ns expressed by counterculture activists for further investigation, education and experimentation under government control of LSD were rational and valid arguments. Sex, drugs, protests, war, political upheaval, cultural chaos, and social rebellion; the many comforts TV dinner eating, republican voting, church going, suburbia conformists tried to escape through conservative ideals, town meetings, and The Andy Williams Family Hour. National consciousness in 1960s United States was alive, but existed differently in every mind it dwelled, and stirred uninterrupted in every life to which it was introduced. A dream of money, success, and a house with a white picket fence still existed within the pandemonium of the nation and many still relished in the idea of “Americanism.” Television was a base for a magnitude of world news and national information. Television situation comedies created ideal families and contenting distractions from unsettling national realities. Mainstream media, both fact and fiction, influenced the nation’s minds resulting in the effect of political change and further media influence over the government. The new decade, along with the effects of the Vietnam War and the strong influence of television, began to leak from the cracks of the nation a new counterculture of rebellious teenagers, unfamiliar narcotics, and a wave of promiscuity. Among the many issues and events molding our nation into a new decade, came the question of government and mind control. For some it was the next step into human evolution, a potential tool for mind control, a liberator of human kind, but for most LSD helped define 1960s counterculture, in which it was deeply rooted.
LSD has proved that the mind contains much higher powers and energies, beyond the average10% of the brain that a typical human uses. These powers and energies, under the right circumstances, can be taken advantage of to benefit human kind spiritually, creatively, therapeutically, and intellectually. LSD has given human kind the option to chemically trigger mental energies and powers. Arguments that LSD is potentially a dangerous discovery and mind control should be strictly prohibited by the government holds much validity, although there are benefits and arguments of personal freedom of neurology to consider. Whether LSD reflects negativity as a weapon and mind control drug, or radiates euphoria as a mind-expanding chemical and sacrament, the choice to engage in such an experience should be through personal reasoning. It is not the states and other bureaucracies’ duties to take control of the human brain and body. We no longer live in an age of industrial muscularity, and in this time of neurological intelligence, we should have the individual choice and freedom to further engage in the depths of our consciousness, if we are so graced with an option to do so. “No one can limit, restrict, or try to control how you access, activate, manipulate your own brain through the use of drugs.” Temperance, moderation, and education should be applied to the use of mind control, but not restricting personal freedoms of neurology. Dr. Timothy Leary agrees:
It’s ludicrous and ominous to think that the government will try to limit, restrain, control where you’re going to put your head, and how you’re going to manage and direct your own neurology. That’s the basis of your own freedom. Now, as far as behavior is concerned, if what you do in your head leads you to violate any behavioral law, a traffic law, or impose on the rights of the people—then you should be busted. But in the privacy of your own home, your own body, and your own brain, that’s your business.
Likewise, other individual freedoms justifying further investigation, education, and experimentation of LSD under moderate government control are questioned. The freedoms of spirituality and creativity are, similar to neurological freedom, issues in result of the use of psychedelic drugs. Spiritually, psychedelic drugs, are sacraments: divine substances no matter who uses them, in whatever sprit, with whatever intention. LSD, along with other drugs generates spiritual discovery and perception. Creatively, LSD has extreme potential; it is “a tool to explore the creative attributes of the mind.” Dr. Oscar Janigar states, continuing that this tool could equal to “four years of art education.” The further appreciation of the power of human thought, and the exploration of the boundaries of the human mind, LSD provokes, is extremely beneficial in freeing ones mind and taking full advantage of the powers in which the mind possesses. Within these powers LSD evokes is the capacity to resolve, therapeutically, personal emotional conflict. Although LSD, as previously proven, has its benefits it has yet to rise above, it’s often more horrifying, disadvantages. In equilibrium with the characteristic present in most aspects of nature and society, LSD is in it’s first state of progress, and still needs improvement. Dr Timothy Leary best states this:
The first Wright Brothers’ planes were somewhat dangerous and rather insufficient, but you don’t ban flying. The first cars, similarly, broke down and were risky operations, but you don’t ban cars. The same is true with the drugs, which accelerate and elevate consciousness and intelligence. You have to make them better.
Through government control we can keep on trying to make LSD better and profit from the advantages it has to offer.
Unlike other legal drugs there has been no evidence thus far, to indicate LSD to be a physically addictive drug, although people do abuse LSD, in consequence of ignorance. Government control could limit abuse of LSD through research, intelligence, facts and truths (both good and bad).
It is in the context of encouraging the good uses and discouraging the bad uses of such drugs as LSD that legislation should be enacted. Neither a complete prohibition nor a complete lack of protective regulations would be appropriate.
