pretty difficult for me to Google this acronym given that it mostly finds "et al" when I couple this with LSD queries. Is it ergotamine from the other subthreads here?


Ergotamine Tartrate.

Interestingly, ET is used to treat cluster headaches and migraines.


LSD treats cluster headaches, for some people permanently:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2011/06/lsd-alleviates-suici...


As does Psilocybin in Magic Mushrooms. Back when we used to sell the stuff (UK, 2005 or so), we had a small 'lab' (a grand term) run by someone who suffered serious cluster headaches and had gotten involved with us through our selling of 'shrooms.

We used to sell to quite a few people who similarly suffered from the condition, and used mushrooms to treat it - but it was an impossible thing for us to market or advertise, due to the way the MHRA (Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency) dictates what beneficial claims can be stated about retailed items.

- ed typo, grammar


On the other hand if you have a migraine while tripping, it's not great. Taking triptanes is, well, risky as their interaction has not been thoroughly researched (i wonder why) and they both do stuff to HT receptors - so it's probably safer to endure the trip and take drugs afterwards. Good thing is that on LSD it is not "you"that suffers, just someones' body ;)


ergotamine


Something that comes from ergot.


Various parties have pulled it off in recent years, as AL-LAD, 1P-LSD and a couple of other very close relatives (not prohibited at the time in various countries), have been produced and sold (mostly) legally in a variety of countries.


I wonder if Ergotamine could be an Amine from Ergot. Should probably be abbreviated EA in that case.


Considering that this is coming from the same drug culture that uses the word "molly" refer to "some mixture of empatheogenic drugs and possibly some amphetamine", expecting specificity from your terminology is a bit unrealistic.

I'm not (just) being judgmental here: volunteering harm reduction at festivals, the number 1 problem we had was that users had no idea what they had put into their bodies.

Actual chemists, no doubt, don't use any of this terminology since chemical reactions don't produce the desired results if you're vague about what you put into them.


ET = ergotamine tartarate, the typical salt


It's been a while since I've done chemistry- does typical mean something in the context of chemistry?

If someone asked me what the typical salt was I'd say table salt


The way I learned it, if you mix an acid and a base, you get a salt and water. Table salt (NaCl) is the result of mixing hydrochloric acid (HCl) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH):

HCl + NaOH -> HOH (water) + NaCl

But if you mix a different acid and a different base, you'll get a different salt, for example if you mix sulphuric acid and calcium hydroxide, you get calcium sulfate:

H2SO4 + Ca(OH)2 -> 2(HOH) + CaSO4

Calcium sulfate is just a different salt.


Organic chemicals are often “salted” to cause them to precipitate out of the solution they’re synthesized in. It’s a salt in the chemical sense, but not in the culinary sense.


Typical cause that's the end result of most commonly used mass synthesis

Lsd is also exclusively sold as tartrate


My friend who is a pharmaceutical chemist said LSD is actually quite difficult to make, compared to other illicit drugs:

- Lysergic acid is a relatively fragile molecule and will fall apart if exposed to harsh reaction conditions. Compare that to say methamphetamine which can survive strong acids/bases.

- It’s also light sensitive, so you need to protect from light which is why you see the red light setup in LSD labs

- Purification is challenging as well.


Do criminals actually respond to deterrents though? Sam Harris argues otherwise in a couple of podcasts and I tend to agree...people break the law constantly without thought of the penalties. People text while driving when that could kill someone else.


I don't really believe anyone reacts to harsh deterrents for a low probability outcome. The only way is to increase the probability of being caught, but that's super super hard. So instead, we just throw the people we do catch in jail for life.

It's so fucked up, it makes me disgusted even thinking about it.


I don't believe they do either. For example, it's often said that the death penalty is used as a deterrent, though it is clear from the data that isn't true.

https://www.aclu.org/other/death-penalty-questions-and-answe...


Are the mexican drug cartels able to manufacture LSD in scale and export cross-border?


It doesn't make sense to smuggle a drug that can be manufactured in the country.


demand for lsd is low nowadays. doesn't compare too cannabis or cocaine or mdma. it's not a very good party drug lmao


LSD use is actually higher than it has ever been in the US. i apologize for lacking a source, but this was something i saw about a week ago, in the context of highlighting its relative popularity with young, college-educated americans.

that said, it’s hardly a cash cow in the way meth and fentanyl are; and as someone said elsewhere on this thread, one person could probably suppy the whole country.


I'm 99,9% positive demand for LSD is not higher than it has ever been in the US because of the hippie era, when it was huge. The problem with LSD as a product is not only that few people use it. Amongst those that use it, most won't use many times. Compared to my social circle I'm a pretty heavy user, had around 30 trips in the span of almost 15 years. Most people I have met didn't trip more than 3 or 4 times in their lifetime. A few from 5-10, and only 2 or 3 over that. The only reason LSD is and was in the past cheap is because of how easy it is to scale it's production + how high the barriers for production are. Otherwise a hit would cost very very high, considering the economics of the matter.


