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Old 05-14-2007, 11:15 AM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Why is LSD illegal?

Up front I want to say that my purpose in this thread is not to condone or even discuss LSD use, and I really don't want the thread to go in that direction, especially since it violates board rules.

But seriously... I can get why cocaine is illegal. It's addictive. It changes people in really bad ways. It kills people fairly easily. It does long-term damage physically. Same for heroin, same for meth, same for a lot of drugs. Even pot, the most debated drug of all, is at least somewhat addictive, and has some negative physical effects.

But LSD? I've always said that it wasn't dangerous, but my boyfriend, who is in medical school, just had a class where they talked extensively about drugs and what each one of them did and so on. They went on at length about the damage that this one or the other one died. Then they got to LSD and after describing the effects and how long it lasted, the doctor pretty much said "and... then it wears off and that's it." It doesn't stay in the system. It isn't addictive. It doesn't do any physiological damage of any kind. About the only thing I can think of is "flashbacks" and those are A) rare and B) generally associated with much larger doses than people tend to take these days (more like what they took back in the '60s). The only deaths that have been LSD related were associated with accidents, not with anything directly caused by the drug. You don't hear about big crime families centered around carting big bales of LSD-soaked blotter across the borders, shooting their rivals with semiautomatic weapons.

So why is it illegal? Is it just that the government doesn't like the idea of people tripping? Are they just against the idea of people sitting around giggling like idiots while listening to music and staring at the walls and avoiding rice and spaghetti? Is it pressure from religious types? Is it just the whole "it's a drug, and drugs are bad, m'kay" ideology? Or is there an actual legitimate reason?

A lot of the same arguments that come up about pot are relevant here; cigarettes and alcohol are both worse and still legal, etc. Except with LSD, the arguments that can be used against pot are largely not applicable. About the only thing I can think is... some people have become fairly unproductive because of using too much LSD (similar to potheads who don't do anything with their lives)... but I don't see that as something that the government should legislate.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:23 AM
stolichnaya stolichnaya is offline
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LSD is much better understood now than it once was, and laws and mores have inertia. I think it scared the crap out of a lot of people back in the day. Actively demonized as well, associated with a marginalized subculture, etc.

Weed is viewed much more lightly by science and the public these days, and it's still illegal too.

I have a pal who theorizes that it is illegal becuase the government once saw it as an interrogation aide or somesuch and wanted to limit its distribution. I think that's interesting, but unlikely to have been necessary.

I think if Marijuana and LSD suddenly arrived on the scene today, with all of the science associated, they'd be much less likely to be illegal. I wonder about that sometimes- what if a brand new drug was discovered, with no real medical benefits but no side-effects either. How would that be marketed/approved/etc? It would probably have to enter via the grey market and the resultant criminal activity would demonize the substance anyway.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:30 AM
Pushkin Pushkin is offline
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Here's the obligatory wikipedia link on the dangers and the experience of its inventor, during his bicycle day.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:35 AM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
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Anecdote: I had a friend in College that got "Puddled". Meaning, she cupped her hands and liquid LSD was poured in her palms...she lapped it up and waited. This was 1990. Poor girl was rushed to the hospital for being unresponsive the next morning...To my knowledge she was released from school, and committed. The stories go that she went insane from such a dose of LSD.

Grand as the example may be, I went to college and experimented my fair share with altared states...but LSD always scared me. I'm not sure of the legal ramifications, but of the friends that went to med school and who are now docs, I only know of one who condones it's use as being "less harmful than other drugs". I probably have not added to this thread...I'd like to see others remark.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:36 AM
groman groman is offline
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I think things just, on average, tend to stay illegal once illegal. Who wants to be the politician trying to "legalize hallucinogenic drugs", "lower age of consent", "increase speed limits", "legalize bigger guns", "lower <...> age", "reduce <...> regulations", etc. Of course there are better ways to spin it but it's still an uphill battle. Federal legislation exists with no sound process to automatically remove laws that have gotten stale or inappropriate. It's getting so bloated that I've been a big proponent of quantifying what a fundamental "rule" element of law is, and making it necessary to repeal any two existing rules for any new one introduced, at least on the federal level.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:40 AM
stolichnaya stolichnaya is offline
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I should add that while mores have inertia, morays move quite fluidly.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:41 AM
Busy Scissors Busy Scissors is offline
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The potency of LSD should give pause when considering its legal status. Few illicit drugs have the activity of lsd, which is at the order of micrograms per active dose IIRC. Given the profound psychoactive effects, at such low dosing, its pretty much a given that its use is going to be heavily regulated.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:46 AM
brewha brewha is offline
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My only issue with LSD is that it seems to attack the spinal cord. I don't know how exactly it works, but I do know that it can cause a dull throbbing pain in your spine.

