If you’re familiar with Bicycle Day, then feel free to skip the following block quote.
For the uninitiated, however, the following is the “Bicycle Day” section in the Wikipedia entry for the “History of lysergic acid diethylamide” (LSD).
April 19, 1943, Hoffmann performed a self-experiment to determine the true effects of LSD, intentionally ingesting 0.25 milligrams (250 micrograms) of the substance, an amount he predicted to be a threshold dose (an actual threshold dose is 20 micrograms). Less than an hour later, Hofmann experienced sudden and intense changes in perception. He asked his laboratory assistant to escort him home and, as use of motor vehicles was prohibited because of wartime restrictions, they had to make the journey on a bicycle. On the way, Hoffman’s condition rapidly deteriorated as he struggled with feelings of anxiety, alternating in his beliefs that the next-door neighbor was a malevolent witch, that he was going insane, and that the LSD had poisoned him. When the house doctor arrived, however, he could detect no physical abnormalities, save for a pair of incredibly dilated pupils. Hofmann was reassured, and soon his terror began to give way to a sense of good fortune and enjoyment, as he later wrote…
“… Little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux …”
The events of the first LSD trip, now known as “Bicycle Day”, after the bicycle ride home, proved to Hofmann that he had indeed made a significant discovery: a psychoactive substance with extraordinary potency, capable of causing significant shifts of consciousness in incredibly low doses. Hofmann foresaw the drug as a powerful psychiatric tool; because of its intense and introspective nature, he couldn’t imagine anyone using it recreationally. Bicycle Day is increasingly observed in psychedelic communities as a day to celebrate the discovery of LSD.
The celebration of Bicycle Day originated in DeKalb, Illinois, in 1985, when Thomas B. Roberts, then a Professor at Northern Illinois University, invented the name “Bicycle Day” when he founded the first Bicycle Day celebration at his home. Several years later, he sent an announcement made by one of his students to friends and Internet lists, thus propagating the idea and the celebration. His original intent was to commemorate Hofmann’s original, accidental exposure on April 16, but that date fell midweek and was not a good time for the party, so he chose the 19th to honor Hofmann’s first intentional exposure.
“…intention is extremely important.” — Alex Grey (visionary artist)
LSD has been inappropriately demonized and consequently banned purely for political reasons (i.e. law abuse).
As part of that fear-mongering and thuggish demonization, the United States National Institute on Drug Abuse published Dr. Hoffman’s negative statements about his LSD experience, while unethically avoided equally publishing his valid positives (e.g. in the aforementioned block quote) that basically led to his iconic presence in psychedelic culture (noting he died beyond the century mark in age, despite his LSD experience).
Reason abuse is at least every bit as dangerous as drug abuse, and the millions of non-violent (so sanely innocent) citizens victimized by reason abuse forming liberty-infringing law abuse (i.e. the war on [arbitrarily some politicized] drugs) can only validate that fact.
Like any psychedelic (e.g. cannabis — more commonly known as marijuana), LSD can produce seriously powerful mind effects (even overwhelmingly so to a degree of serious psychological problems).
That power effectively commands respect.
Recklessly experimenting with anything is stupid, and that most certainly applies in any psychedelic case.
However, LSD (like other reasonably similar psychedelics — e.g. cannabis, psilocybin, DMT, etc.) can be easily consumed to the minor degree literally one tiniest step from sobriety, so opens up universes of neurologically colorful possibilities within responsibly mild experience (an area basically equivalent up to the effects amplitude from drinking just one or two glasses of wine).
That includes “microdosing”, which (according to the relevant entry in Wikipedia) is “a technique for studying the behaviour of drugs in humans through the administration of doses so low (‘sub-therapeutic’) they are unlikely to produce whole-body effects, but high enough to allow the cellular response to be studied.”
Because LSD requires an advanced understanding of chemistry to synthesize properly, prohibitionists have been largely successful at preventing its manufacture. However, that prohibitionist “victory” is hideous against public safety, because demand is then redirected to inferior alternatives (even the potentially deadly 25I-NBOMe).
Hoffman-grade LSD (if you will) is brilliantly pure in effect and non-toxic, scientifically speaking, so safe at mild enough dosages in positive environments (e.g. being safe at home).
Anyone claiming LSD ruined their lives likely cannot verify that what they consumed was actually LSD (despite being told it was), and/or the dosage amount was responsible (e.g. one sugar cube, little square piece of paper, etc. can contain a severely overwhelming dosage). That’s because prohibition (or, prior to that ban, the premature LSD availability prior to the necessarily mature marketplace for consistently reliable LSD products to avoid legal liability) blocked access to best ensuring product safety.
Too many people even within the psychedelic community frown upon LSD, because of its technological origin (i.e. its need for synthesis by a human being).
However, as everything that humanity knows about is energy (at least according to the most conservative application of mainstream physics), technology (like plants and any other form of non-human result) is purely energetic, so any technological distinction cannot be a legitimate basis for psychedelic discrimination on natural grounds.
Moreover, technology is required for many (if not all) psychedelic experiences. Cannabis quality, for solid example, has been significantly improved due to technological improvements applied to (at least) the growing process (nonetheless technology enables better scientific understanding of that amazing psychedelic plant). Another solid example is the technological process by indigenous peoples of Amazonian Peru involved in brewing Ayahuasca (a reasonably popular and lengthier DMT experience — i.e. N,N-Dimethyltryptamine – another horrendously banned substance that’s basically ubiquitous in nature, and note that even your body produces DMT).
Like anything in life, LSD has its pros and cons (including risks). Its use is a learned skill. On the heavier side of its effects, that skill is similar to the apparent intensity of skydiving (no exaggeration). As LSD effects are lengthy in duration (roughly 10 hours) and include a “speed” component (making it virtually impossible to sleep upon using it), unlike cannabis, LSD is not a suitable alternative to the common nightcap. Its use is limited to being likely occasionally spiritually used among a small group of friends upon understanding that LSD (also like cannabis) is not an automatic feel-good drug (so likely undesirable as a go-out-and-party drug amid alternatives such as MDMA — a.k.a. ecstasy).
As sadly unpopular as this purely and grounded logical notion is, education is the only proper risk management solution in a nation with an unalienable right to liberty (e.g. supposedly this one by fundamental obligation, but clearly corruptly not in judicial implementation to the pleasure of beneficiaries from abusive law).
I will do my best to help people decide if LSD is right for them, and if so, how to responsibly use this fantastic, fun, likely illuminating, and spiritual tool upon its logically inevitable legality.
Our Respect Cannabis campaign leverages successful momentum towards cannabis legality to reinforce the need to expand the focus upon intentional perception alteration in general (which ultimately is the real issue). If our campaign is successful, someday (preferably responsibly soon) there will be a formal renaming to Respect Perception as a perpetual educational campaign to help ensure safety.
Though I may go into more detail in a future post here, this post ends by recommending you read the fairly recent article about the recent scientific publication of LSD experimentation results.