L.S.D., R.I.P.

It saddens me that – apart from a few lucky areas with local producers – the drug LSD has ceased to exist. The one time the war on drugs actually succeeds in wiping a drug out, why must it be a drug I like? (They could have wiped out Meth instead. That would have been just fine with me).

Yes, some folks (me included) have very frightening or unpleasant experiences with LSD. But LSD, at best, creates an absolute conviction in the user that they’ve moved beyond the mind’s ever-present limitations of thought and perception, and that’s a stunning and worthwhile experience. The better LSD trips I had are probably the closest I’ll ever come to life-altering religious ecstasy.

(Admittedly, trying to talk about the experiences to folks who have never had them tends to make LSD users sound like our brains are made of slugs and we’ve had salt poured in our ears, but the near-impossibility of describing the experience is part of what makes it valuable.)

I don’t feel a strong desire to drop acid again. But I find it difficult to comprehend that my generation may have been the last generation (give or take) ever to have our minds blown into fractal patterns and endless connection-generating by LSD. That seems very unfair to the post-LSD generations – as if my generation had used up all the endless summer afternoons with perfect babbling brooks, or something, and no generation will ever get that feeling again.

* * *

Actually, what it reminds me of – and this analogy will probably get me in trouble – is September 11th, listening to the newscasters say that the World Trade Center was gone. Gone? Gone? How can it be gone?

I wasn’t reacting to the death toll – I was reacting to the idea that part of the skyline was gone. I used to spend my lunch breaks at the top of the WTC, looking over Manhattan while munching on a brown-bag sandwich. Surely the newscasters must be wrong. They must mean the buildings have been damaged. The towers are too big to ever be gone.

It wasn’t until later in the broadcasts – when they had footage of the buildings seemingly turning into powder and disintegrating, over and over – that I finally believed something that big and solid, could actually be gone.

Needless to say, the loss of life at the WTC makes that by far the more important loss. Nonetheless, in much the same way I found it hard to comprehend that the WTC could just be gone, I’m finding it hard to beleive that LSD is gone.

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125 Responses to L.S.D., R.I.P.

  1. 101
    k says:

    I don’t agree with beth (see far above).
    according to religion, doing drugs *does* make you a worse person
    so that belief is out there and mendy has the right to believe it and express it
    whether or not you agree
    it boils down to whether you are religious or not

    drugs have links to organized crime, some people never come back from their trips, and doing drugs interferes with one’s ability to discern (as accurately as we usually do) reality

    reality is rich enough as it is, instead of doing drugs why don’t we listen to good music, look at a lovely painting, contemplate the inherent beauty of the universe? there’s a lot of peace and happiness there that can’t be found with drugs

    so screw you if you think the only ok opinion is that it’s great to do drugs
    not everyone feels that way

  2. 102
    Earl says:

    why don’t we listen to good music, look at a lovely painting, contemplate the inherent beauty of the universe on acid you might come to conclusion you never could sober

  3. 103
    Schala says:

    “Every drunk driver is pretty much equal, but every tripper is not equal.”

    I heard a story about some guy who had over 6.00 mg/l alcohol (the limit is 0.08), and he was conscious. A veteran alcoholic, the stuff did next to nothing to him.

    I bet I couldn’t reach 1.00 without being seriously messed up (I’m small, skinny, and I never drink).

    From Elkins:
    “Another thing to consider: do you get enough good sleep, karpad? I only ask because the things you are seeing sound identical to something that troubled me a few years back, when I was having a very serious problem with insomnia (and its attendant sleep deprivation). When the sleep deprivation went away, the scary, shadowy ‘just-out-of-the-corner-of-my-eye’ figure thingumabobs went away with it.”

    Who knows if they don’t really exist and that you need to be out-of-phase with reality (altered mind, which sleep deprivation can do) to perceive them.

    Anyone read John Dies at The End?