Anyone know what's going on there? I'm sure I would have heard if it actually could cause paralysis, but it can't be good for your spinal cord, right?
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:48 AM
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Philosophr: Taking such enormous amounts of LSD is not unheard of. I know a few people who have taken similar amounts and been fine, but (pardon the term) tripped their nuts off for a very long time. In the entire history of the world, no one has ever overdosed on LSD.

LSD can help propel unknown mental problems, and has been reported to antagonize depressive or manic symptoms, but for perfectly normal, mentally stable people, it is not in any way dangerous.

Also, can I get a cite from the OP that marijuana is even a little bit addictive? I have never seen such a claim validated, and my personal experience tells otherwise. But I'm willing to look at any research.



I think the reason LSD is illegal is the same reason most things are illegal: politicians find an activity that most people don't understand, build a fear campaign and convert people's ignorance and fear into law.

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Old 05-14-2007, 11:54 AM
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Brewha: the dosage of LSD is incredibly small. Micrograms small. The majority is metabolized within 12 hours and the rest is excreted in the next 24 hours. It does not stay in your spinal cord for the rest of your life, waiting to be cracked back into action, as the myth goes.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:57 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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I was always told that people taking LSD were more prone to accidents, and that was why the drug was illegal. For instance, they would jump out of windows because they thought they could fly. Or run out into the streets because some image on tv scared them.

Is there any truth to the stories of people harming themselves during an LSD-trip?
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:02 PM
brewha brewha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForumBot
Brewha: the dosage of LSD is incredibly small. Micrograms small. The majority is metabolized within 12 hours and the rest is excreted in the next 24 hours. It does not stay in your spinal cord for the rest of your life, waiting to be cracked back into action, as the myth goes.
I realize it doesn't stay in your system and I'm worried about flashbacks. I guess my question is, what causes the pain in your spinal cord while tripping? Or, is this not a normal experience?
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:02 PM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LSD#Pot...sks_of_LSD_use
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Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Although LSD is generally considered nontoxic, it may temporarily impair the ability to make sensible judgments and understand common dangers, thus making the user susceptible to accidents and personal injury.
Personally, I would say that alcohol is much worse, since it amplifies aggression while decreasing decision making skills and coordination.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:03 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pushkin
Here's the obligatory wikipedia link on the dangers and the experience of its inventor, during his bicycle day.
The guy took something like hundreds of times the dose that people these days take, so I don't think it's really comparable. It's like trying to say "here are the effects of alcohol" and talking about someone who drank a bathtub full of bathtub gin.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:12 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Philosophr
Also, can I get a cite from the OP that marijuana is even a little bit addictive? I have never seen such a claim validated, and my personal experience tells otherwise. But I'm willing to look at any research.
I believe it is considered psychologically addictive. LSD on the other hand tends to be the opposite. The more often someone does it the less they want to. The nature of it seems to sort of be self-regulating.


Maastricht: If you took a *really* high dose, you might believe such things, or be scared by something, but at the dose that people typically take, hallucinations are very easy to distinguish from reality, and while you may think "wow, I know exactly what it would feel like to fly" you don't actually believe you *can*. I think that back in the '60s and such when people tended to take much stronger doses, such things may have been more common. In my experience, the most common thing for people who are tripping really hard to do is to not move around much. They'll sit in one place and everything happens in their head. (Not always, certainly, but it's more common than not, I think.)

There will always be idiots who abuse things. I know a guy who drank lighter fluid to try to get high. We've all seen people abuse alcohol. But I've known a lot of people who take/took LSD fairly regularly, and the worst I ever saw was someone get some fairly bad gas cramping in their tummy. I've seen people act fairly stupid, just in the being goofy kind of way, and I've heard stories about people I know doing embarrassing things (like wandering outside with no pants on) but I've never heard of anyone I personally knew hurting themselves beyond normal clumsiness (banging a knee on the coffee table, etc).
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:15 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
I realize it doesn't stay in your system and I'm worried about flashbacks. I guess my question is, what causes the pain in your spinal cord while tripping? Or, is this not a normal experience?
I never had pain in my spinal cord. It could be that it's regular back pain from sitting in a poor position for too long and not realizing it? Or unconsciously tensing muscles you don't normally?

There is no physiological affect of the drug that would do anything to your spine.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:52 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stolichnaya
I should add that while mores have inertia, morays move quite fluidly.
No, you shouldn't.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:04 PM
hajario hajario is offline
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LSD can be very dangerous but not in the same way as other drugs. This should be obvious to anyone who has any kind of experience with the drug. It is not addictive not does it have a lethal dose like alcohol or amphetamines. That is clear and no one would argue otherwise. That said, it is disingenuous to say the least to claim that there is no danger.

Would you want someone driving or operating heavy machinery on LSD? I think not. LSD massively screws up your perceptions.

As for the "I think I can fly" myth, it's true that that isn't likely to happen in the way that it is typically described. What can happen though is someone walking off of the edge of a building or into traffic because they are distracted.

