Taking LSD on the Steps of The Victorian Parliament House -12 Dec 2012
19 April 2014 marks the 71st anniversary of the first deliberate injection of LSD and the commencement of the psychedelic era. Each year, that day is celebrated as Bicycle Day and this year, I will once again be publicly taking LSD and tripping on the steps of the Victorian Parliament House.
The difference from last year is that this time I will be doing my best to ensure that I get arrested.
As can be appreciated, a few people are expressing concern that what I am doing is going to make things worse for those of us who use Transcendent Compounds. Others have wondered why I bother to pursue such a quixotic crusade in the first place.
One of my friends emailed me a question that goes to the heart of many of the concerns that have been raised. I thought that I’d post her question, along with my (slightly edited after the fact) response here, so that people can obtain a better understanding of why I do what I do.
Question: “Hey Greg,
I thought about your plan more… It seems like a bad idea to me because I think it’ll be really negative publicity for LSD and transcendental substances in general. I don’t feel like we are particularly restricted in terms of access & enjoyment of these substances at the moment in Victoria… Obviously can’t buy at the supermarket but I feel free to do what self exploration I like
I feel like if you go ahead with this court case the negative publicity it’ll create for LSD use will undo some of the progress we’ve made towards public acceptance.
How do you think it’ll actually be positive For the psychedelic community? What do you feel is wrong with how things are now?”
Hiya. I can feel the fear in your response. Its like you are pleading, “don’t make things worse!”
There is no “public acceptance” of LSD, or other Transcendent Compounds. Most people aren’t even aware of the spiritual dimension of the LSD experience. I am continually educating people I meet and I’d say that perhaps one in twenty are even vaguely aware of what we do.
The only recent mentions of LSD in the mainstream media were incorrect claims that young people had died after taking the drug, when in fact these kids had most likely taken entirely different “legal highs”.
When towards the end of 2012, NSW police told the media that a kid had overdosed on LSD, they didn’t question it, despite the sheer impossibility, or ask how a teenager could have obtained and ingested over ten thousand dollars worth of LSD. Like sheep, they simply repeated the lie and never bothered to discover the truth. The real story was why the police media unit would release such blatant lies and how creating propaganda and spreading irrational fear of perfectly safe drugs benefits their own agenda. Modern journalism is a far cry from the investigative zeal of the Watergate affair that bought down President Nixon.
The stupidity of promulgating lies is that people are now going to think that LSD is toxic and in doing so actively avoid the safest drug on the planet, most likely in favour of the very drugs that did kill the kid.
Sure, you can find LSD on the black market and pick shrooms, but the Entheogenic Community, to the extent that it exists is insular, paranoid and steeped in fear. Ironically on more than one occasion, I’ve been accused of being an undercover cop, simply because I am so open about what I am doing. Surely, I must be part of some elaborate sting operation?
The stigma associated with drug use is as palpable as it is irrational and unfair.
I have been denied employment on account of my use of these substances. I was publicly denounced in a professional association meeting where people were told to not hire me. I can’t continue my studies in Psychology, because I would be deregistered as soon as I registered. I know at least three psychologists who use these substances, but they are afraid to come out and talk about that use, because they’d be immediately de-registered. And its not only psychologists. I know doctors, nurses and even engineers who are similarly impacted.
There are people who won’t be seen with me in public. More than one person refuses to even link to my facebook page, because they don’t want others to see that they know me. Even people who have known me for years and who I regarded as friends now consider me as being nothing more than a “druggie”.
I know at least six people who wouldn’t dream of attending one of my events because they are afraid that if they are seen on camera with me, it will negatively impact their jobs, prospects and standing in the community. Others are afraid that to be publicly associated with me would give their ex partners a way to take children from them, or restrict visitation rights.
And heaven forbid if your children should ever go to school and mention to the teacher that you use LSD, or one of the other Transcendent Compounds! Nearly everybody that I know refuses to tell their own children about one of the most beautiful things in their lives, simply because kids will inevitably tell other kids and teachers may find out. From there it is only a short step to horrors of a Child Protection visit.
The status quo is incredibly corrosive and destructive and needs to be challenged. The similarities between where we are right now and where the GLBT community was before the Stonewall riots are uncanny. Like you, there were many people in that community who were afraid to step out and who felt that additional publicity would only make things worse.
They were wrong!
Within ten years of discovering the courage to be open about who they were homosexuality was made legal in many places around the world. If we did the same, we’d experience the same gains, if for no other reason than there are more of us.
Do you really believe that there is nothing wrong with using Transcendent Compounds? Do you believe that it is a healthy activity and one that should be encouraged, providing it is done in a respectful and empathetic way?
If so, why would you champion a dysfunctional status quo where you can’t even talk openly and honestly about who you are, what you believe and what you accept is the good? Sure, you might be OK now, but what about in ten years when you have a family, a job and a life to keep together?
If you are like most most, you’ll probably sacrifice this aspect of your life for the sake of convenience and respectability. In doing so, you’ll give up a key part of who you are.
I’m not content to scurry around like a cockroach and avoid the light of day. What I do is good and healthy and I’ll challenge anyone who says otherwise.
Sadly, on account of the fact that people generally don’t want to hire a “druggie”, I don’t have great wads of cash to throw around making my case. So I do what I can with what I have.
What better place to put my case then an independent tribunal? What better place to challenge legal bigotry than a court of law?
By going to court, I am going to do the one thing that those behind the War on Drugs don’t want me to do. I am going to challenge them using laws they wrote and freedoms that everybody holds dear. I’ll be doing so in an independent forum, where their lies, bullshit and propaganda aren’t going to be accepted. If I go to court, I will rely entirely on peer reviewed science and demand that the government do the same.
Indeed, they won’t have a choice, because the wording of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act (2006) demands that litigants rely on “demonstrably justifiable” evidence and the only demonstrably justifiable evidence worthy of the name is peer reviewed science. Everything else is anecdote and hearsay.
The science is very clear. People can say all they want about LSD and other drugs in the media. They can lie. They can bullshit. They can cherry pick anecdotal “evidence”. But in a court of law, all of this is meaningless. In a court of law, what matters is the evidence. What matters is the truth. Judges value their independence and aren’t going to roll over like puppies to have their tummies scratched simply because the Government tells them they should.
I have great trust in our democratic institutions in Australia. I trust that if I present the evidence, the court will listen. I know that the Victorian Government simply has no case to put, should this end up in court. The science is entirely in our favour and they will lose!
Yes, I’ll still be convicted of possession, because the Charter doesn’t override laws themselves. But if the highest court in the land accepts the science that will be a huge win for us and our way of life. It will make clear that prohibition on the religious and spiritual use of Transcendent Compounds is based more on ignorance and bigotry, than any facts about the world.
I am not content to live my life as a lie. I am not content to pretend to be someone who I am not. I am not content to allow evil to triumph over good. I am not content to let deception triumph over truth. I will fight for what I believe in until my last gasp of breath. And I will WIN!
Could what I am doing make things worse? Well of course there is that possibility. But the one thing that I do know is that giving in to our fears never makes things better.