(ANTIMEDIA Op-Ed) Most are familiar with the age-old tale of the poor confused teenager who took a tab of LSD, lost their mind, and leaped off a balcony to their death. Despite how rare these incidents are, stigmatic stories of fatal consequences following a dose of LSD remain a common reference for the misinformed and misguided.
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The positive experiences — or at the very least, non-fatal — vastly outnumber incredibly rare LSD-linked tragedies to the point where tragedies become news while the mind-expanding experiences are met with a common “duh.” Modern science has been on a roll confirming this by uncovering the positive effects of LSD on mental health, creativity, and more.
A recent study conducted at the University of Basel revealed that subjects under the influence of the standard dose of 100 micrograms of LSD reacted to things like fear, anxiety, and other negative emotions differently than those who were not. According to the MRI scans done during this small study, activity in the amygdala – a part of the brain that plays a vital role in processing emotions, especially, in this case, negative ones – was greatly reduced, making patients less prone to fear and anxiety.
This information opens potential doors for new forms of therapy. According to Doctor Felix Müller, lead author of the study, “This ‘de-frightening’ effect could be an important factor for positive therapeutic effects.”
In addition to revelations about the therapeutic effects of LSD – the same therapeutic effects most LSD users have been aware of for about 70 years – a recent trend has taken over in areas like Silicon Valley: microdosing.
The goal of microdosing is to take 10-20 micrograms (one-tenth or one-fifth of a dose) of LSD in order to trigger sub-perceptual effects that give the user an edge in their creativity and focus, rather than sending them on a psychedelic adventure. Its popularity in the tech industry shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the degree of innovation, creativity, and high energy needed to succeed in that market. In an interview with Rolling Stone, a tech startup employee who works as a software designer, hardware designer, salesman, and more described his experience with a microdose at the office in brief.
“I had an epic time. I was making a lot of sales, talking to a lot of people, finding solutions to their technical problems.”
Still, despite these astoundingly positive discoveries and uses attributed to Old Lucy, we still bear witness to an ongoing string of arrests on charges of possession of LSD.
On Friday, March 31st, police in Waterloo, IA, arrested two men, Nicholas Lee Armstrong (22) and Mitchell Allen Mincks (21), for possession of 25 tabs of LSD with intent to deliver and possession of a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver.
On April 4th, Shelby Leynn Ashworth (20) of Angier, NC, was arrested in Cary, NC, and charged with felony trafficking charges for LSD. In North Carolina, any quantity of 100 doses or more exceeds possession charges and enters trafficking territory. Ashworth was in possession of 138 doses and was held on $75,000 bail.
The following day, on April 5th, Nicholas Peter Stamboulis (21) and Zakary Noah Zafer Sommer (21) were arrested by Frederick Police in Maryland for possession of 20 grams of cannabis and 37 tabs of LSD. Stamboulis was placed on $10,000 bail while Sommer was given $5,000.
Meanwhile, overseas, two men were recently arrested in Wanaka, New Zealand, after authorities uncovered 200 tabs of LSD and six grams of cannabis extract during a house raid. The same day, another search warrant was executed, leading police to discover a minuscule amount of cannabis and 100 seeds, resulting in a third arrest.
In Mumbai, India, five young college students were arrested for attempting to sell LSD as a result of a sting operation carried out by the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of Mumbai Police.
In addition to the fact that these arrests violate the basic moral right of two non-violent, consenting adults to conduct a private transaction, the ocean of information indicating LSD’s positive effects — and, again, the absurdly low rate of LSD-related deaths and injuries — renders them void of merit beyond government legislation.
As an individual who has had nothing but positive, mind-expanding, and soulful healing experiences with LSD and other psychedelic substances, I say:
END THE DRUG WAR.