Ever seen someone have a bad trip? I have and it's not something that you ever want to experience. I am talking about a true bad trip. This isn't someone who isn't having fun and wishing they didn't dose that night. This is someone who has totally lost connection with reality and has to be restrained or, even worse, taken to the ER and pumped full of sedatives until the dose wears off.

LSD mimics schizophrenia. A lot of the early medical research into LSD was because of this fact. If a person already has schizophrenic tendencies, a LSD trip can set it off in the person. Those very few people who really do take acid and end up in the loony bin are in that category.

Disclaimer: In my distant past, I had somewhere around a couple hundred acid trips. I never personally had a bad experience but plenty of people I know have to varying degrees. There are two people out there who would now be dead if I hadn't have physically restrained them during a bad acid trip. I am not exaggerating here.

LSD is a drug to be respected. If you are going to play with it, be sure that you are in a safe place, are in a healthy state of mind and are with responsible people.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:06 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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I don't think that its dangers are enough to justify it being illegal, though. I don't want anybody driving or operating heavy machinery on a high dose of Benedryl or NyQuil either, but I don't think they should be illegal.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:08 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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I hate like hell to blame "the government" for things that happen. Hate it.

But LSD was banned in 1967 because "the government" went to war on people who were different. It's not exactly the first time such things have happened. Prohibition had a huge anti-immigrant group hate component, "marihuana" was thought of as a "Negro" problem, and also see: red scare - 1919, 1951 etc.

But it was the first and I think only time "the government" went to war on a middle class group. J. Edgar Hoover had quite a bit to do with it, but it was not a full blown war until Nixon took office and expanded it. That's why in political discussions you keep hearing the phrase, I thought Nixon was bad...

Still, drugs are more often banned in the country for political reasons than medical ones. (Cocaine and heroin were the exceptions: patent medicine abuse was truly severe around the turn of the 20th century.) And LSD was a real-life non-conspirary-theory political vendetta, from what I've read about the 60s. You don't have to be a fan of Timothy Leary's (and I'm not) to believe the government deliberately went out of its way to get him.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:09 PM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlosphr
Anecdote: I had a friend in College that got "Puddled". Meaning, she cupped her hands and liquid LSD was poured in her palms...she lapped it up and waited. This was 1990.
I have never heard of such a thing. What could possibly be the point? What do you mean by "liquid LSD"? I know people who dissolve windowpane or blotter in a glass of water as a way of sharing it among friends, but that is not any stronger than the hit they dissolved. If you had a solution of LSD of reasonable strength then it would be worth 10s of thousands of dollars if made into blotters.

Just as an aside, I once worked at a place that made radioactively "tagged" LSD of guaranteed strength and purity for research purposes. I was tempted to steal a little, but was afraid that knowing it was radioactive would flip me out while tripping,
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:12 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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I've seen liquid LSD. It's expensive and comes in a tiny, tiny vial. One drop = one hit, roughly. Usually put on a sugar cube or something. POURING some on your hand and licking it up? I also can't imagine such a thing except by someone who was amazingly stupid in a wide variety of ways. Yes, enough liquid LSD to POUR and LAP UP would be worth a hell of a lot of money, and wouldn't be ANY fun at all to take. But then, some people are incredibly stupid.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:14 PM
hajario hajario is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpalCat
I don't think that its dangers are enough to justify it being illegal, though. I don't want anybody driving or operating heavy machinery on a high dose of Benedryl or NyQuil either, but I don't think they should be illegal.
How dangerous does something have to be before it is illegal? You could argue that nothing should be illegal, I suppose. I tend towards the Libertarian myself.

In your OP you said that it wasn't dangerous. Now you are conceding that there are dangers. I can't believe that you didn't know about them all along. Those dangers, which you know full well are worse than anti-histamines, are the reason why it is illegal. Your question has been answered. If it's a debate you want, this isn't the place for it.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:17 PM
recessiveMeme recessiveMeme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpalCat
Is it just the whole "it's a drug, and drugs are bad, m'kay" ideology? Or is there an actual legitimate reason?
I know it's terribly banal, but here it is again...
LSD is bad because "It's a drug." Presumably, it is actually bad because the DEA and others feel it carries a "high potential for abuse". Now, I'm not sure exactly what that means-- but it certainly sounds bad, does it not?

Basically, some people successfully lobbied the government in a moralizing crusade directed at a stereotype and now we have laws. John Q. Public thought to himself, "Gee, would a prohibition of <insert drug here> affect me, personally? " and a majority of Johns came to the conclusion that the answer was "No." After all, the laws were only affecting lazy hippy-types.

However, when such a question is applied to things like alcohol, tobacco, saturated fat, television, La-z-boys, etc. a lot of people come to the conclusion that "Those things make me happy!" See the prohibition of alcohol.