You’re probably right about the demand. Our population is higher now, and there’s the microdosing trend to account for, but it’s certainly not in the public consciousness in the same way cannabis is—I’m almost as certain that that IS higher than ever.

I’m curious about your last statement. Scaling makes sense as a cost factor, but are you saying that lower barriers for production would increase the cost? That seems backwards to me.


I perceive microdosing as a very fast dying fad, but it's only an opinion of course.

About the cost, the way I understand it, the definitive factor is scalability. It's MUCH more scalable than the production of other drugs. If this was not the case, it probably would be VERY expensive, because of the very high barriers to entry and very low and distributed demand.


Well, it's largely non-addictive so not a huge cash cow for cartels like other drugs.


LSD is not something Mexican cartels would be interested in. It is far, far more difficult to manufacture than growing plants (marijuana, cocaine, heroin). And the demand is nowhere near as much as the drugs they typically sell. LSD is also not addictive and thus not nearly profitable enough for them to consider.


> LSD manufacturing scales immensely

ergotamine doesn't grow on trees lol


With some "seed money" I'm sure you could get a lot of it in India or China. The people who work in those factories are the same people who put lead paint on children's toys to save a few dollars. Its precursor literally does grow on wheat plants but I digress.


No, it grows on rye.


> For some reasons the feds in the 90s were unusually interested in prosecuting psychedelics.

Psychedelics = hippies = anti-war left.

A well-known and somewhat similar "unusual interest" was in prosecuting crack versus coke.


Oh it wasn't unusual. It was intentional. A war on poor and minority (mostly black) communities starting with Reagan's "War on Drugs"


Yeah the whole point of the war on drugs for the most part was to punish people who wanted to see things differently. There are only a few scheduled drugs that are actually harmful. If alcohol were discovered today it would certainly be scheduled because its side effects and potential for addiction are far worse than EG todays normal dosage of MDMA or LSD. The whole notion of jailing drug users actually made their lives far worse than the drugs themselves ever did. And the aggressive prosecution created openings for the modern drug cartels by eliminating competition.


Nope, much earlier. MKULTRA, the secret CIA program to administer LSD to do mind control and other stupid shit, started in the 50ies under the Dulles bothers already. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra They also did lots of public advertising for LSD via popular figures like Timothy Leary, besides frying a lot of innocent brains with it.


> Oh it wasn't unusual. It was intentional.

I know that perfectly well, hence the scare quotes. I was referencing the term used by the person I replied to in order the draw a parallel between the two.


Crack and cocaine aren't really all that similar. Crack and meth are tho. Guess what, they both have the same mandatory mins too.

When you look for racism everywhere, you find it everywhere. Let's be more objective, eh?


"Crack" and cocaine are literally the same drug.


How come we hear about dangerous meth-heads and crack-heads, but not about coke-heads?


The thing that makes meth heads and crack heads dangerous is primarily that the users are desperate for money to feed their addiction and thus more likely to commit crimes to make money. Coke heads probably started out fairly wealthy, since it's a more expensive drug, so they are less likely to resort to theft to pay for their addiction. It's probably also somewhat of a social class issue. Crack and meth users are probably more likely to have grown up in rough circumstances that make them more likely to commit violence whether or not they are under the influence of drugs. Reporting bias is probably also a bit of an issue. If a rich coke user assaults someone they may be able to sweep it under the rug by writing a big check to the victim, whereas a poor user would be thrown into the criminal justice system. A final hypothesis is that cocaine users have more resources for dealing with addiction (such as rehab) than other drug users. That would skew the population of active coke users towards recreational users rather than addicts.

There are chemical differences between crack, meth, and cocaine, so it's likely that, ceteris paribus, crack users are more violent than coke users, but it's not the only factor. It's really hard to tease out differences in the effects of the drugs when the populations of users are so different.


Surely one could control for wealth to tease out the effect? There has to be enough overlap between two large groups.

Oh wait, here we go: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20560836/

[...] The likelihood of violence associated with crack cocaine users was greater compared to powdered cocaine users at the bivariate level. However, these differences were almost uniformly statistically nonsignificant when demographic, mood and non-cocaine substance use disorders were controlled for. [...]


Meth and crack are both cheaper than coke, which results in class/socioeconomic effects in who uses them as well as how they're portrayed in media and handled by government.


An other difference is that snorting coke leads to a somewhat delayed, milder and much longer euphoric effect. Injection and smoking lead to much faster, more intense and shorter highs. So the differences in methods of consumption would lead to very different patterns of behaviour as well e.g. it's less likely that you can do things on a crack high than after snorting coke, and the intensity of the high would lead to increased odds of chasing the high.

