(Volume 1, Issue 1 - Summer 1967)
The Haight-Ashbury Medical Clinic is a medical facility
which treats the medical and psychiatric problems of a
predominantly adolescent subculture centered in the
Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.
The purpose of its semi-annual publication, The Journal of
Psychedelic Drugs, is to compile and disseminate objective
information relative to the various types of drugs used in
the Haight-Ashbury subculture. The publication is geared to
provide information for 'the general public, but it will be
assumed that the reader has some basic information in the
field. A bibliography of suggested reading is included at
the end of the publication to help guide such preparatory
Of great concern to the medical community working in the
specialized field of drug abuse are the legal regulations
and restrictions which often appear to aggravate rather than
alleviate drug problems.
Currently the legal model dominates the field of drug abuse
and as a physician it would appear that the medical model
approaching drug abuse as basically a health problem would
not only be more logical but also more effective. For
current legislators to accept a health rather than a
punitive goal as its objective, a number of changes would
have to be instituted.
Of primary consideration would be the legal separation of
drug user from drug seller. Current legal penalties as
applied to the user interfere with the doctor-patient
relationship and severely compromise an effective
therapeutic program for the individual.
In addition the regulation of individual substances have
produced pharmacological inconsistencies which compromise
effective drug regulation.
For example, the term narcotic is used indiscriminately and
includes in California for example such substances as
Marijuana, Mescaline and Cocaine, drugs which have no
pharmacological relationship to the true narcotics or opium
derivatives such as morphine and heroin. Unfortunately, such
artificial distinctions based on legal definition produces
for example situations where widespread drug abuse of the
alcohol type is accepted socially whereas drug use of the
marijuana type is cause for a felony conviction. All drugs
have an abuse potential and it would appear more reasonable
to regulate drugs in proportion to their abuse potential.
The prime consideration should be whether the individual is
using or abusing the drug. Acceptance of this abuse
potential principal would require that the regulations
regarding certain drugs be reduced (e.g. marijuana) and
regulations regarding other drugs (e.g. tobacco, alcohol,
and methamphetamine) be increased.
The first issue of the Journal of Psychedelic deals with
various aspects and controversies revolving around drugs and
the law. Lysergic acid diethylamide as the most prominent
psychedelic agent is discussed. An overview of
State and Federal Narcotics programs and legislation is
presented in association with current Narcotic and Marijuana
controls. In addition, a critique of the Nalline clinic, an
ineffective and often destructive probationary procedure for
the addict, is discussed. Dr. McGlothlin then discusses "A
rational view of hallucinogenic drugs, II and the Journal
closes with the concept and design of the Haight-Ashbury
Psychedelic drugs and the broader field of "socially
disapproved" drug regulation represent one of the most
controversial topics in contemporary American society.
It is hoped that this issue of our journal may help provide
an information base relative to drugs upon which more
reasonable individual, social, and legislative decisions can
David E. Smith, M. D.