Things like the possibility of addiction and the inherent danger associated with drugs are mostly ad-hoc justifications. If you're looking for logic and consistency, this is just another one of those issues wherein you'll find neither.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:30 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpalCat
So why is it illegal? Is it just that the government doesn't like the idea of people tripping? Are they just against the idea of people sitting around giggling like idiots while listening to music and staring at the walls and avoiding rice and spaghetti? Is it pressure from religious types? Is it just the whole "it's a drug, and drugs are bad, m'kay" ideology? Or is there an actual legitimate reason?
I don't wish to be snarky about this, but so often when this kind of question comes up, so much of the discussion focuses on scientific studies of what drug is safer or more dangerous than another, and all of that is, for the most part, beside the point. These decisions are not actually made by scientists and doctors, but the government through laws and bureaucratic actions.

Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, and initially placed LSD on the list of Schedule I drugs -- those that have a high likelihood of abuse, no currently accepted medical uses, lack of accepted safety protocols. The Department of Justice may review and update the list of schedules on a periodic basis. Why was LSD originally placed on Schedule I? Well, one congressman may have thought that the science was too iffy to justify the safety of LSD, and other may have hated hippies. So there may be a multitude of reasons, but in general, it seems that Congress determined that LSD had no medical uses, was prone to abuse, and there were no known protocols for safe use.

Additionally, the Controlled Substances Act makes reference to respecting treaties that are used to control narcotics and drugs. The 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances (a UN sponsored treaty) also lists LSD as a Schedule I drug.

It is possible under the law for the Dept of Justice to study whether a drug should be moved to another list. Needless to say, the process is rather stacked towards not allowing drugs to be moved further down the schedules, making them more widely available. Looking at the law, there isn't really a measure or comparison of, this drug is better than this drug, therefore should be less controlled. The process appear to be an examination of one particular drug without context/comparison to other drugs.

So while there are certainly scientific questions here, probably best explanation of why LSD is illegal is that both Congress and the United Nations, through its member states, have established laws and treaties that treated LSD as a very dangerous drug. To be able to remove the drug from that list, there are fairly high legal barriers that must be demonstrated, and that hasn't been done to the satisfaction of those who make the decisions. I haven't been able to find that there has been any serious effort to move LSD from Schedule I, but I'm rather curious now and may keep looking.

Or we could blame those UN one-worlders. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Text of Controlled Substances Act.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:22 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hajario
In your OP you said that it wasn't dangerous. Now you are conceding that there are dangers. I can't believe that you didn't know about them all along. Those dangers, which you know full well are worse than anti-histamines, are the reason why it is illegal. Your question has been answered. If it's a debate you want, this isn't the place for it.
Soap is dangerous. Anything can be dangerous. When I said it wasn't dangerous, I meant in the sense that the government needs to make it illegal to keep everyone safe. I don't feel that it IS worse than anti-histamines, "danger" wise. Is there a more noticeable effect? Sure. But I don't think that's the same thing. In my experience, people just don't tend to get into trouble on LSD. I think the "dangers" are vastly overstated. I think things like alcohol are far more "dangerous" and unhealthy, and yet we're allowed to use those.

I think the government just doesn't like the idea of people altering their state of mind like that. And that's what I don't get. (And yet I can wander around my house so staggering drunk that I can't tell my couch from my toilet, and that's just fine.) I don't understand why they care.

My thinking, laid out simply, is this: the health/danger effects of LSD are not, IMO, enough to warrant the government making it illegal, especially in light of other things that are perfectly legal. Therefore I must conclude that it's the actual drug effect that they don't like, and I don't understand why. I don't get why being in an altered state of mind is considered such a taboo thing.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman
So while there are certainly scientific questions here, probably best explanation of why LSD is illegal is that both Congress and the United Nations, through its member states, have established laws and treaties that treated LSD as a very dangerous drug.
So your entire point is "it's illegal because their are laws declaring it so"? That's not particularly insightful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpalCat
I believe it is considered psychologically addictive.
I hate that that qualifies as "addictive". The internet is psychologically addictive, but we don't regulate who and can't use it. I wish there were a clearer way of effectively differentiating between the two, to better inform people of its real effects.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajario
LSD mimics schizophrenia
That's a gross oversimplification and not entirely accurate. Schizophrenia is partially a result of increased serotonin levels, and LSD triggers those same recepters, but LSD does not "mimic" anything. Schizophrenia occurs primarily in the frontal lobes and hippocampus, while LSD targets these areas, there is also some action in the upper registers of the brain stem.

Brewha: Regarding your spinal pain, I would guess similar to OpalCat had, that you are sitting in an uncomfortable posture without realizing it and your body is also more aware of any discomfort in the heightened state of awareness brought on by LSD. IIRC, serotonin is implicated in the regulation of your central nervous system which does involve the spine. What little I do know of the nervous system lies in the brain stem, not the spinal cord.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpalCat
I don't understand why they care.
Because the government isn't a "they", it is a "we," and we are nosy bastards with a habit of sticking our noses where they don't belong.

