LSD and the LSD Manufacturing Underground in California, 1965-1990

Doses were pretty strong back in the day. The stuff around nowadays,  if you can even find it, is pretty weak.  It comes on blotter paper with some goofy caricature on it and it’s usually around 50 micrograms. Sure, you get a trip, but you get a much heavier trip when you start upping the dose up to 100 micrograms.

LSD back  then used to range from 250-500 micrograms. The famous Orange Sunshine LSD had 500 micrograms per pill. I took 125 micrograms one time, and that was plenty enough, thank you very much. I think I did take 250 micrograms once. That was one Hell of a trip, man.

Orange Sunshine was all manufactured by Timothy Leary’s group in Laguna Beach called The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, situated mostly in Laguna Canyon. My friends used to go down there and they said there would be these hippie guys sitting way up high in the eucalyptus trees. They were lookouts. The Brotherhood distributed millions of tabs of that variety of LSD, and they made a ton of money off of it.

Most LSD around this time was being manufactured by a man named Owlsley. I don’t think they ever caught him. I saw a documentary on TV about LSD in 1990.

The DEA agent said 90% of the LSD in the whole world comes out of the US, and almost all of that comes out of the Bay Area around San Francisco, California, where a few very secretive manufacturers make it. The DEA at the time had found it almost impossible to bust these manufacturers and there had not been a big bust in many years. Probably hard to get a good informant to work with you on a case like that in that part of California either, as anybody who knew anything about it was very secretive, a sort of a hidden hippie drug manufacturer underground.

LSD is quite difficult to manufacture and you almost need a Chemistry degree to make even one batch. I’m told that making it is pretty crazy because when you do, the stuff gets all over you, and you end up ingesting the stuff the whole time you’re making it. So you’re frying the whole time you make a batch, a process that could last a month or so. I don’t think I could handle a month-long trip. An 8-hour trip was bad enough.

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