When Drug Control Was Handed to the Cops — 1966
by Sunil Aggarwal on Sunday, 07 November 2010 at 01:09
Man of Vision Testifying during a recent Senate subcommittee on juvenile delinquency, Timothy Leary tells the group that the LSD fad among the young is a “crisis of challenge” and not a “crisis of peril.” He was one of the chief witnesses called to the Washington hearings.
IMAGE: © Bettmann/CORBIS DATE PHOTOGRAPHED May 28, 1966 LOCATION Washington, DC, USA COLLECTION Bettmann
“The inevitable backlash from this new message of individual power began in 1966 when various legislatures and Congress began considering bills to criminalize L.S.D. and similar drugs. In this year I testified before two Senate committees urging that control of all mind-changing drugs be assigned to the medical profession supervised by Federal and State health agencies. I predicted that if control of drugs were administered by law enforcement agencies, the result would be a black market more irrational and widespread than that of alcohol prohibition and the growth of the enormous police-state repressive bureaucracy.
And who, indeed, wanted that?
My political position then was by no means radical or solitary. Indeed, during the Johnson administration, a bitter battle was fought on this issue. Medical and scientific people (backed by the Kennedys) urged that drugs be administered by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, while law-and-order people politicked for the Department of Justice. History may well decide that the second belligerent disaster of the Johnson administration was the decision to turn drug control over to the police. L.S.D. was made illegal and most of the top drug scientists began their steady exit from government responsibility. Another war on heresy had been declared.”
–Timothy Leary, PhD, “Seeds of the Sixties” in Neuropolitics, 1977, but originally written in 1973 from Folsom State Prison. (page 18 in this pdf, and pg 4-5 in book))