1960’s & the psychedelic debate

For my project I will be focusing on the therapeutic use of psychedelics as discovered during the 1960s and the revival (and continued stigma) of the practice in modern medicine.  This primary source is an episode from April 1967 of the talk show Firing Line hosted by William F. Buckley Jr.  Buckley is interviewing the eccentric psychologist Timothy Leary about his own philosophy and practice of using LSD.  The interview is significant for the debate over the legality of Leary’s advocation, as a licensed professional, for the illegal drug and its potential danger.  Leary’s counterargument is that while LSD should provide a warning label, there should not be a law prohibiting its use due to its ability to open one’s mind and potentially open a door to a happier perspective.  The argument is further complicated by Leary’s imposition of spirituality on the mental state of tripping which Buckley argues is further evident of the danger of LSD.  Buckley believed that the heightened state of consciousness could cause a “not-well-adjusted person” to develop a reliance of escapism or addiction to the drug.  Leary makes a number of declarations to the future of LSD use which will be interesting to explore during this project.