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FDA Cracks Door on LSD…

Born in the summer of ‘42, four years in front of the Baby Boomer generation, has made for an interesting journey. In ’59 at 17 I joined the US Army, 101st Airborne, Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.

With a 9th grade education, I completed my GED in the Army.  When I joined, Eisenhower was president, when I came out, Kennedy.

Experiencing the Old South and the Black Codes, Jim Crow and Klan terror, I stuck around to do my bit. I ended up on a chain-gang before finally making my way to Detroit in 1965.

Riding the front wave of 1960’s politics, I advanced thru Local #212 of the UAW, the Young Socialist Alliance and the Socialist Workers Party (YSA-SWP), the Detroit Committee to End the War in Vietnam, co-founded the Veterans Against the War, and was admitted to Wayne State University, Detroit, in the summer of ’68 on the GI Bill.

This also coincided with my acid summer…a series of several LSD trips taken in a quasi-clinical trial environment. As with the birth of the nuclear age, LSD has been another leit motif of my life.

Part of that culture includes the music and groups of the Beatles, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Jefferson AirplaneGrateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and frankly, too many others to list.

LSD was discovered by the chemist Albert Hofmann at the Swiss Sandoz labs in 1943. LSD is a synthesis of the fungus ergot.

There’s a hypothesis that the Salem witch-hunts of 1692 were in part the result of such fungus-contaminated rye. Bread-makers could have absorbed the fungus thru their hands (as did Hofmann). Cooking would have made it safe for others.

A check of the weather that summer in Salem confirms that it was especially cool and wet…ideal conditions for the fungus.

The leading LSD researcher in the US in the 1950s was the psychoanalyst Sidney Cohen. Dr. Cohen described his own first trip as “a majestic, sunlit, heavenly inner quietude (1955).”

Myself, I found, like Hofmann, an initial deep emptyness and depression for about 45 minutes, then (thru clinical guidance) a wild psychedelic display of visual hallucinations and thoughts that seemed to stretch thru the ends of the universe.

Our senior guide, Dr. Robin Barraco of WSU, had explained to us that the drug mimicked the natural neurotransmitter serotonin in the body, filling the nervous system with “blank messages” that could be interpreted in any manner by the brain…extreme pleasure, visual hallucinations, or even “bum trips.”

As I experienced, many therapists were experimenting on themselves and patients with quite extraordinary results. Especially positive therapeutic results have been found with the suffering of the dying, drug addicts, and a remarkable 50% success finding in one early study with extreme alcoholics.

In the 1960s, Dr. Timothy Leary was a Harvard psych researcher. He was involved with the CIA’s Operation: Mk-Ultra search for a mind-control program. Later, Leary and others popularized the spiritual and recreational use of the hallucinogen.

The conservative morals’ police, inside and outside gov’t, opposed (non-profit) recreational use of drugs. Any potential danger with the drug itself was not a problem per se, such as more than with ½ million people a year dying from tobacco-related deaths.

For-profit marketing is always an exception under private enterprise. Products that skirted for-profit corporatism were prohibited. Legislation and the DEA thus defined LSD as a Schedule I drug (of no therapeutic value and subject to extreme abuse).

Now, after more than 35 years of prohibition, LSD is making a research and treatment comeback. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is opening the door to research with various hallucinogenic drugs, including LSD, psilocybin (mushrooms), ecstasy (MDMA), etc.

(Click on image to enlarge...)

The center of this research has come full circle back to Switzerland. The American Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is sponsoring research by Dr. Peter Gasser on a group of patients using LSD and facing the extreme anxiety of dying (primarily treated today with Valium).

Other treatment protocols may also involve the use of the psychedelics on extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), advanced-stage cancer, cluster headaches, severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

As a doctor of psychology (PsyD) and a revolutionary activist, I’d like to think that the therapeutic application of LSD may even be positively indicated for ultra-conservatism, fundamentalist religious beliefs, and the OCD drive for excessive wealth, profit and power.

Certainly, psychedelics are far more effective serotonergic agents than the current crop of big-profit pharmaceuticals, Valium, Anafranil, Zoloft and Prozac. I presume one can depend upon Big Pharma’s opposition to LSD, etc., unless of course, they can market them profitably.

Another significant aspect of the psychedelics are their apparent lasting qualities. They often bring about a long-term, psychologically transcendent, change in one’s personality.

From my own quasi-clinical trips, I can only surmise that the actual deep-mind, hallucinogenic therapeutic experiences—rather than the that of episodic stimulants or depressants—creates significant change and learning for the hard-wired brain.

The brain-washing dreams of the CIA may well have been more on-point than they realized.

Unfortunately for those goals–themselves a form of psycho-social disorder–the corrective did the opposite of their political policies.

Dr. Publico

Category: CIA/chaos, LSD
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One Response
  1. Smithg124 says:

    Very nice! gkdfkeecke

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