    I won’t spoil the whole thing, but there’s a drug in that novel that’s pretty special (that they call soy-sauce, cause it’s black), it alters your mind rather profoundly. You can see the unseen and read minds and other stuff that I won’t spoil, but it’s pretty far out there, and it’s a state that can’t be attained without the drug (or serious godly meditation, but in the book, only the drug).

    I didn’t think the concept was all that farfetched, because I do think there is more to this world than the physical. If we were meant to just reproduce and become more proefficient as a society, we wouldn’t need free-thinking, and someone/something designing a world where free-thinking exists, no doubt has plans for the minds once death claims the bodies.

    And they don’t go “in the sky” or “in the fiery pits of hell” (as if those were physical places). Who knows where spirits go, but perhaps they never go that far, we just aren’t equipped, when alive, to perceive them in normal circumstances.

  4. 104
    Jason says:

    I agree that taking away lsd from people is a tragedy. I can certainly say that my experiences with lsd where life changing and for the best. To anyone who may come in contact with some actual LSD and not their nock offs I would have to say DO IT!!! I understand that in some cases it can be very dangerous for some but if you feel it is right for you and not because everybody else is doing it, which would be quite odd because i can’t say that i have seen a large amount of people that have done in. It is a beutiful entity and if you do reach the enlitenment that i have witnessed and briefely experienced, I say welcome to this amazing reality.

  5. 105
    ktm_ko_kt says:

    I dont know about the rest of the world but its really not difficult to get ur hands on LSD in India and other parts of Asia.
    It might be one of the most harmful drugs of all time with its ability to alter people ,their minds and their personality forever.. but just like someone mentioned before, if i try to make a list of ten most beautiful days of my life, tripping days would some of the ten.
    While ive had my bad trips, ive seen horns grow off people’s heads, grass grow into worms, ive had dreams of demons and flying monsters, i still cant get over the time i had the most beautiful trips.. when gardens looked like paradise..trees, water, clouds everything was so damn beautiful. just makes u realise the power of ur own mind. makes u notice things u never noticed before.
    god bless hoffman..

  6. 106
    Jay says:

    The thing about LSD is that it is different for every person. People on this blog say they don’t want to be out of control so they have never tried it. I took alot of Trips back in the day and I was alway’s in control. More so than pot or alcohol. I can’t find LSD anymore either. I found some about 5 years ago and the guy said it was great. One hit was like drinking a glass of wine. I took all the other 6 hits the next night and had a light trip. I sure miss LSD25. It opened my mind and helped me understand myself intellectually. Maybe people aren’t interested in mind expantion. Only in getting fu&%ed up .

  7. 107
    Chris says:

    That seems very unfair to the post-LSD generations – as if my generation had used up all the endless summer afternoons with perfect babbling brooks, or something, and no generation will ever get that feeling again./blockquote>
    I am the post-LSD generation, and I am saddened that all the ‘real’ LSD-25 has seemed to vanish. I have listened to stories of spectacular spiritual events from the LSD generation, if that is what they should be called. I admit I may be ‘too young’ to use “drugs”, but I use entheogens to develop a deeper spiritual bond, with not only my self, but the world around me. Now that the availability of these sacraments gradually decreases, I feel ( and I think that I speak for others) that we have been robbed of an experience of a lifetime. I do hope that people come to their senses and take another look at the true effects of things like Peyote and LSD-25. Also, it is a shame that street acid is being tainted, and the amount of actually, real, LSD is declining.

  8. 108
    João Paulo says:

    Hi everyone from Portugal.
    What I have to say about LSD is that is the most profound/odd experience that drugs have to offer. I started by taking a bottler in a bar with a friend that I really trust from the deep of my heart. That 1st experience was really mood-lifting and I felt very positively anxious that night like I was going to explode of joy if you know wath I mean. The floor looked like water and those type of visuals. That night I absorbed more knowledge about life than in my entire life until than. Simple things like everything as a beggining, midle and an end. I realize that I was precisily (dunno if that word is correct lol) in the middle of EVERYTHING, just like everyone else. Pretty simple insights but at the same time very profound.
    The next weeks the experiencies multiplicated. I used to drop 1 acid per/week, not very smart at the time but I knew what I was doing. I had a weed and alchool background, pretty heavy abuse. From enlightnement glimpes, to very bad trips (tought that I was being possessed by demons), got a little bit of everything. Today here I’am, can´t say that I´m 100% fine, don´t blame anyone or anything tough but I still have that feeling that I could gone much further with this begginingless/ endless way of thinking that lsd provides you. So much thing that I left to be said ….. Peace people

  9. 109
    B. Adu says:

    Now this is how to have a nuanced discussion about something that may or may not ’cause’ health problems.

