Never Take LSD or You Could End Up A Low Voltage Loonie

Believe it or not, there are people out there who intentionally take psychedelic drugs so they can actively hallucinate. This is crazy, stupid, dangerous, and illegal for good reason.

As a young acid a.k.a LSD head, I vividly remember idolizing two people: Jimmy Hendrix and Abbie Hoffman.

Hendrix was a virtuoso and a legend because he could play great psychedelic music on the guitar with his teeth; he could play it behind his back; and he played his guitar upside down. I will never forget being ten or eleven years old-I didn’t take my first acid trip until I was 13-- and dreaming that someday I would own a Fender Stratocaster guitar.

My preferred literary genre consisted of anything counter-culture. I read underground comic books, the “National Lampoon” and the handbook of any young existentialist who wanted to rebel against society: I’m talking about Abbie Hoffman’s "Steal This Book." That book contained a vast array of survival information for any budding militant pertaining to everything from how to shoplift, which according to Hoffman, was merely a way “to help big business lose weight,” how to make a proper Molintov cocktail, monkey warfare (the art of collective rebellion), and the science of obtaining free stuff.

The fact that I would gravitate towards these revolutionaries instead of worshiping sports heroes like other kids my age speaks to my anger and my feelings of inadequacy and not fitting in my place in the world. In short, I was a miserable kid who wanted to fit in with people who felt the way I did, so it was natural that I would embrace the counter culture of the seventies. I grew out my hair and smoked pot, ate acid at least 500 times and drank cheap wine with other hippies.

The constant consumption of psychedelics, angel dust, and any other chemical which would produce hallucinations eventually caused me a series of unintended consequences such as mental confusion, isolation, social marginalization, and ultimately at least 13 arrests that I can remember.

As a criminal defense attorney, I completely relate to my schizophrenic clients who act out on their command hallucinations. In other words, they either hear or see things that tell them to do stuff which they do that lands them in jail.

I actually had a schizophrenic client cut a hole in his ex-girlfriend’s bedroom floor after crawling under the house like a ferret and then spray painting the word “Ishtar” on her wall before scurrying away into the darkness. Although this conduct was never explained, his act of unrequited love resulted in felony burglary and stalking charges with some other misdemeanor stuff thrown in.

I recently had a client who was hearing voices, so he shoved wrist watch batteries in his ears until they literally started bleeding. He spent several hours curled up under a mattress to further quell the voices--to no avail. He then demanded his father produce his social security check, and when it was not produced he slapped his father. Even though he had only one daughter, the voices in his head told him his play cousin “killed his 12 kids.” He then proceeded to slap his play cousin and then was later arrested for felony assault because he was a large man and his open hand produced facial swelling, a bloody, nose and a swollen lip. The doctors at the hospital found no great bodily injury on his play cousin, but that didn’t stop the prosecution from charging felony assault with great bodily injury on the victim and felony elder abuse on his father for the slap.

Two psychologists--including one who was a prison psychologist in California for over 20 years-- diagnosed my client legally insane at the time he committed the offense, but the prosecution insisted on a felony strike and 7 years in prison. And if they were able to obtain a conviction, they wanted a sanity trial. The prosecution was evidently relying on the assumption, correct, I fear, that jurors believe people who plead insanity are just making excuses for their crimes. A jury found Jeffrey Dahmer--the man who murdered 15 people and then committed acts of necrophilia and cannibalism on some of his victims--legally sane when he committed his crimes. Wow! imagine committing cannibalism just to “play crazy.”

In California, if you did not actually understand what you were doing was wrong when you did it, or you didn’t know what you were doing when you committed your crime, you can be found not guilty by reason of insanity, or NGI. The closest thing I can equate this state of mind to is a very bad acid trip.

If you are found NGI, you go to the nut house. Most people envision these state hospitals as resorts, but they are actually quite dangerous. I once had a client who strangled his cell mate to death in a mental hospital; moreover, patients and staff alike are murdered in these institutions even more than people realize.

Batteryman went to trial and the jury convicted him of misdemeanors. And he was sentenced to credit for time served. We withdrew the NGI plea because we knew that the California Department of Corrections had him deemed a “mentally disordered offender,” so we knew they could keep him under their supervision for life anyway.

Although I still listen to Hendrix, and read Hoffman for nostalgic purposes, I stopped taking LSD over 25 years ago and I’m glad I did. People do crazy shit when they take hallucinogenic drugs. I’m glad I don’t always do what the voices in my head tell me to do and I am really glad I do not believe everything I think like so many of my clients.

1 comment:

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