Security troops on US nuclear missile base took LSD

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*************************Above:  Link to SLIDESHARE VIDEO  ********************** ***************************************************************************************


By Robert Burns, Associated Press |

WASHINGTON (AP)One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the vibrant colors. A third admitted, “I absolutely just loved altering my mind.”

Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are among the most powerful in America’s arsenal. Air Force records obtained by The Associated Press show they bought, distributed and used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure military base in Wyoming. After investigators closed in, one airman deserted to Mexico.

“Although this sounds like something from a movie, it isn’t,” said Capt. Charles Grimsley, the lead prosecutor of one of several courts martial.

A slipup on social media by one airman enabled investigators to crack the drug ring at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in March 2016, details of which are reported here for the first time. Fourteen airmen were disciplined. Six of them were convicted in courts martial of LSD use or distribution or both.

None of the airmen was accused of using drugs on duty. Yet it’s another blow to the reputation of the Air Force’s nuclear missile corps, which is capable of unleashing hell in the form of Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs. The corps has struggled at times with misbehavior, mismanagement and low morale.

Although seen by some as a backwater of the U.S. military, the missile force has returned to the spotlight as President Donald Trump has called for strengthening U.S. nuclear firepower and exchanged threats last year with North Korea. The administration’s nuclear strategy calls for hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending in coming decades.

The service members accused of involvement in the LSD ring were from the 90th Missile Wing, which operates one-third of the 400 Minuteman 3 missiles that stand “on alert” 24/7 in underground silos scattered across the northern Great Plains.

Documents obtained by the AP over the past two years through the Freedom of Information Act tell a sordid tale of off-duty use of LSD, cocaine and other drugs in 2015 and 2016 by airmen who were supposed to be held to strict behavioral standards because of their role in securing the weapons.

“It’s another black eye for the Air Force — for the ICBM force in particular,” says Stephen Schwartz, an independent consultant and nuclear expert.

In response to AP inquiries, an Air Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Uriah L. Orland, said the drug activity took place during off-duty hours. “There are multiple checks to ensure airmen who report for duty are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and are able to execute the mission safely, securely and effectively,” he said.

Airman 1st Class Tommy N. Ashworth was among those who used LSD supplied by colleagues with connections to civilian drug dealers.

“I felt paranoia, panic” for hours after taking a hit of acid, Ashworth said under oath at his court martial. He confessed to using LSD three times while off duty. The first time, in the summer of 2015, shook him up. “I didn’t know if I was going to die that night or not,” he said as a witness at another airman’s drug trial. Recalling another episode with LSD, he said it felt “almost as if I was going to have like a heart attack or a heat stroke.”

Airman Basic Kyle S. Morrison acknowledged at his court martial that under the influence of LSD he could not have responded if recalled to duty in a nuclear security emergency.

In prosecuting the cases at F.E. Warren, the Air Force asserted that LSD users can experience “profound effects” from even small amounts. It said common psychological effects include “paranoia, fear and panic, unwanted and overwhelming feelings, unwanted life-changing spiritual experiences, and flashbacks.”

It’s unclear how long before being on duty any of the airmen had taken LSD, which stands for lysergic acid diethylamide. The drug became popularized as “acid” in the 1960s, and views since then have been widely split on its mental health risks. Although illegal in the U.S., it had been showing up so infrequently in drug tests across the military that in December 2006 the Pentagon eliminated LSD screening from standard drug-testing procedures. An internal Pentagon memo at the time said that over the previous three years only four positive specimens had been identified in 2.1 million specimens screened for LSD.

Yet Air Force investigators found those implicated in the F.E. Warren drug ring used LSD on base and off, at least twice at outdoor gatherings. Some also snorted cocaine and used ecstasy. Civilians joined them in the LSD use, including some who had recently left Air Force service, according to two officials with knowledge of the investigation. The Air Force declined to discuss this.

Airman 1st Class Nickolos A. Harris, said to be the leader of the drug ring, testified that he had no trouble getting LSD and other drugs from civilian sources. He pleaded guilty to using and distributing LSD and using ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana.

He acknowledged using LSD eight times and distributing LSD multiple times to fellow airmen at parties in Denver and other locations from spring 2015 to early 2016.

“I absolutely just loved altering my mind,” he told the military judge, blaming his decisions to use hallucinogens and other drugs on his addictive personality.

