LSD: Danger or wonder drug?

Unhooked, Bath, April 2006

Psychedelic drugs don’t fit any of the common stereotypes – that dangerous equals addictive, or that therapeutic equals safe. The ultimate psychedelic, whose discoverer is fit and well at a hundred years old, is LSD. This extraordinary chemical, with its structural similarity to serotonin, is certainly dangerous, for it can induce terror and psychotic-like states. It is also therapeutic. Not only can it induce mystical experiences, but can treat neurosis and alleviate pain and fear in the terminally ill. We may be wasting a potential “wonder drug”. Oddly enough, only one or a few trips are needed for most purposes, and even regular users say that if it were legal they might use it once or twice a year. So this is the opposite of an addictive drug. I shall discuss suggestions for ways of legalising or controlling LSD. For this is a drug that our society seems incapable of handling wisely.