Last edited by ForumBot; 05-14-2007 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:25 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Originally Posted by ForumBot
I hate that that qualifies as "addictive". The internet is psychologically addictive, but we don't regulate who and can't use it. I wish there were a clearer way of effectively differentiating between the two, to better inform people of its real effects. of any discomfort in the heightened state of awareness brought on by LSD.
Oh I'm with you there, trust me. I'm just saying that even insofar as pot can be considered "addictive", LSD cannot. It isn't even physically possible to trip every day, as far as I know. You have to wait until it's out of your system before another dose will even "work". In my experience with the people I know and have talked to, you're far more likely to get sick of it if you do it regularly than you are to crave doing it even more. I was just trying to address the various things that people bring up for why X drug is [spooky voice]baaaaaad[/spooky voice] because it seems like most of those things don't really apply in the case of LSD.

Last edited by OpalCat; 05-14-2007 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:39 PM
brewha brewha is offline
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Originally Posted by ForumBot

Brewha: Regarding your spinal pain, I would guess similar to OpalCat had, that you are sitting in an uncomfortable posture without realizing it and your body is also more aware of any discomfort in the heightened state of awareness brought on by LSD. IIRC, serotonin is implicated in the regulation of your central nervous system which does involve the spine. What little I do know of the nervous system lies in the brain stem, not the spinal cord.

Whoa! I never said it was my spinal pain! It was this ..err.. friend of mine.

Last edited by brewha; 05-14-2007 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:47 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
Still, drugs are more often banned in the country for political reasons than medical ones. (Cocaine and heroin were the exceptions: patent medicine abuse was truly severe around the turn of the 20th century.)
Hmmm. I think you're being overly generous here. What is "truly severe"?
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:08 PM
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While it might seem a bit hypocritical for me to say this, I think that it might be a good idea that it is not readily available. In casual use, one may accidentally drink a bit too much, and the worst that usually happens is vomiting and hangovers. Too much to smoke and one goes to sleep after eating everything in the house. Too much LSD, or even the correct dosage, but in the wrong state of mind, and it is several very unpleasant hours. It's happened to most people I know, including me. I've known several who've ended up in emergency rooms, injected with a tranquilizer. However, I can't get terribly worked up about people choosing to use it, as long they aren't also trying to drive. There are enough hazards on the roadways today without worrying them swerving to avoid the waltzing fluroescent mailboxes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewha
I guess my question is, what causes the pain in your spinal cord while tripping? Or, is this not a normal experience?
Well, occasionally there is a bit of trouble when one transforms back from being a hatrack or a piece of Chippendale furniture. My advice would be to focus on becoming nice plush stuffed furniture next time to avoid this.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:16 PM
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Trips to the emergency room are physically completely unnecessary. The drug will wear off in time.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:25 PM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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If a microdrop is one hit, and costs, what, 10-20 bucks (I have no clue, just guessing), if you poured several ounces in your hand, regardless of the result, wouldn't that cost thousands of dollars?
  #34  
Old 05-14-2007, 03:30 PM
Ins&Outs&What-have-yous Ins&Outs&What-have-yous is offline
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I'd like to slightly hijack here to address stoli's questions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by stolichnaya
I wonder about that sometimes- what if a brand new drug was discovered, with no real medical benefits but no side-effects either. How would that be marketed/approved/etc?
Actually, these questions are not entirely hypothetical. Salvinorin-A, the psychoactive compound in salvia divinorum was only recently (1990s IIRC) discovered by modern society and is still unknown to many people (including some of the seasoned drug users I've met). The DEA has SD on their radar, but it's still legal in 46 states in the USA. SD use as a drug is illegal in some countries, but seemingly unrestricted in other countries.

SD has been a popular topic of conversation among certain friends of mine in the past couple years. The experiences I've heard about are often bizarre and vary greatly. From the above Wiki link:
Quote:
At high doses the effects become more powerful and may additionally include reports of perceptions of dimensional distortion, vertigo, feelings of intense exhilaration and/or panic, sensations of wind or physical pressure, hearing voices, flanging of sound, significant open and closed-eye visuals, loss of speech, dissociation, reports of experiencing alternate realities, out-of-body experiences, visiting parallel universes, as well as perceived contact with beings or entities, dissolution of one's ego and life changing experiences. Many users report twisting or splitting feelings. It is also not unusual that, while experiencing the effects, a person will not remember that they have taken Salvia, which can cause the user to panic. A strong feeling of déjà vu is commonly reported as an effect of large doses of Salvia.

The experience is quite different from that of most other psychoactives and may be overwhelming, even with a conducive, reassuring and comfortable set and setting. Most Salvia practitioners recommend darkness and silence as the best environment; however, minimal, ambient or relaxing music can be helpful.
Also...
Quote:
Salvia divinorum is understood to be nontoxic and nonaddictive.
The raw SD leaf has low concentration of Salvinorin-A and is likewise not very potent. The leaves are often processed into a concentrated extract. One can buy or grow the raw leaves and smoke or eat them but the users I know prefer to smoke the concentrated extract which provides strong effects after only a couple or several hits depending on potency of the extract and how long one hold in the smoke.