Other airmen testified that it was easy to obtain LSD in a liquid form spread on small tabs of perforated white paper. Airmen ingested at least one tab by placing it on their tongue. In one episode summarized by a military judge at Harris’ court martial, he and other airmen watched YouTube videos and “then went longboarding on the streets of Denver while high on LSD.”

Harris was sentenced to 12 months in jail and other penalties, but under a pretrial agreement he avoided a punitive discharge. The lead prosecutor in that case, Air Force Capt. C. Rhodes Berry, had argued Harris should be locked up for 42 months, including nine months for the “aggravating circumstance” of undercutting public trust by using hallucinogens and other drugs on a nuclear weapons base.

“I cannot think of anything more aggravating than being the ringleader of a drug ring on F.E. Warren Air Force Base,” Berry said at the courts martial.

In all, the AP obtained transcripts of seven courts martial proceedings, plus related documents. They provide vivid descriptions of LSD trips.

“I’m dying!” one airman is quoted as exclaiming, followed by “When is this going to end?” during a “bad trip” on LSD in February 2016 at Curt Gowdy State Park, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Cheyenne, where F.E. Warren is located. A portion of that episode was video-recorded by one member of the group; a transcript of the audio was included in court records.

Others said they enjoyed the drug.

“Minutes felt like hours, colors seemed more vibrant and clear,” Morrison testified. “In general, I felt more alive.” He said he had used LSD in high school, which could have disqualified him from Air Force service; he said that his recruiter told him he should lie about it and that lying about prior drug use was “normal” in the Air Force.

At his court martial, Morrison acknowledged distributing LSD on the missile base in February 2016. A month later, when summoned for questioning by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Morrison confessed and became an informant for the agency, an arrangement the Air Force said yielded legally admissible evidence against 10 other airmen. Under a pretrial agreement, he agreed to testify against other airmen and avoided a punitive discharge. He was sentenced to five months’ confinement, 15 days of hard labor and loss of $5,200 in pay.

Most of the airmen involved were members of two related security units at F.E. Warren — the 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron and the 90th Security Forces Squadron. Together, they are responsible for the security and defense of the nuclear weapons there as well as the missile complex.

By coincidence, the No. 2 Pentagon official at the time, Robert Work, visited F.E. Warren one month before the drug investigation became public. Accompanied by an AP reporter, he watched as airmen of the 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron — whose members at the time included Harris, the accused leader of the drug ring — demonstrated how they would force their way into and regain control of a captured missile silo.

Work, the deputy defense secretary, was there to assess progress in fixing problems in the ICBM force identified by then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who ordered an investigation after the AP reported on personnel, resource, training and leadership problems in 2013-14. Those problems included the firing of the general in charge of the entire ICBM force for inappropriate behavior the Air Force said was linked to alcohol abuse. A month later the AP revealed that an unpublished study prepared for the Air Force found “burnout” among nuclear missile launch officers and evidence of broader behavioral problems, including sexual assaults and domestic violence. Air Force officials say the force has since rebounded.

In an interview, Work said he was not aware during his visit that anything was amiss. Nor was he briefed later on the investigation. He said he wouldn’t have expected to be briefed unless the Air Force found that LSD or other illegal drugs were a “systemic problem” for the nuclear force, beyond the security forces group at F.E. Warren.

Work said he had never heard of LSD use anywhere in the nuclear workforce.

For the inexperienced members of the drug ring, Harris, the ringleader, had set out several “rules” for LSD use at a gathering of several airmen in a Cheyenne apartment in late 2015 that was recorded on video. Rule No. 1: “No social media at all.” He added: “No bad trips. Everybody’s happy right now. Let’s keep it that way.”

But social media proved their undoing. In March 2016, one member posted a Snapchat video of himself smoking marijuana, setting Air Force investigators on their trail.

As the investigators closed in, one of the accused, Airman 1st Class Devin R. Hagarty, grabbed a backpack and cash, text-messaged his mother that he loved her, turned off his cellphone and fled to Mexico. “I started panicking,” he told a military judge after giving himself up and being charged with desertion.

The Air Force said Hagarty was the first convicted deserter from an ICBM base since January 2013. In court, he admitted using LSD four times in 2015-16 and distributing it once, and he said he had deserted with the intention of never returning. He also admitted to using cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana multiple times. He was sentenced to 13 months in a military jail.

In all, disciplinary action was taken against 14 airmen. In addition, two accused airmen were acquitted at courts martial, and three other suspects were not charged.

