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Two Harvard Psychiatrists Say Charges Against LSD “Mind Drug” Are “Reckless and Inaccurate”

Dec. 13, 1962 - Two Harvard psychiatrists charged that statements made by Dean John Munro in an effort to stop the use of “mind drugs” among undergraduates were “reckless and inaccurate.” They added that action impeding experimentation at Harvard and other universities had led to a “scientific underground in the U.S.” to evade social pressures and legal barriers. Dr. Timothy F. Leary (pictured), lecturer on clinical psychology, and Dr. Richard Alpert, assistant professor of clinical psychology, rebutted warnings by Dean Munro that “intellectual promotion” of the “consciousness-expanding drugs” posed a serious hazard to students. The drugs in question are psilocybin, mescaline, and LSD. Dr. Leary and Dr. Alpert said that there was “no factual evidence that ‘consciousness-expanding’ drugs are uniquely dangerous, and there is considerable evidence that they are safe and beneficial.” Last year, the Massachusetts Public Health Department ruled that psilocybin is to be administered only in the presence of a medical doctor.


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