AFAIK, SD is not known to provide any real physiological benefit or harm, but medical research on its effects are few and far between. The total loss of coordination associated with a SD trip is the primary danger. I read a couple stories on Erowid about people who took hits while driving (they thought it was pot) and wrecked. I think Delaware made SD illegal after some kid got killed in a car accident and SD was discovered on him, but I don't recall details.

To address the question about how it's marketed/approved: SD can be purchased online from manufacturers or from sellers on eBay and other sites. The only retail stores that I've seen that sold SD were little hippy shops that also sold drug accessories, incense, posters, psychedelic t-shirts, music, etc. From what I remember, the packaging labels do not indicate that the product inside is a mind altering drug, and there are no warning labels. The labels that I've seen said something like '<brand name> Salvia... Salvinorin A...20x (potency)....1 gram....Incense blah blah' and that's about it. I checked a retailer's website just now and it had a small print disclaimer: "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult a doctor before beginning an exercise program." Maybe the packaging also has this small print; I don't recall. I've never seen any advertisements for SD, but stores that sell the stuff will usually have a sticker or sign that indicates they have an SD inventory behind the counter. I guess it's mostly a word of mouth or Internet phenomenon.

Salvia divinorum's popularity seems to be limited by it's high price (compared to pot), brief duration of effects, and probably it's weirdness in general. Whether you love it or hate it or are indifferent, salvia is unique in it's social and legal status.

I recall a couple old threads on the SDMB about salvia divinorum. You can search or ask me to link 'em if you like.

[/end hijack]

I have no comment on LSD. AFAIK, I've never even seen LSD since my druggie friends mostly stick to pot, shrooms, and of course the occasional SD.
  #35  
Old 05-14-2007, 03:36 PM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groman
I think things just, on average, tend to stay illegal once illegal. Who wants to be the politician trying to "legalize hallucinogenic drugs", "lower age of consent", "increase speed limits", "legalize bigger guns", "lower <...> age", "reduce <...> regulations", etc. Of course there are better ways to spin it but it's still an uphill battle. Federal legislation exists with no sound process to automatically remove laws that have gotten stale or inappropriate. It's getting so bloated that I've been a big proponent of quantifying what a fundamental "rule" element of law is, and making it necessary to repeal any two existing rules for any new one introduced, at least on the federal level.
It would be simpler to require all laws to have a reasonable expiration date (20-30 years sounds about right). The time required to periodically re-enact the actual worthwhile ones would have the side benefit of keeping the politicians busy and thus less likely to do additional damage.
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  #36  
Old 05-14-2007, 03:37 PM
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Lots of people feel nothing from salvia, it has a very harsh, unpleasant taste and the trip is too intense for most people. Despite the fact that it's legal, it's not particularly pleasant, so there isn't any pressing need to make it illegal.

I wouldn't agree with you that SD is more expensive than pot. Per gram, a 10x extract is comparable with "cheap" pot (around these parts, it's called schwag) and will stretch a lot further, as it takes less to get the user high.
  #37  
Old 05-14-2007, 03:44 PM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
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Opal, if LSD were legal then people would spend destructively enormous amounts of time online popping virtual bubble wrap. And nobody wants that now, do they.


Or do they?

Last edited by The Great Sun Jester; 05-14-2007 at 03:45 PM.
  #38  
Old 05-14-2007, 03:45 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee Bairn
If a microdrop is one hit, and costs, what, 10-20 bucks (I have no clue, just guessing), if you poured several ounces in your hand, regardless of the result, wouldn't that cost thousands of dollars?
A "hit" is typically 100micrograms, and I've seen it cost anywhere from $1-$5 for one hit. Most people I know took 2-4 hits for a given trip. In places where it's harder to find it's probably a lot more expensive. Plus, my information is 15-20 years old.

But yeah, enough to pour a puddle in your hand would be a lot of money and NO fun at all. You'd probably be more or less unconscious for days, is my guess. (Basically so lost in your own head that you no longer relate to your body until it wears off.) I've never known anyone to do anything so stupid. I did know of someone who took about 30 hits once, and tripped for about a week, supposedly, much of which time they had little or no connection with reality. That kind of misuse is pretty rare, though. (And someone who did it once would probably be preeeetty unlikely to do so again)
  #39  
Old 05-14-2007, 03:47 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya
Opal, if LSD were legal then people would spend destructively enormous amounts of time online popping virtual bubble wrap. And nobody wants that now, do they.