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How A Psychedelic Drug Helps Cancer Patients Overcome Anxiety

December 3, 20167:00 AM ET

Robin Marantz Henig

 

Psychedelic drugs could provide relief for anxiety and depression among advanced cancer patients.

The brilliantly-colored shapes reminded Carol Vincent of fluorescent deep-sea creatures, and they floated past her languidly. She was overwhelmed by their beauty — and then suddenly, as if in a dream, she was out somewhere in deep space instead. “Oh, wow,” she thought, overwhelmed all over again. She had been an amateur skydiver in her youth, but this sensation didn’t come with any sense of speeding or falling or even having a body at all. She was just hovering there, gazing at the universe.

Vincent was having a psychedelic experience, taking part in one of the two studies just published that look at whether cancer patients like her could overcome their death-related anxiety and depression with a single dose of psilocybin.

It turned out they could, according to the studies, conducted at New York University and Johns Hopkins and reported this week in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. NYU and Hopkins scientists gave synthetic psilocybin, the hallucinogenic component of “magic mushrooms,” to a combined total of 80 people with advanced cancer suffering from depression, anxiety, and “existential angst.” At follow-up six months or more later, two-thirds of the subjects said their anxiety and depression had pretty much disappeared after a single dose.

And about 80 percent said the psilocybin experience was “among the most personally meaningful of their lives,” Roland Griffiths, a professor of psychiatry and leader of the Hopkins team, said in an interview.

That’s how it was for Vincent, one of the volunteers in Griffiths’ study. By the time she found her way to Hopkins in 2014, Vincent, now 61, had been living for six years with a time bomb of a diagnosis: follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which she was told was incurable. It was asymptomatic at the time except for a few enlarged lymph nodes, but was expected to start growing at some undefined future date; when it did, Vincent would have to start chemotherapy just to keep it in check. By 2014, still symptom-free, Vincent had grown moderately anxious, depressed, and wary, on continual high alert for signs that the cancer growth had finally begun.

“The anvil over your head, the constant surveillance of your health — it takes a toll,” says Vincent, who owns an advertising agency in Victoria, British Columbia. She found herself thinking, “What’s the point of this? All I’m doing is waiting for the lymphoma. There was no sense of being able to look forward to something.” When she wasn’t worrying about her cancer, she was worrying about her son, then in his mid-20s and going through a difficult time. What would happen to him if she died?

Participating in the psilocybin study, she says, was the first thing she’d looked forward to in years.

The experiment involved two treatments with psilocybin, roughly one month apart — one at a dose high enough to bring on a markedly altered state of consciousness, the other at a very low dose to serve as a control. It’s difficult to design an experiment like this to compare treatment with an actual placebo, since it’s obvious to everyone when a psychedelic experience is underway.

The NYU study used a design similar to Hopkins’ but with an “active placebo,” the B vitamin niacin, instead of very-low-dose psilocybin as the control. Niacin speeds up heart rate but doesn’t have any psychedelic effect. In both studies it was random whether a volunteer got the dose or the control first, but everyone got both, and the order seemed to make no difference in the outcome.

Vincent had to travel from her home in Victoria to Baltimore for the sessions; her travel costs were covered by the Heffter Research Institute, the New Mexico nonprofit that funded both studies. She spent the day before each treatment with the two Hopkins staffers who would be her “guides” during the psilocybin trip. They helped her anticipate some of the emotional issues — the kind of baggage everyone has — that might come to the fore during the experience.

The guides told Vincent that she might encounter some hallucinations that were frightening, and that she shouldn’t try to run away from them. “If you see scary stuff,” they told her, “just open up and walk right in.”

They repeated that line the following day — “just open up and walk right in” — when Vincent returned to Hopkins at 9 a.m., having eaten a light breakfast. The treatment took place in a hospital room designed to feel as homey as possible. “It felt like your first apartment after college, circa 1970,” she says, with a beige couch, a couple of armchairs and some abstract art on the wall.

Vincent was given the pill in a ceramic chalice, and in about 20 minutes she started to feel woozy. She lay down on the couch, put on some eye shades and headphones to block out exterior sights and sounds, and focused on what was happening inside her head. The headphones delivered a carefully-chosen playlist of Western classical music, from Bach and Beethoven to Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” interspersed with some sitar music and Buddhist chants. Vincent recalled the music as mostly soothing or uplifting, though occasionally there were some brooding pieces in a minor key that led her images to a darker place.