Plus the duration of the high means that you'd necessarily have to spend more time (relatively) chasing that high or ways to achieve it.


Racism/classism - crack is associated with black & poor people, coke is for rich people.


Maybe at one point. It's changed.


The one thing powers fear most is losing said power. Open minds present a threat to power structures. LSD has the ability to open minds.

So does meditation... just that it typically takes way longer :)


I agree, just to add in my own words -- it gives you a fresh perspective, as if your staring at the world from the eyes of a tree. But is it really that important for those in power to maintain a certain narrative/perception? These sentences sound too rough..


IMO, yes, because there is nothing holding the country together besides the perception that the US constitution protects & ensures our freedom. If that perception falls, then there could substantially greater political unrest, even moreso than what we have experienced this summer

And LSD and other psychedelics definitely make you rethink the validity of government, period. Let alone the efficacy of the powers that be to ensure safety and prosperity


> IMO, yes, because there is nothing holding the country together besides the perception that the US constitution protects & ensures our freedom.

What holds the country together is a lot of people have a lot to lose.

> And LSD and other psychedelics definitely make you rethink the validity of government, period. Let alone the efficacy of the powers that be to ensure safety and prosperity

But this is just the crux of it - it is an illusory experience that has some impact on the user. It isn't any arbiter of truth or knowledge.


>> IMO, yes, because there is nothing holding the country together besides the perception that the US constitution protects & ensures our freedom.

> What holds the country together is a lot of people have a lot to lose.

There are many things that "hold a country together" - some of them are known (here we have two examples), and others are unknown.

> it is an illusory experience that has some impact on the user. It isn't any arbiter of truth or knowledge.

It is surely illusory to a very large degree, but "what it is", really, is far beyond mankind's ability to judge such things.

I really like how Jordan Peterson describes what psychedelics "are":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaY0H9DBokA


> There are many things that "hold a country together" - some of them are known (here we have two examples), and others are unknown.

Exactly - that's a far cry from your claim. It's likely that the two reasons we posited on their own are meaningless.

> It is surely illusory to a very large degree, but "what it is", really, is far beyond mankind's ability to judge such things.

And yet in this very thread claims and judgements are made how it can topple governments, makes free thinkers, is the panacea to everything, just like weed cures cancer and saints cured the sick. How the government suppresses it because it will hurt those in power and prevent the utopian LSD world that is clamored for.

It borders on religious fanaticism - plenty of drugs and visions lead to jihad as much as kindness and love.


That's part of what makes life interesting, the amazing power of the imagination (often indistinguishable from reality), but no way of knowing what will actually come to be, except sometimes the passage of time.


There was definitely unreasonable fear around LSD. I remember my parents not allowing us to use temporary tattoos because they were concerned they might be laced with LSD.


Like most people using LSD are going to waste it to send a kid on a trip. One of the sillier things that swept America.


Suburbia is full of anxious white people like this.


One reason was that the government didn't like the people using the the psychedelics in the first place, and drugs were a convenient justification for going after those people. Marijuana prohibition in the US is the same story.


Possibly fall out from the MK Ultra program - take a zero tolerance stance on LSD to make it look like changes have been made.


I came here to make a comment about CIA's Project MKUltra so I'll just add a quote about the use of LSD from the Wikipedia article:

> [...] experiments included administering LSD to mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts, and sex workers—"people who could not fight back," as one agency officer put it. In one case, they administered LSD to a mental patient in Kentucky for 174 days.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKUltra


In the 90s the feds tried to go hard on gun crime and that just got them a bunch of pictures of crispy children on the news, not exactly the look they were going for.

In the world of use it or lose it budgets cracking down on psychedelics seems like a pretty safe way for the DOJ to keep burning money without incurring too much negative publicity.


Money in the dorm of funding.


The Government is very familiar with LSD, having used it for a wide variety of research over an extended period of time. LSD has proven exceedingly effective at behavior modification, and has already been put to use by the wrong hands. So, they know better than anyone as to how dangerous it is: https://www.amazon.com/Tom-ONeill-ebook/dp/B07K6J273Q

This is why the sentencing was so harsh.


> LSD has proven exceedingly effective at behavior modification, and has already been put to use by the wrong hands.

Please provide evidence for this claim.


What do you think I cited the book for? That's how one backs a claim.


I’m dismissing the book as pure speculation and horseshit, because it is. Charles Manson used tactics that have been used to control people throughout history: fear, abuse, intimidation, isolation from society, and violence. He’s not the first or last person to develop a cult of personality.

I’m well aware of MKULTRA and the CIA’s involvement in that program.

Please provide a source that shows mind control is possible with LSD.


Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: