Journal of Psychoactive Drugs


Haight Ashbury Publications

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Published by Haight Ashbury Publications


EDITOR'S NOTE:   (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 reading.

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 Clinic.

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 be made.

David E. Smith, M. D.




Vol. 1 (1)

Summer 1967

Psychedelic Drugs and the Law



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