  10. 110
    cali says:

    I’m sorry to be commenting on this so late. I ask myself this same question all of the time. “What happened to LSD?” LSD was one of the most important things that ever happened to me. There was an entire culture based around the experience and several types of acid were simultaneously available (paper, gel, liquid on sugar cubes). I had an experience with liquid acid where I realized that the planet Earth is a living organism that is alive. The Earth, I decided, is the real “God” (goddess) and this fact has remained hidden from the people. We actually wake in the presence of our goddess every day and we are in the fabled Garden of Eden. I also felt that Jesus Christ was not The Son of God. He was A Son of God(dess) just as I am and all others who live with this knowledge are. After having had a particularly Protestant upbringing, I felt that this was a serious breakthrough. I was later exposed to authors such as Terence McKenna who discussed exactly what I had experienced. I discovered that much of prehistory involved similar religious views.
    Enough of the hippy babbling though. WHAT I REALLY WANT TO EXPRESS is that the absence of LSD in the world has made this type of experience much more difficult to come by. Materialism and career advancement don’t hold a candle to living a life where you live in the presence of the divine. Those who promote a “Just Say No” philosophy instead of creating a culture where saying “Yes” to the right substances can be safe and beneficial are making progress very difficult.

  11. 111
    Thomas says:

    Mushrooms (‘shrooms, the psilocybin ones) are similar to LSD, but LSD is a synthetic, and by some measures more powerful than ‘shrooms. I’ve experienced both. The mushrooms are naturally occurring and ubiquitous in several climate zones on earth, and, unlike LSD, you’re partaking in a psychedelic experience that humankind experienced in their evolutionary history as well in the ‘hippy’ era of the 50s-70s. Shrooms, in addition to psycho-active cacti or other plants/natural preparations, continue to be used in shamanic-religious ceremonies of various tribal peoples in various parts of the earth. Psilocybe cubensis ‘shrooms are commonly, quietly (due to illegality) grown in many homes. All the info needed to do it can be found on the web, the most complete website being http://www.shroomery.org . Look or search there for RR’s posts (RR=Roger Rabbit). RR is a specialist, a bonifide mycologist, well known among home cubensis growers, whose cubensis growing technique I view as the best among many. It takes a little dedication to end up with a homegrown crop of psychedelic mushrooms, still it is easy to do if you want to, and not so expensive (< $100). I ended up with about 15 dried oz., having the intention of treating my fiancee’s severe cluster headaches with them (see http://www.clusterbuster.com). Though by now I’ve mostly lost the desire to ‘trip’ or get high in general, I still can appreciate having a supply of these fungi, preserved for the ages in small canning jars in CO2 gas.

    Onto the talk of Gaia, if I may contribute a little of my own spiritual perspective and the perspective of a geologist.. As for the totality of earth being alive and divine in nature, it sounds like the Gaia (mother earth) cult that began in ancient Greece , as in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_(mythology) . Despite having ‘tripped’ on LSD, Psilo. mushrooms, and Sage (salvia divinorum) enough times in the past, it never truly entered my thinking, but I can remember once telling my friend, while tripping as a teen (I had first done acid at age 12), of a current belief I had that I was actually God, or maybe that ‘we’ are all God, or perhaps that everything was God. It is, I know now, a form of the belief called pantheism. When I became a geologist, geology of course not being a religious or spiritual discipline and we were taught that all matter is either animate or inanimate (plants, animals, fungii, etc. vs. compounds, minerals, and elements; rocks). From the geology point of view that’s what I accept. From a spiritual view, I acknowledge that no one has seen or proven God. That being the case, He being ineffable (defying expression or description) while this world and it’s parts are seen and felt as long as we are alive. No tripping substance changes this state of affairs for me, but I am aware that hallucinogenic substances create illusions and impressions of knowing the unknowable, or ineffable. For the record, I believe Jesus to be the Son of God, God in the form of a man (the Son of man) and that the power behind my faith affects my life in many good ways. While the use of hallucinogens may leave lasting impressions on our souls/minds, it is not the same for me.

    Of course, there are nutty folks that claim to be Christians, and nutty folks who trip. The fruit of our lives, our legacies of you will, will yield that final answer as to what was true or false, and what was good or bad.

    May God bring about whatever is good for you

  12. 112
    Hangshai says:

    Probably no one will ever read this, but, I have taken lsd a bunch. Im 33 now, but from 15-20 (1992-1997), I took my fare share. I absolutely value the experience, I would absolutely do it again, and I would recommend it for everyone. It is a mental garbage disposable, and if you cant hang, well, it weeds out all the squares….

  13. 113
    Hangshai says:

    ha, I meant to say garbage DISPOSAL.. as in it takes all the garbage thoughts in your head and cleans em out, leaving you feeling spiritually and psychically refreshed.. Like an enema for your brain…

  14. 114
    Elusis says:

    It also apparently took your apostrophes and homonyms.

  15. 115
    Molly says:

    hello there! i haven’t read all of these comments, but many of them are discussing the fact that lsd in my generation is dead!
    well i assure you, it is not
    i am currently 18 going on 19 and many of my friends take acid quite frequently, and i live in a small town in ontario canada
    i have friends in california who take it even more regularly
    its making a comeback! and am i ever glad, it is a wonderful drug
    I have only tried it twice, but it was one of the best days of my life
    many of friends love lsd and have always had awesome trips
    of course if you take too much you have a bad trip and it fucks you up, but too much of a good thing always fucks you up, hell too many oranges is bad for you
    i feel that taking it occasionally is good, but too much is bad
    i just hate societies view on acid, liek it makes you see elephants and other crazy shit
    its not like that, you dont “lose control” unless you take too much
    i did it when i was at a party and everyone else was drunk except for about 12 of us on acid, and i felt so much more in control, and i was acting way less of an idiot in comparason to my drunk friends
    and it hasnt made me go crazy or anything, ots just about knowing your limit, i mean i’m a regular teenager, who is an honours student and one of canadas top universities currently, i havent gone insane, and ive IVE DONE ACID, big deal
    its not that bad, its just too much of a good thing can be bad

  16. 116
    CaseyK says:

    LSD, though tough to find, can be found. I did some for the first time this weekend. It was the best experience of my life. I think everyone can do it. The thing was, if something was bad or wrong, I could turn my mind off to it and be happy again. It was pure euphoria. And it was great.

  17. 118
    kevin blake says:

    i’m 19, and there are now undergound acid parties starting up. I love’m

  18. 119
    nobody.really says:

    Newspapers confirming the harm of dropping acid.

  19. 121
    Robert says:

    Did you change something with your time stamps? They always used to show an hour or so behind my local time, but now your comments show up with a timestamp in “real” (my) time.

  20. 122
    Mike says:

    I am 42 and went on my first acid trip this past winter. I have to say that out of all of the drug experimenting I did over my life, this was absolutely the best trip of them all. I’ve done a lot of pot, some shrooms, coke, x, and a few designers, and have to say that I am sorry that I let its history and negative PR keep me from trying LSD much sooner.

    I was in Burbank at the time staying with some friends who rave. They brought over a buddy who dealt in liquid acid. This guys stuff was absofreakinglutely awesome. I’m a big boy, so three drops on my tongue and an hour and a half later I was tripping the rift. I sat in my room watching psychedelic videos on youtube and meditating. humming the Omne Padme Ohms made every inch of my skin joyful in nirvanic happiness and electricity. The hallucinations were not significant, merely auras around things, nothing fictitious. The trip lasted a good 12 hours, and other than a little exhaustion at having so much fun, there were absolutely no side effects, though for a week or two after I could snap my toes when lying down and get little sparks of happiness in my feet.

    One of the benefits I think of LSD being driven out of business so much is that the people who are left are those who are REALLY good at making high quality product that doesn’t produce bad experiences.

    In this house, one of the folks tripping was this 19 year old girl who was an emotional basketcase, and she got pretty tripped on this stuff, but the worst she did was trash the kitchen in megalomaniacal glee.

    I wholly endorse trying this drug if you can find a good supplier, generally the rave crowd has someone who is a good source, as acid is a cool second to ecstasy in that crowd.

    The price I paid was $5 per drop, so $15 for a big guy like me = 12 hours of nirvana, a very affordable high of very high quality. Five stars.

  21. 123
    brian_999 says:

    Acid is not gone, it’s culture is alive and well. The problem is more that mainstream society considers acid to be a “hard drug,” so the people who use it (and of course who produce and sell it) don’t talk about it with people unless they know the other person is also ok with drugs. Mushrooms are easy to find and give a somewhat similar but much shorter trip for those who can’t afford to spare a whole day or more.

    In my experience, most people are scared of acid, and are willing to believe the horror stories they hear but skeptical of the testimonials. I’ve tripped around 2 dozen times, and 2 of those were pretty unpleasant experiences. Both were my own fault, I took the acid when I was feeling uncomfortable to begin with, and while I didn’t think my leg was being gnawed off by a dragon, I did experience a lot of fear and loathing. part of this is that lsd always makes me consider my life through a morally critical lens (i have become a vegetarian as a result of a trip, i try to be kind to everyone all the time, and to be vigilant against negativity), and if you live a life of big moral compromises, you may find the experience unpleasant.

    Most of the tales of acid’s harmful side effects, though, are unpleasant. Notwithstanding anecdotal evidence, there are no studies or legitimate reports of people going crazy on lsd. The myth that the drug stays in your spinal column forever is just that, a myth (someone even told me once that they thought one had to have a spinal tap before working for certain branches of law enforcement to check if they had done lsd, ever). Drugs sold by pharmaceutical companies are readily accepted after testing on a few thousand subjects whereas lsd has been used for decades by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. Former (and possibly current) users like bob weir and phil lesh are performing now as well as they ever have. Of course, one may see things in a different light after a particularly significant trip, but this is more due to thoughts and insights and new neural connections forged while tripping than some permanent change in the brain’s chemistry. LSD users rapidly develop a tolerance, meaning the drug cannot be used constantly, but the tolerance is short lived, meaning it can be used as often as a couple times a week (if you have the time). perhaps most importantly to me, it is not neurotoxic (unlike alcohol, nitrous oxide, or cable news).

    One final thought: psychedelics can change your life. I am only 24, but for as long as I can remember I was unhappy by default, anxious and depressed, and in and out of therapy since 8th grade. The first time I ate mushrooms I tripped hard. A friend had told me that when he ate mushrooms for the first time he couldn’t get off the couch because he thought the floor was melting. On my trip, everything melted, and fundamental concepts of the universe stopped making sense. When I came down, I was happy to have tripped but also happy to be down, and I felt like mushrooms had unravelled the universe and put it back together, and my understanding was improved in the same way it would be if I had taken apart a toy to see how it worked. Since that experience (about a year) I have not had a single day of depression or anxiety. At first I would catch myself smiling weeks after a trip and be surprised. Now I am pretty much happy all the time. And believe it or not, my brain isn’t fried.

  22. 124
    LudAA says:

    Heroin = Bad
    Cocaine = Bad
    Methamfetamine = Bad
    Alcohol = Bad

    MDMA = Good
    Cannabis = Good
    Mushrooms =Good
    LSD = Good

  23. 125
    dccshs says:

    ^^ agreed.