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With the music as background, Vincent started to experience a sequence of vivid hallucinations that took her from the deep sea to vast outer space. Listening to her describe it is like listening to anyone describe a dream — it’s a disjointed series of scenes, for which the intensity and meaning can be hard to convey.

She remembered seeing neon geometric shapes, a gold shield spelling out the name Jesus, a whole series of cartoon characters — a fish, a rabbit, a horse, a pirate ship, a castle, a crab, a superhero in a cape — and at some point she entered a crystal cave encrusted with prisms. “It was crazy how overwhelmed by the beauty I was,” she says, sometimes to the point of weeping. “Everything I was looking at was so spectacular.”

At one point she heard herself laughing in her son’s voice, in her brother’s voice, and in the voices of other family members. The cartoon characters kept appearing in the midst of all that spectacular beauty, especially the “comical crab” that emerged two more times. She saw a frightening black vault, which she thought might contain something terrifying. But remembering her guides’ advice to “just open up and walk right in,” she investigated, and found that the only thing inside it was herself.

When the experience was over, about six hours after it began, the guides sent Vincent back to the hotel with her son, who had accompanied her to Baltimore, and asked her to write down what she’d visualized and what she thought about it.

Griffiths had at first been worried about giving psychedelics to cancer patients like Vincent, fearing they might actually become even more afraid of death by taking “a look into the existential void.”

But even though some research participants did have moments of panic in which they thought they were losing their minds or were about to die, he said the guides were always able to settle them down, and never had to resort to the antipsychotic drugs they had on hand for emergencies. (The NYU guides never had to use theirs, either.)

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Many subjects came away feeling uplifted, Griffiths says, talking about “a sense of unity,” feeling part of “an interconnected whole.” He adds that even people who are atheists, as Vincent is, described the feeling as precious, meaningful or even sacred.

The reasons for the power and persistence of psilocybin’s impact are still “a big mystery,” according to Griffiths. “That’s what makes this research, frankly, so exciting,” he says. “There’s so much that’s unknown, and it holds the promise for really understanding the nature of human meaning-making and consciousness.”

He says he looks forward to using psilocybin in other patient populations, not just people with terminal diagnoses, to help answer larger existential questions that are “so critical to our experience as human organisms.”

Two and a half years after the psychedelic experience, Carol Vincent is still symptom-free, but she’s not as terrified of the “anvil” hanging over her, no longer waiting in dread for the cancer to show itself. “I didn’t get answers to questions like, ‘Where are you, God?’ or ‘Why did I get cancer?’ ” she says. What she got instead, she says, was the realization that all the fears and worries that “take up so much of my mental real estate” turn out to be “really insignificant” in the context of the big picture of the universe.

This insight was heightened by one small detail of her psilocybin trip, which has stayed with her all this time: that little cartoon crab that floated into her vision along with the other animated characters.

“I saw that crab three times,” Vincent says. The crab, she later realized, is the astrological sign of cancer — the disease that terrified her, and also the sign that both her son and her mother were born under. These were the three things in her life that she cared about, and worried over, most deeply, she says. “And here they were, appearing as comic relief.”

Science writer Robin Marantz Henig is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and the author of nine books.

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Dr. J. Thomas Ungerleider, a UCLA psychiatrist who was among the first researchers to prove the medical benefits of marijuana, has died.

 

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By Soumya Karlamangla

Dr. J. Thomas Ungerleider, a UCLA psychiatrist who was among the first researchers to prove the medical benefits of marijuana, has died. He was 85.

Ungerleider died in his home in Encino on Sept. 19 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, said his son, John Ungerleider. 

In the 1970s and 1980s, Ungerleider ran clinical trials that demonstrated  marijuana’s therapeutic effects for patients with glaucoma and chemotherapy. He also served on President Nixon’s National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, which recommended decriminalizing pot, and became an early champion of treating drug addiction as a public health problem instead of a criminal one.

“He was a real pioneer,” said Dr. David Smith, his close friend and colleague who founded the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco.

Ungerleider was born in 1931 in Cleveland to Constance Levison and Harold Ungerleider. He graduated from the University of Michigan and attended medical school and residency at Case Western Reserve University. He then became a U.S. Army captain who served as a base psychiatrist at Fort Ord, Calif.

A few years after Ungerleider started as an assistant professor at UCLA in 1962, people began showing up in the psychiatric ward with hallucinations and anxiety, saying they’d taken a drug no one knew much about: LSD.

Ungerleider was asked to investigate. 

