II. A Breif History of LSD
The actual chemical 25 d-lysergic acid diethylmide (abbr. LSD), was not discovered until 1938 by Sweedish Botanist Albert Hoffman. In fact, psychadelic drugs have been used since the time of the Egyptians.
Increased usage of such drugs were noted during the time of the Incas, Mayans, Aztecs, and other such South American indian tribes. They noticed that portions of the Psilocybin mushroom (a.k.a "magic mushrooms") created an alternate mental state. Of course, they were not educated in psychiatry or chemistry, and saw this fungus as a botanical gift. The Aztecs dubbed it "Teonanacotl", which means "The Flesh of Gods", for when it was eaten, they felt heightened emotional states, bizzare trances, and felt closer to their many deities.
Indian tribes that lived in early Arizona and New Mexico would use the skin of the Peyote cactus for the same effect. The active ingrediant in Peyote is mescaline, which is different from LSD in that it consists of extreme visuals rather than mood alteration. The problem with Peyote is that it caused severe indigestion, and it was near mandatory to vomit it back up after it was taken (even though it was dejected, the drug effects still remain.)
Other psychadelic chemicals such as LSD and mescaline can be found in the rotting remains of various fruits and vegetables. In the 1600´s, the potato was a valuable crop for pilgrims. They lived before anyone knew the importance of food preservation, thus potato´s, though spoiled, would be eaten to avoid wasting food. The problem was, potato´s ferment a variety of mind altering chemicals during decomposition. It was for this reason that people made such claims as witches (watching people fly) or caused fear of being cursed or hexed, blaming their behavior on innocent people, not knowing once it was a chemical effect (too bad cafeteria food can´t do this :)
It wasn´t until the late 1930´s that such effects would be documented, experimented with, and studied more throughly. The actual LSD substance was found by mistake. Albert Hoffman noticed this effect when he ingested a small portion of bread rye. There is much more to learn on this, and you can read further by clicking here.
After the discovery of its effects, it wouldn´t be long before the government would hear about it. The CIA had intentions of using it as a form of mind control and brain-washing. Experiementers were given nearly 15,000 µg (micrograms. 1 µg = 1/1,000,000 of a gram) of LSD at one time. The plan failed and succeeded in many places, but was an over all disaster. Controling the individual was found to be more difficult and the person still could remember what happened during the course of the drug.
In the 1950´s, tests were done with it to help analyze patients in psychiatric wards. This turned out to be disaterous, not only to the patient, but the defenseless doctor who could not control his patient (though it did suceed in treating people at times). It was also found that migraine head-aches could be stopped by giving small, non-psychadelic doses of it at one time.
The drug didn´t become illegal until the end of the 1960´s. In 1969, Congress passed a law illegalizing it use, for it had no profound medicinal purposes. This was about the same time that Albert Hoffman published his book "LSD: My Problem Child." The sixties were most recognized for the unadulterated use of many different drugs. Marajuana started to be used more. Heroin and cocaine started to appear on the scene, as did PCP, ether, mescaline, and other such chemicals. However, none were more profoundly abused than LSD. I think the sixties speak for themselves when it comes to the subject of LSD. You can do your own research from it.
Today, LSD is making a reappearance as a common street drug. More and more teens & adults are starting to use it at raves (though Ecstasy seems to be the drug of choice for techno clubs), and recreational use of it is more prominant. However, there have been no recent cases of LSD related deaths, which is a good sign that it is respected as a strong drug, and has no chance of endangering many people.
LSD as An illegal drug
The legality of LSD became classified as an A type drug, which means it is controled by government. First time offenders caught with LSD are fined no more than $25,000 dollars and a 3 year prison setence. Traffickers and dealers can be tried on a federal offense and face 10 to 30 years with up to a $250,000 fine, even more so if a death results of them dealing it. Be careful though! Some states have passed laws that could imprison king-pin dealers up to 40 years. This is mandatory and will be done on your first offense. All fines and sentences are based on the amount of the drug you have with you at time of arrest.