LSD: Back in the Lab Again

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Via the Chronicle, in San Francisco where some of the best acid was made in the Bay Area:

Nearly 40 years after widespread fear over recreational abuse of LSD and other hallucinogens forced dozens of scientists to abandon their work, researchers at a handful of major institutions – including UCSF and Harvard University – are reigniting studies. Scientists started looking at less controversial drugs, like ecstasy and magic mushrooms, in the late 1990s, but LSD studies only began about a year ago and are still rare.

The study at UCSF, which is being run by a UC Berkeley graduate student, is looking into the mechanisms of LSD and how it works in the brain. The hope is that such research might support further studies into medical applications of LSD – for chronic headaches, for example – or psychiatric uses.

Know what? I think there was a short window of time when drugs were fun. I am remember reading about when the late Jerry Garcia of the Dead and few more guys tried their first marijuana up in LaHonda (above Palo Alto, California) or Dolores Park in San Francisco or something…and it was pretty hilarious. They were laughing, and falling all over each other, and getting out of breath. And they were young dudes.

But then, drugs got weird because more people got into it who weren’t supposed to be into it. You’d think some people could have consulted some recovering jazz musicians in Harlem, L.A., or Chicago straight out what stuff did to them. Or even Brother Ray. Or read some biographies. For Boomers and Joneses, they continued to experiment with other panaceas or went back to repeat the high of one particular taste. For some people, it did temporarily enhance their creativity; for others, it got them hooked when they needed to be free of the shyt. Drugs weren’t freedom, but it was certainly a snare for some. That’s why George Harrison got religion to strengthen his inner self because it wasn’t enough. A former college lover killed himself, I believe, for reasons stemming from both mental illness and drugs. And Jerry Garcia died on the eve of my going to Southern California to attend graduate school.

I already know what brownies can do to me. They lay me out flat and make me have munchies. I don’t like smoking anything. All I know is that liquor is quicker–it takes only one glass to get high and come down. That’s enough. I have been curious about LSD, but I would have to be with people who would not take advantage of me, and I can’t give myself over like that. I’ve always been one who wants to stay in control of myself. And then, as George Harrison said in the documentary film, It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, it would take about “1000 years” before it wore off. Seriously, he had lots of free time to get over the flashbacks and weirdness. I don’t.

I hope that they can make something helpful out of LSD. I think that was the whole idea in the first place, but then it got snuck out of the laboratory, thanks to Leary and Kesey and the Pranksters, and possibly the CIA to an extent, and as a result, all those bad acid trips and aborted flights out of windows froze serious research and discussion. Not necessarily the expanded consciousnesses: they’re grist for the mill.

~ by blksista on September 27, 2009.

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