He began surveying people who dropped acid at love-ins and at Timothy Leary’s ranch in Orange County. He became one of the first researchers to document the adverse effects of LSD, during a time when people like Leary were advocating for its beneficial effects, Smith said. 

John Ungerleider said that when he was a teenager one of his father’s colleagues told him, “Your dad coined the term ‘bad trip’ for LSD.”

In the early 1970s, Nixon appointed Ungerleider to the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, often referred to as the Shafer Commission. The 13-member group traveled around the world for a year studying the effects of pot.

Surprising many, the commission concluded that marijuana wasn’t a particularly dangerous drug and that people shouldn’t be subject to criminal charges for possessing it, essentially making it legal for use in homes.

The idea that drug use is a public health problem, not a criminal one, was controversial at the time, Smith said, but it has become a blueprint for how we understand addiction today. 

Nixon ignored the commission’s recommendations and pushed forward with the war on drugs. 

John Ungerledier said his father had been a Republican, but because he so strongly opposed the government meddling in people’s private choices — in this case, regarding drug usage — he began sometimes voting for Democratic candidates.

“He really had a sense of that being wrong, even if he wasn’t somebody who liked to partake,” he said. 

Ungerleider went on to investigate the medical benefits of marijuana and learned that THC helped ease the negative side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and could also help reduce the eye pressure that leads to glaucoma.

He wrote in a 1999 paper that marijuana had a “limited but definite role in medicine,” and whether it’s appropriate for patients should be physicians’ decisions, instead of a legal standard.

“We never seem able to grasp the fact that no drug is inherently good or evil,” he wrote.

Ungerleider also ran treatment programs throughout the L.A. area for people with substance abuse problems and helped care for homeless with mental health issues.

Therese Andrysiak Van Hoof, who worked with Ungerleider as a nurse for decades, said he did a lot of hands-on work because he wanted to improve the lives of real people.

“He wasn’t a scholar’s scholar,” she said. “He met you where you were.”

While speaking on a panel in Woodland Hills in 1967, Ungerleider urged parents to empathize with their kids who wanted to try drugs. He didn’t think they were safe — he didn’t support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, his son said — but he didn’t think they should be so taboo.

“Kids get frightened when we don’t tell them what to explore and help them do it. I’m against our ostrich policy, hiding our heads in the sand, refusing to discuss drugs with them, and even forbidding them to discuss the subject. That’s terrible,” Ungerleider said, according to a Los Angeles Times article.

A girl in the audience then asked for his advice for someone who plans to take drugs.

“God help you,” he replied.

In addition to his son, Ungerleider is survived by his wife, Dorothy, his daughter, Shoshana Margoliot, six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

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LSD Archive Faces an Uncertain Future

Inventor’s papers, shunned by Sandoz, now under the care of Swiss dairy farmer

By John Letzing               October 19, 2015

BERN, Switzerland—Albert Hofmann realized he had invented LSD after a vivid experiment in 1943. The Swiss chemist retired a few decades later, and his personal archive began a long, strange trip that ended at a quiet institute in this leafy city—where it is looked after by a part-time dairy farmer.

Beat Bäche, who is writing a book about hallucinogen-producing fungus when he isn’t milking cows at a farm where he works, curates Dr. Hofmann’s papers. That is because Mr. Bäche is nearly the only person to use the archive since it arrived at Bern’s Institute of Medical History in 2013.

Just one other scholar, a student from Zurich, showed up briefly last year.

Although Mr. Bäche doesn’t officially work there, the institute directed questions about the archive to him. On a recent day, he riffled through items including Dr. Hofmann’s formulas and photos, his correspondence with psychedelics advocate Timothy Leary, and a presentation for the Swiss army on military uses for the drug.

Roger Liggenstorfer, a friend of Dr. Hofmann’s, says the late chemist wanted researchers flocking to his archive. The current situation is “not really the wish of Albert,” he says.

The archive’s tortuous path, from Switzerland to Los Angeles, to the suburbs of San Francisco, and then back to Europe for an anticlimactic ending, reflects the tensions between Dr. Hofmann’s orderly Swiss life and the messy cultural baggage tied to his most famous discovery.

Now, the archive is poised for fresh attention. Mr. Liggenstorfer is planning a public event of some sort in 2018, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Dr. Hofmann’s first LSD experiment, which may include the archive.

Dr. Hofmann’s family isn’t opposed to the idea, and hopes publicity will highlight the recent resurgence of legal medical treatments that use LSD and other hallucinogens.