The government could also make money from the sales of safer drugs with restrictions. Opposed to drug dealers profiting from the distribution of dirty drugs.
A pill does not construct character, educate the emotions, or improve intelligence. It is not a spiritual laborsaving device, salvation, instant wisdom, or a shortcut to maturity. However, it can be an opportunity to experience oneself and the world in a new way and to learn from it.
Mainstream 1960s media, specifically television, strongly dictated views and opinions of the American mind, in result influencing the government and LSD becoming illegal. “Media controlled the conservative mind, at least influencing it as a majority.” By 1970, 95% of American households had a television set. Television influenced presidential campaigns, human relations, and wars. Specifically in mainstream 1960s media, television would prove to reshape the character of the entire political process. In 1960, the television debates monumentally persuaded the presidential election. New president John F. Kennedy stated “It was TV more than anything else that turned the tide.”
Mainstream media appealed to the conservative mind set, concentrating on the conservative 30 and older ideal of Americanism or the American dream. A sense of comfort in mainstream media was portrayed using money, power, suburbia and the idea of a perfect family, through situation comedies. Television shows such as “Leave It to Beaver”, “The Andy Williams Family Hour”, “Donny and Marie”, and “I Love Lucy”, all penetrated themes of comfort and comic relief through the realities of student protests, non conformity, and sexual and neurological advancements. Mainstream media and counterculture media were specifically differentiated. Mainstream media’s reaction to LSD, was a concentration of negativity. According to mainstream media LSD was “evil” and “made people crazy.” This one sided opinion of the drug allowed no room for justifications or education of LSD. There was a “journalistic exaggeration of the dangers of LSD” and the media’s oppositions to the drug were highly recognized by the conservative majority. LSD separated itself from the idea of the American dream and presented itself as a potential problem with no beneficial results. LSD was a problem and threat, which only contributed to the political chaos and corruption of society in an unstable decade. Mainstream media instilled the comfort, in its public, that if LSD were made illegal, it would become completely void. Therefore media having a direct influence on the opinions of the majority of society, influenced the government and LSD becoming illegal, without any room for education or rational justification within the opposition. “Laws enacted in a climate of ignorance and hysteria would almost certainly create more problems than they solved.”
“Acid is not some anachronism, unfamiliar to us today.” In this quotation, Professor James Martin displays the reality of LSD in present day society. LSD use will continue outside government control and knowledge, as long as drug dealers are interested in making money and drug users are interested in expanding the boundaries of their minds. LSD is far from void, despite it becoming illegal in 1968, remaining a potential danger for anyone who uses it. You can find LSD anywhere today: urban, rural, and suburban. The question about LSD is not of the use of it, but the safety of it, especially since turning from a legal drug into a street drug. The misuse of LSD, is the direct result of ignorance, and absence of education. “Scientific investigations into LSD are at a complete standstill.” The abuses of the drug LSD are not because of faults of the drug or discrepancies of the brain, but not knowing how to use and take advantage of the drug. “Psychedelics are neither good nor bad drugs; they have good and bad usage.” There are many dangers of an uncontrolled substance, with no alternative to expand the mind in the same ways. Americans who gamble with these substances face these dangers everyday. No education to improve on the abuse of LSD, or further experimentation to improve its quality to possibly benefit from the experience of LSD are other significant problems LSD causes. In result “LSD isn’t safe, but drug dealers are becoming rich with profits that should go to the government instead.”
The negative portrayal of LSD in mainstream 1960s media, opposing rational and valid justifications expressed by counterculture activists to further experimentation, investigation and education under government control resulted in the LSD becoming an illegal substance. Since becoming illegal in 1968 LSD has not become void, as falsely represented in mainstream 1960s media, but has become more dangerous and widely used and misused. Government control could be beneficial in providing knowledge to encourage safety and education to prevent abuse and misuse of LSD. Investigations, education and experimentation of LSD could also promote the development of better forms of the drug and further knowledge encouraging therapeutic, spiritual, creative, and intellectual benefits. Another benefit from the education of the government is the contribution to the goal to “learn to have psychedelic experiences without the use of drugs.” Justifications for the use of LSD support the notions of safer, more effective, government benefiting circumstances for a drug, that is widely distributed and consumed despite legal restrictions. If the government doesn’t take control over LSD, the ignorance of users and profits of drug dealers will continue. “Acid will continue to ravage as many people as it liberates and deceive as many people as it enlightens. It’s not over yet.” And it won’t end until society and the government is ready to listen to the rational and valid justifications of both sides of the arguments and face the realities and truths of LSD.