LSD Is the New Pot

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Psychedelics are making a comeback:

Cannabis has passed the tipping point toward widespreadsocial acceptance (and probable legalization). Even prominent judges in states where marijuana is illegal are coming out as users and advocates. And now, if pop culture and scientific inquiry are any indicators, it would seem that psychedelics are re-entering the national dialogue with a marked separation from their perceived hippie past—and that’s probably a good thing.

Today, scientists throughout the country are delving into the trippy world of psychedelics to finally provide some concrete data and potential uses for the long-illegal drugs. Most notable, perhaps, is the work of Charles Grob at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, which was recently profiled in the New York Times Magazine. Grob has been administering psilocybin, the active chemical in magic mushrooms, to terminal cancer patients, with the hope of alleviating their understandable end-of-life anxiety. And it’s been working.

Harvard’s John Halpern conducted recent research that indicates LSD is an effective treatment for debilitatingly painful cluster headaches, even at sub-psychedelic doses. He started a company, Entheogen Corp., around manufacturing and distributing a non-trippy LSD derivative known as BOL-148 to treat the disorder.

Even Oprah Winfrey’s mag wrote up a story last year detailing a doctor’s use of MDMA, Ecstasy’s main ingredient, as a treatment for PTSD in rape victims. Results from that study indicate that some 83 percent of subjects felt that the use of MDMA helped them overcome their traumas.

Now more than ever, America could use the cautionary wisdom (and mind-blowing special effects expertise) of an 11-year-old Radley Balko.

(Note to the ONDCP: This video is better than most of yours. Make me an offer.)


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19 Responses to “LSD Is the New Pot”

  1. #1 |  jb | 

    You were cuter when you had hair.

  2. #2 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    That was well done, Radley. I especially like the spiral thingy. I am totally trippin’ (h/t to South Park hippie kids at planetarium episode)!!! And even at eleven you had better stage presence and more credibility than Drug Czar Gil.

  3. #3 |  Other Sean | 

    Here is my ranking of the most triptastic things I have ever seen in motion picture form.

    3.) The “Pruitt-Igoe” scene from Koyaanisqatsi

    2.) The “Star Gate Sequence” from 2001

    1.) That clip

  4. #4 |  Dead Lenny | 

    Meh. LSD lasts for too long; who has twelve free hours these days to play a game of “I can catch my own hand!”?

    And wasn’t MDMA being used for psychiatric purposes back in the 1980s anyway? I believe that’s when (and why) it ended up on the FDA’s “naughty” list.

  5. #5 |  perlhaqr | 

    I was expecting a shaved head.

  6. #6 |  Carlos Miller | 

    In my teens, I tripped on some acid with some friends on a golf course late at night. We were being loud and the cops were called.

    Suddenly, the golf course was surrounded by cops with spot lights. Or so we thought. It might have just been one cop.

    We ran and hid behind a tree as a multitude of cops on the other side shone their lights looking for us. Or so we thought. That one cop may have bailed.

    It was a pretty intense experience. At the time, I was imagining that is how being in the Vietnam War must have felt like.

    That was just my first experience with LSD.

  7. #7 |  DoubleU | 

    That is EXACTLY how all my “trips” with hallucinogenic drugs were. All the bad trips had an 11 year-old boy in a tie trying to explain something to me.

  8. #8 |  MikeW | 

    I think the shaved head came in around 3:10.

  9. #9 |  Jeff | 

    Johns Hopkins is doing a similar study with psilocybin and cancer patients in Baltimore. They advertise on the radio all the time here that they’re looking for participants. I don’t recall the ads saying that your cancer had to be terminal to participate, though.

  10. #10 |  marta | 

    now THAT’S the radley i know and love!

  11. #11 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    You can tell that Radley was already eating his yogurt at that young age.

    My first experience giving a presentation on drug use was in 9th grade. We had to do team vs. team debates, and our team drew “Pro MJ Legalization”. The three of us spent two weekends doing library research and crafting a kick-ass presentation. The girls on the opposing team began crying as we (figuratively) beat them into the ground with our well-researched arguments and well-rehearsed debating. This was 1985, long before it wasn’t completely uncool to argue a pro-drugs point anywhere, let alone in a school. Seeing them cry in their defeat was one of my proudest moments. I wish I had a video tape to post. Probably the funniest thing about that debate is that one of my team-mates and the girl who cried the loudest were total potheads when we all graduated 3 years later.

  12. #12 |  Linda | 

    Loved your video. Priceless.

  13. #13 |  Phil in Parker | 

    Love it, Radley. The 2001 sequence makes me want to go out and score some LSD tonight!

  14. #14 |  Windy | 

    Back in the 80s when my friends and I were doing Ecstasy, it was pure MDMA made by a real chemist, it was very good stuff, we called it the hug drug, because it made everyone touchy-feely. I had no idea that today’s ecstasy has things other than MDMA in it, no wonder some people are suffering some ill effects and even death from doing what is today called ecstasy. What other substances are they using to make the stuff today that could cause these ill effects? One of the things we were most impressed with about the effects of MDMA back in the day was how it helped one accept things one wouldn’t normally accept, including things about oneself that one would normally attempt to keep secret, hidden away even from oneself if one could.

  15. #15 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    In my 20’s I read some of Robert Anton Wilson’s books that (among other things) dealt with Timothy Leary’s LSD research and theories concerning LSD. He was very enthusiastic about the possibility that LSD was a “metaprogramming” substance that would allow the deconstruction of personality. Which, frankly, scared the sh*t out of me, and persuaded me that I wanted nothing – absolutely NOTHING – to do with LSD.

    All I can say is that, if people are going to start messing with the stuff again, I hope to hell that Leary was totally off base.

  16. #16 |  A Critic | 

    “LSD was a “metaprogramming” substance that would allow the deconstruction of personality.”

    Yep, it melts you down into a puddle of nothing, but then it starts wearing off and you precipitate out of the psychedelic primordial colors. .

  17. #17 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    A Critic;

    “Yep, it melts you down into a puddle of nothing, but then it starts wearing off and you precipitate out of the psychedelic primordial colors. .”

    Yeah. Exactly. And what baffles me is the number of people I meet who find descriptions like that ATTRACTIVE.


  18. #18 |  Lucy Steigerwald | 

    Radley, did you escape from a 1950s PSA? If this weren’t dated and staring what is clearly a mini-you, I would have a bizarrely difficult time in figuring out when it’s actually from.

    Everything pre-internet has morphed together.

  19. #19 |  Sallie | 

    I have no words for how brilliant that was/is. I cannot stop laughing. The special effects clinched it. And Radley, you were so cute it’s ridiculous.