LSD Awakens A Sleeping Giant

America's first War On Drugs was launched in 1920 with the enactment of the Dangerous Drug Act by Congress. 

Laws to ban over-the-counter sales of narcotics and cocaine were slammed into effect across the country.  A special commission was sent to Hollywood by the Feds to clean up Hollywood's image.  Their job was to censor the pro-drug messages and examples of promiscuity that had been coming out of Tinsel Town via films and tabloids since the movie industry began. 

At the same time, the Moral American Majority began a vicious campaign against the use of dangerous narcotics like heroin, cocaine and even marijuana. 

As a result of these efforts, drug use began to decline in the U.S.  The drug problem that had been festering in American culture for nearly 70 years was coming to an end.  By the 1950's drug abuse was banished from America's consciousness for the most part.  Although this campaign leaned solely on scare tactics and severe legal penalties for drug users and pushers, it did seem to work and lay to rest the destructive narcotics giant. America began to breathe a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, what the American public did not know was that shortly after the Dangerous Drug Act was put into effect, a Dr. Albert Hoffman was busy discovering a drug more mind-damaging than any chemical before it.  This drug was LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).  This powerful hallucinogenic drug would eventually catapult American culture into a drug crisis from which it has yet to recover.

Although Dr. Hoffman actually developed this drug in the late 1920's, the true mind-altering properties on humans were not realized until he sampled the drug himself in 1943; Hoffman's famous account of his bicycle ride through the streets of Basel, Switzerland, while under the influence of LSD became a big hit and ended up being published in psychiatric publications around the world.  

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a report entitled "LSD In The U.S. - The Drug."  In this report the DEA states: 

           "Sandoz  Laboratories, the drug's sole producer began marketing LSD in 1947 
             under the trade name "Delysid" and it was introduced into the United States a   
             year later.  Sandoz marketed LSD as a psychiatric cure-all and "hailed it as a
            cure for everything from schizophrenia to criminal behavior, 'sexual perversions',
            and alcoholism.  In fact, Sandoz, in its LSD-related literature, suggested that
            psychiatrists take the drug themselves in order to "gain an understanding of the
            subjective experiences of the schizophrenic."  In psychiatry, the use of LSD by
            students became an accepted practice; it was viewed as a teaching tool in an
            attempt to understand schizophrenia.

            From the late 1940's through the mid-1970's, extensive research and testing were
            conducted on LSD.  During a 15 year period beginning in 1950, research on LSD   
            and other hallucinogens generated over 1,000 scientific papers, several dozen
            books and 6 International conferences, and LSD was prescribed as treatment to
            over 40,000 patients." 

            (ref. U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration LSD in the 
            United States

No other drug in history received the degree of attention and support from the psychiatric community as LSD did.  No other drug in history was used so broadly by the very medical practitioners that were prescribing the drug for treating their patients. 

The Sandoz Chemical Company went as far as promoting LSD as a potential secret chemical warfare weapon to  the U.S. Government.  Their main selling point in this was that a small amount in a main water supply or sprayed in the air could disorient and turn psychotic an entire company of soldiers leaving them harmless and unable to fight.

From 1947 to 1970, LSD (and various more potent versions like its super counterpart BZ) were used in top secret mind control and military experiments on selected mental patients, soldiers and very possibly unsuspecting sections of the American public.  The military's interest was sparked by the fact that it took only a minute amount of the drug to create complete psychosis in a human mind, as well as the fact that  the drug could be assimilated into the body by touch or breathing its fumes.  

During the Bay of Pigs crisis, slipping LSD to Castro was under serious consideration by the Kennedy administration and the CIA  as a means to neutralize the Cuban leader.   Further research and experimentation with LSD sought also to determine its usefulness in altering the mind to the point that an individual could be programmed to kill on cue.   BZ, which is 1000 times stronger then LSD, was used during the Viet Nam War by members of the U.S.  First Cavalry Airmobile Division, with devastating effects on Viet Cong irregulars.

LSD had risen to a drug of prominence within the psychiatric community long before the drug ever found its way to the streets.  It was, in fact, this endorsement that set the stage for LSD's acceptance into a large sector of American culture. 

There is no doubt that the actions taken by the manufacturer of the drug and those LSD proponents within the psychiatric community were what kicked off the marketing campaign to promote LSD to the public at large.  By the end of the 60's, the sleeping giant of drug abuse would awaken to the LSD anthem and re-launch America into a drug crisis which would leave millions of  young people emotionally scarred and American society changed forever.