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|On Being Stoned, by Charles Tart|
On Being Stoned
Charles T. Tart, Ph. D.
Chapter 29. More Powerful Psychedelics (LSD) and Marijuana
MANY USERS of both marijuana and the more powerful psychedelic drugs such as LSD believe that the drugs are qualitatively different. Others believe that all or some of the effects from marijuana can also be experienced with the more powerful psychedelics along with many other effects, which cannot be experienced with marijuana.
This chapter provides some data on similarities and differences between marijuana intoxication effects and those of more powerful psychedelics.
The instructions for the questionnaire (Chapter 3) explained that:
... There is one other category on the "How Stoned" scale marked "LSD." You are to circle this category only if you have experienced that effect after having taken one of the very powerful psychedelic drugs like LSD, DMT, DET, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin, or STP. Thus there will probably be a number of things described that you've never experienced with pot but have with one of the more powerful psychedelics (if you've had one of the more powerful psychedelics).
Seventy-two percent of the sample (108 users) had used more powerful psychedelics at least once, and of this group, 54 were classified as heavy psychedelic users in that they had used one or more of the more powerful psychedelic drugs at least half a dozen times. This heavy psychedelic use group may be presumed to have had reasonable opportunity to experience a variety of effects with the more powerful psychedelics. The percentage of them experiencing the various effects while intoxicated with the more powerful psychedelics provides some interesting data to compare with the marijuana data.
Note that these data cannot be more than suggestive, for two reasons. First, the measure of percentage of users experiencing something at all for the more powerful psychedelics is not the same as the frequency of occurrence ratings of the same effects for marijuana. Second, Users of Psychedelics differed from Non-users on frequency of occurrence on marijuana for many items (Chapter 25), so there is a lack of statistical independence between the measures. Nevertheless, a look at what effects are frequent for the more powerful psychedelics while infrequent for marijuana, and vise versa, is of considerable interest.
Complete data of this sort of users of psychedelics per se as well as the heavy users of psychedelics are presented in Appendix l. Here we shall deal only with the heavy psychedelic user group.
Table 29-1 lists the common and characteristic effects of marijuana intoxication, which are not frequent for more powerful psychedelics in that less than 10 percent of the heavy psychedelic user group reports them as having been experienced while intoxicated on the more powerful drugs.
Many of these effects may not be frequent with the more powerful psychedelics because the user intoxicated on them avoids many ordinary situations and tasks that seem too trite or too difficult for his state of consciousness. Eating, going to parties, working on tasks, seem a waste of time to many users; if they are intoxicated with LSD, they are too involved in feelings of profound insights and the like to waste time on such things.
The difficulties with sleep probably are due to the much longer lasting effects of most of the more powerful psychedelics, so the user is still experiencing many drug effects at his usual bedtime, which prevent him from sleeping well.
Table 29-2 presents 25 effects, which at least 20 percent of the Heavy user group have experienced with more powerful psychedelics, hut which are infrequent or rare effects for marijuana intoxication. These include a variety of more exotic effects, such as telepathy, hallucinations, and feelings of contact with a Higher Power, as well as several effects reflecting concern about control.
FootnotesThis relation would seem practically impossible to avoid as it would be difficult to find people with much experience with more powerful psychedelics and little with marijuana. (back)