A short walk from Mr. Liggenstorfer’s absinthe bar in the city of Solothurn, a psychiatrist named Peter Gasser provides therapy with LSD, which stands for lysergic acid diethylamide. Before he died in 2008, at age 102, Dr. Hofmann was pleased to see the work under way, his family says.

Not everyone is fan of LSD, though. Dr. Hofmann worked at Sandoz AG, which is now a part of the Basel-based pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG.

After LSD was widely criminalized in the 1960s, Sandoz wanted little to do with Dr. Hofmann’s legacy, his family says. When Dr. Hofmann retired in 1971, the company told him to take his LSD archive home, according to his son Andreas.

A Novartis spokesman said he was unable to comment on the archive’s fate. He noted Novartis held an event in 2006, to mark Dr. Hofmann’s 100th birthday.

“That seemed to be the closing event, LSD-wise, for Novartis,” says Dr. Hofmann’s grandson, Simon Duttwyler, who is a chemistry professor in China. “They don’t want to be mentioned together with hippies.”

Andreas Hofmann says that after his father retired, he felt the best place for his archive would be with a nonprofit group in Los Angeles called the Albert Hofmann Foundation.

In the U.S., Dr. Hofmann is celebrated on funky T-shirts, and his initial self-experiment with LSD—on April 19, 1943, which included a bicycle ride home from the laboratory—is commemorated in some cities as “Bicycle Day.” A Bicycle Day event in San Francisco this year featured DJs and charged up to $100 per ticket.

It was a ride lasting a half an hour, Mr. Duttwyler says, taken in the throes of an acid trip: “I think he was glad that no accident happened.”

Dr. Hofmann didn’t discuss his work with his family. His son, Andreas, now a retired architect, didn’t realize what a phenomenon LSD had become until he moved to New York for a few years in the 1960s. There, a colleague casually mentioned having tried the drug, and wondered if Andreas knew the Swiss scientist with the same last name who invented it.

Mr. Hofmann, who had thought of LSD as something only used in laboratories, quickly studied up. “I didn’t have any idea,” he says.

Neither Andreas Hofmann nor Mr. Duttwyler has ever tried LSD. “It’s not on my urgent to-do list,” Mr. Duttwyler says.

Dr. Hofmann, however, dabbled.

Stanislav Grof, a psychiatrist and friend of Dr. Hofmann’s living in California, remembers the chemist enjoying his garden under the influence.

Dr. Grof, an 84-year-old listed as an adviser on the Albert Hofmann Foundation’s dated website, says he isn’t sure what became of the group. Some board members have died. Others didn’t respond to requests for comment. After the foundation took possession of Dr. Hofmann’s archive, it mostly sat in storage, Andreas Hofmann says.

In 2002, the archive was moved near San Francisco, to be digitized.

By the following year, Mr. Liggenstorfer helped to bring the papers back to Switzerland. They sat in storage in Solothurn.

After Dr. Hofmann died, his family considered placing the archive at a new public research center in his house near Basel. But Mr. Duttwyler says it was difficult to find a viable plan, or necessary funding.

In addition, Dr. Hofmann’s house had already started attracting random LSD fans, his grandson says. “Sometimes, very strange people,” Andreas Hofmann adds. The house was sold.

Dr. Hofmann’s family is cautious about his legacy. They say they don’t want it exploited in a way that could mar the legitimate medical work now being done with LSD.

Andreas Hofmann says the family eventually realized the most responsible decision was to place his father’s archive, along with other mementos he left behind, at the institute in Bern. He is looking forward to publicizing it after the collection is further organized.

That task has fallen to Mr. Bäche, the part-time dairy farmer, who expects to be finished by the summer. He likes the idea of publicizing the archive, but has reservations. He is concerned about people who might “want to just come and touch things.”

Mr. Bäche sifted through a box of letters sent to Dr. Hofmann by fans. “They’d tell him how much this substance changed their lives,” he said, and smiled. “It was a little bit too much.”

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Bob Riley, 62, gentle Deadhead serving a life sentence for LSD

Bob Riley, 62, gentle Deadhead serving a life sentence for LSD – The Clemency Report

Bob Riley, a kind soul who "treads lightly in this world," is in the 22nd year of a federal life without parole LSD sentence. The details of his unjust sentence are summarized in this New York Times article. This story is about Bob, the human being.

View full article on The Clemency Report