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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Why Don't I Work for Slate or the DEA? (a post about LSD) 

In this article in slate, the author does a good job of examining the fuzy math of the DEA regarding an acid bust called one of the biggest in history. The author, regrettably, ignores something about how acid is weighed for prosecution.

20 micrograms of LSD would get you (in all likelihood) the highest you have ever been. As the author of the Slate piece notes, 91 pounds is a lot of acid. Let's say you are some dirty hippie. You aquire from your dealer, "Sunflower", a large strawberry with 20 mics of LSD on the surface. On your way to a jam-band concert, you get busted by the pigs. He notices the box next to you says "Acid berry". You are arrested. You only had one hit of acid, right? Well, you are going to be charged with possession of 6 grams, the weight of the strawberry. 6 grams of LSD will put you in jail for a long time. Here’s a snippet from the Colorado Revised Statutes (underline added):

(c) Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances, including any salts, isomers, and salts of isomers of them that are theoretically possible within the specific chemical designation:

Lysergic acid diethylamide (among others)

I was clued into this by my copious research in the world of illegal drugs. There used to be a group that would go around to Grateful Dead concerts and pass out business cards that said "One Drop of Acid on This Business Card Can Put You In Jail For 20 Years: Watch your Carrier Weight". The LSD industry responded with lighter carriers; instead of the heavy paper based "blotter acid" of yester year, today a good deal of acid is sold in liquid form from an eye dropper. Instead of heavy pills like they had in the 60's, you have "geltabs" which have a light liquid center. With less risk, the drug is cheaper at all points on the supply chain. The dealer passes the savings on to you. You can regularly find LSD as cheap as $2/20micrograms. This breaks down to about 33 cents per hour of high (an acid trip lasts 8-12 hours). Because LSD costs less than half of what it did in real terms in the 60's and 70's, people are taking multiple doses, and increasing the risk of a psychotic episode and long term brain and spinal cord damage.

People who use LSD are generally not a danger to themselves or others. Acid is a "hard drug". The high is hard. What exactly this means will necessarily escape you if you haven’t done it. Your entire interface with the whole external and internal world is deeply altered, leaving you more distant from your normal frame of mind than perhaps any drug. But the DEA, in their continued campaign to ignore reality, has put people in jail disproportionately for the amount of the drug they have and the risk (unsurprisingly) they represent to society. It has also created economic incentive for the LSD industry to innovate lighter acid. Yeah DEA!

-Miguel Sanchez  11:53 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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