Or do they?
Ooooh... gotta start me a lobby group ASAP
  #40  
Old 05-14-2007, 06:02 PM
Ins&Outs&What-have-yous Ins&Outs&What-have-yous is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForumBot
Lots of people feel nothing from salvia, it has a very harsh, unpleasant taste and the trip is too intense for most people. Despite the fact that it's legal, it's not particularly pleasant, so there isn't any pressing need to make it illegal.
Like any drug, opinions and experiences regarding SD differ greatly among individual users. I've seen bandmates and friends mix some liquid flavor stuff (I forget what they call it) with salvia that supposedly makes it taste better. Also, most of them often mix the salvia with pot which supposedly makes the effect less intense and more pleasant and maybe even last longer. I wish I could be more directly informative, but my exposure to the drug culture is generally limited to being around other rock musicians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ForumBot
I wouldn't agree with you that SD is more expensive than pot. Per gram, a 10x extract is comparable with "cheap" pot (around these parts, it's called schwag) and will stretch a lot further, as it takes less to get the user high.
I looked this up on a website that sells reputable SD: a gram of 20x costs $80 if ordered from that particular site (PM me if you want a link) and that probably doesn't include shipping. I can only imagine the cost of 'schwag' varies a lot depending on a number of factors. What would $80 get ya, maybe 1/2 oz or 3/4 oz of schwag pot? Would that not last a bit longer than one gram of the quick tripping salvia? Maybe a gram of 10x or 20x salvia lasts longer than I thought....I dunno.

Last edited by Ins&Outs&What-have-yous; 05-14-2007 at 06:04 PM.
  #41  
Old 05-14-2007, 09:59 PM
commasense commasense is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
But it was the first and I think only time "the government" went to war on a middle class group. J. Edgar Hoover had quite a bit to do with it, but it was not a full blown war until Nixon took office and expanded it. That's why in political discussions you keep hearing the phrase, I thought Nixon was bad...

Still, drugs are more often banned in the country for political reasons than medical ones.
I believe that MDMA (aka Ecstasy) is another drug made illegal mostly because lots of middle-class people were enjoying it, not because it posed serious health threats. A PBS documentary on the history of MDMA I saw a couple of years ago pointed out that it was being used with some success by psychologists treating patients with intimacy issues. From Wikipedia: :
Quote:
MDMA began to be used therapeutically in the mid-1970s after the chemist Alexander Shulgin introduced it to psychotherapist Leo Zeff. As Zeff and others spread word about MDMA, it developed a reputation for enhancing communication, reducing psychological defenses, and increasing capacity for introspection. However, no formal measures of these putative effects were made and blinded or placebo-controlled trials were not conducted. A small number of therapists—including George Greer, Joseph Downing, and Philip Wolfson—used it in their practices until it was made illegal.
In the 1970s MDMA began to be used illicitly, and got the nickname "Ecstasy," but while it was still legal and being produced commercially, there were apparently few if any reports of serious health problems. As I recall, the PBS show suggested that the decision to make it illegal was a political one, based on the drug's popularity and not on any known health hazards. From the same Wiki article:
Quote:
In the United States, MDMA was legal and unregulated until May 31, 1985, at which time it was added to DEA Schedule I, for drugs deemed to have no medical uses and a high potential for abuse. During DEA hearings to criminalize MDMA, most experts recommended DEA Schedule III prescription status for the drug, due to its beneficial usage in psychotherapy. The judge overseeing the hearings, Francis Young, also made this recommendation. Nonetheless, the DEA classified it as Schedule I.
Ironically, the health problems became more common after it was made illegal, in part because the quality of the illegally produced drug was much lower on average. Also, the rare, but widely reported, deaths were mostly a result of people becoming seriously dehydrated while dancing at raves, and not as a direct result of the drug itself.

Furthermore, now that it is on Schedule I, it is politically difficult for scientists to make a case for conducting serious research on its clinical applications. Despite this, it is being studied for possible use in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

There is a strong streak of prudishness among American lawmakers (and not a little cowardice) when it comes to drug laws. As Mr. Mencken said, Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
  #42  
Old 05-14-2007, 10:48 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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OpalCat, I would like to refer you to a favorite book of mine on this and many related topics, "Licit & Illicit Drugs," by Edward M. Brecher and the Editors of Consumer Reports.

Yes, that's right, in 1972, Consumer's Union (!) put out this 600 page book on "narcotics, stimulants, depressants, inhalants, hallucinogens & marijuana, including caffeine, nicotine and alcohol." It is the one of few studies I have seen with no particular ax to grind, treats ALL drugs equally and without bias, and has some startling and well-documented points to make.

One is that addiction, per se, is not necessarily bad. Just the need for a drug to sustain "normality" is not in itself evil; it's the need to obtain large amounts of money to pay for it that causes the damage. They point out that when and where drugs are legal and cheap (and to be cheap usually requires being legal), addicts can lead very productive lives. Examples given are doctors in the 19th century, who had easy access to cheap heroin. The stereotypical addict of the 20th century -- emaciated, thieving, semi-conscious, unable to function -- is often brought about by the pursuit of an artificially expensive habit, not from direct effects of the drug itself.

