Sunday, April 08, 2007

Abbie, Me and LSD

This being Easter, a lot of Christians are thinking about Jesus and spiritual awakening but I can't seem to get Abbie Hoffman off my mind. I can't claim that he was great friend but I miss him nonetheless. I came to know him when I was on his legal defense team during what we called at the time, CIA on Trial. You may remember that case, when he and Amy Carter were arrested at UMASS-Amherst for protesting Iran-Contra.

I had only recently joined the firm and was rather impressed with our high profile client. We spent a fair amount of time hanging around the office after hours, trading stories about the 60s and I was quite taken in by his charm. Although I declined an invitation to "inspect" his hotel room, I did end up literally buying the shirt off his back for eight dollars. It was a cheap green t-shirt with yellow lettering that said: My country invaded Nicaragua and all I got was this lousy t-shirt. It still resides in my collection of t-shirts I never wear but can't bear to give away.

DJW at Lawyers, Guns and Money reminded me of Abbie when he posted yesterday on the 69th anniversary of LSD. D credits Abbie with having made the drug famous. I'm not so sure I'd credit Abbie for that, as I seem to remember Osley with his purple elixir and Tim O'Leary having a hand in it as well but I was interested in the account of Abbie's first acid trip after ingesting "250 micrograms -- ten times the threshold dosage in humans."

I also once ingested an unusual dose of the drug, when I dropped a four way barrel of Orange Sunshine by mistake while I was at Tanglewood in Stockbridge, MA to see The Who perform their legendary rock opera Tommy. It was a hell of a concert and a long and unforgetable trip which I described here in great detail last night.

Abbie said afterwards of his marathon acid adventure, "The world was as if newly created." I'd say that sums up how I felt when I finally came down. For certain, it was the closest thing to a spiritual awakening I've ever experienced before, or since.

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