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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

No freedom trip for LSD maker

William_leonard_pickard

An appeals court today rejected everything LSD maker William Pickard (right) had to say, according to U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren's office.
Everything about this case is outsized:

  • He made LSD under a 13-ton nuclear blast-resistant door in an old Atlas-E missile silo in Wamego converted to an underground home.
  • Feds called it the largest LSD bust ever - 91 pounds. (But see below)
  • When agents closed in, Pickard, a marathon runner, outran agents half his age. He was arrested the next day, though, and is serving two life terms.
  • At the time of his arrest, the highly educated Pickard was deputy director of the Drug Policy Analysis Program at UCLA's School of Public Policy and Social Research.

Slate magazine followed this case:

Who's got the acid? Today, almost nobody
The 91-pound acid trip: The numbers touted by the government in its big LSD bust just don't add up

91 pounds? That's 400 million doses! Or 2 billion. Or 2.8 billion (all numbers reported in the press).  Slate reporter Ryan Grim found that Pickard ran an LSD lab for sure, but that the amount was more likely 91 pounds of something with traces of LSD on it.

Photo from www.slate.com

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