The book suggests that many substances have been made illegal (in the US) often because of their perceived association with "deviant lifestyles": opium with the Chinese, marijuana with Bohemian, Mexican, negro and other swarthy types. The fear of these cultures' habits spreading to the general populace was just too much to bear, too frightening to investigate, and politically unwise to oppose. Look how easily (alcohol) Prohibition became law from similar roots.

The book has several chapters about LSD, from its discovery to illegality. Just to pull some quotes at random...
The use of LSD was...encouraged and advertised by the antimarijuana publicity of the 1960's. Marijuana and LSD were constantly (and mistakenly) bracketed together in government and medical statements. Official pronouncements repeatedly labeled marijuana, like LSD, a "hallucinogen," leading people to conclude that the effects were similar. The fact that many of the warnings against marijuana were patently false helped destroy the credibility of LSD warnings from the same sources...The barrage of publicity that popularized LSD was intensified by a wave of prohibitive legislation. New York's 1965 penalties for the "possession, sale, exchange, or giving away of LSD or LSD-like drugs" without special license provided for a maximum of two years imprisonment...The Speaker of the NY State Assemby, A. J. Travia, announced that the LSD problem was so urgent, he would defer hearings on the law increasing penalties until after the law was passed...
I highly recommend getting this book, since I see you are interested in the subject. However, it is out of print, so good luck finding it!

Last edited by Musicat; 05-14-2007 at 10:52 PM. Reason: good spelling is next to godliness
  #43  
Old 05-14-2007, 11:15 PM
OpalCat OpalCat is offline
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interesting--thanks!
  #44  
Old 05-14-2007, 11:29 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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I should have checked Amazon first, because there seem to be many copies of the Consumers Union book available, from about $10:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...9199199&sr=8-6

Dated in some ways, but still a valuable resource. It omits more recent drug concerns like meth and crack, and concentrates more on the scares of the 1960s and 70s like glue sniffing, which in itself is a lesson on "how to create a drug menace." The authors point out that glue sniffing was considered fatal, and therefore outlawable, before any fatality ever occurred or any studies done. There also were fears that glue sniffing would lead to a fate worse than death, homosexuality.
  #45  
Old 05-15-2007, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ins&Outs&What-have-yous
I looked this up on a website that sells reputable SD: a gram of 20x costs $80 if ordered from that particular site (PM me if you want a link) and that probably doesn't include shipping. I can only imagine the cost of 'schwag' varies a lot depending on a number of factors. What would $80 get ya, maybe 1/2 oz or 3/4 oz of schwag pot? Would that not last a bit longer than one gram of the quick tripping salvia? Maybe a gram of 10x or 20x salvia lasts longer than I thought....I dunno.
A few years ago, ten grams of 10x could be had for $80. The website may have died since then, but I could supply the link if you're really in for it.
  #46  
Old 05-15-2007, 12:23 AM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Weed and LSD are illegal because those with the power to do so were convinced it was the proper thing to do. The people in power could never say why. The ones who convinced them probably saw Reefer Madness. There was a huge push to demonize all drugs which the less acceptable took.
The people who voted were as about as qualified as Sen. Stevens of Alaska to explain the internet.
  #47  
Old 05-15-2007, 12:25 AM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...82420128930236 And here it is.
  #48  
Old 05-15-2007, 12:37 AM
Oregon sunshine Oregon sunshine is offline
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Back in my younger years, I used to eat puddles of LSD a lot just to party. Sometimes I passed out, but for the most part it was a lot of bizarre fun.

Of course you can judge from my posts whether this made me insane or not.
  #49  
Old 05-15-2007, 12:52 AM
scm1001 scm1001 is offline
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I am suprised no one has mentioned the puritanical urge in all of us. When a subgroup are having fun by taking drugs (or doing other stuff) that another group for religious or cultural reasons feel they are not allowed to do, the second group will try and demonise the activity, and if necessary make it illegal. Happened at one time with nicotine, alcohol, sex, dirty dancing, and illegal drugs. The group will of course phrase their laws in terms of protecting morals, and health and safety .... but deep down I think it is just jealousy.

Of course I may just be smoking too much hooch
  #50  
Old 05-15-2007, 04:00 AM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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LSD is very potent and certainly not for everyone. Opal, surely you have tried it yourself, right? And I know you've interacted with the general public, when they (presumably) weren't tripping on acid. And you don't see anything wrong with making it freely and easily available to aforementioned public?

Not only does LSD pretty much put you out of commission with respect to doing anything mechanically or socially functional while you are on it (although in my younger, wilder days, I have driven under its influence, miraculously without causing an accident. It was still a very bad idea) but it does so for a long frickin' time. At least 14 hours for the effects to wear off fully, depending on dosage.

Plus there's the fact that most people are pretty insecure as it is, and hallucinogens are a prime way to magnify those insecurities a thousandfold, causing them to be shaken up in ways that can be potentially conducive to (I won't say "cause") some pretty grievous errors in judgement. Even if it were made legal, it wouldn't take long before those audacious enough to peddle it to the public were sued into oblivion after a few people had a bad trip.
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