New Film To Be Screened: The Secret History of the LSD Trade

Via Lucid News

Anew film about the underground chemists and other outlaws who made LSD available to the first generation of psychedelic pioneers will be screened in San Francisco during Bicycle Day celebrations next week. The world premiere of “Psychedelic Revolution: The Secret History of the LSD Trade” will take place on April 18 at Discovery Con, a two-day event that will host discussions about psychedelic science, culture and policy.

This year’s Bicycle Day commemorates the 80th anniversary of the first intentional LSD trip experienced by Albert Hofmann who first synthesized LSD at the Sandoz pharmaceutical laboratories in Switzerland.

Part one of a planned three-part documentary series, the first twenty minutes of “Psychedelic Revolution,” was screened at the 2022 Discovery Con event. The full 60-minute film features some of the notable revolutionaries of the acid underground and their children, including Carolyn (Mountain Girl) Garcia, Sunshine Kesey, Mariavittoria Mangini, Amy Cando, Ken Babbs, Michael and Carol Randall, Mark McCloud, Tim Tyler, Seth Ferranti, Dr. John Beresford, William Leonard Pickard, and Rhoney Stanley.

Rhoney Stanley, who is one of the film’s executive producers, was a laboratory assistant and former partner of Owsley Stanley, the clandestine chemist and Grateful Dead audio engineer.

Owsley Stanley produced more than five million doses of LSD between 1965 and 1967 which helped ignite psychedelic culture in the San Francisco Bay Area and worldwide.

While backstage at a 2018 Dead & Company show in Mexico, Rhoney met Tyler who had just been released from prison for selling LSD. According to Rhoney, Tyler explained that he and Ferranti, who was also imprisoned for selling psychedelics and cannabis, had decided that if they ever got out of prison, they would make a movie about the LSD trade to tell the real story. Rhoney agreed that the story must be told and introduced them to the community of people featured in the film.

“Psychedelic Revolution” is directed by Ferranti who will be appearing at Discovery Con together with most of the people who appear in the film. Rhoney Stanley talked with Lucid News about the genesis of the film and what she wants people to know about LSD and those who took great risks to manufacture and sell it in the 1960’s and beyond.

Executive producer Rhoney Stanley. ©Jay Blakesberg

Why did Owsley Stanley ask you to become his lab assistant and what impact did that have on your life?
I was born to a Jewish family in New York and grew up in the Bronx and Westchester. I started college at Mt. Holyoke. But I just couldn’t take it, so I transferred to UC Berkeley, as I was involved in political action and the folk music scene. After taking White Lightning LSD made by Owsley, and having a transformative experience where I felt the divine connection between us all, I wanted to meet Owsley. Lucky for me, my friend, the musician Perry Lederman, was his dealer and introduced us. I believe there must be magnetic fields that bring like-minded people together.

Owsley said to me, “Enroll in organic chemistry at Berkeley and learn lab set ups.” And I listened. Then he said, “drop out and let’s make acid.” He also had me helping him tabulate the acid. Melissa Jeffress (formerly Cargill) was also a lab assistant for him.

Owsley studied chemistry books, and learned how to make psychedelics. He found glass blowers to design custom glassware and trained Tim Scully. After visiting Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner at Millbrook in 1967, we were arrested but the charges were dropped. Then we got busted again in December of that year in our LSD lab in California. The feds came in with guns. Five of us were arrested including Owsley, Melissa and me.

Owsley took the rap and said that we were just girls at the scene, so we were not indicted. Melissa and I both got pregnant by Owsley and had babies within three weeks of each other while Owsley was in prison.

Read full article

The Secret History of the LSD Trade

Primary Sponsor


Karma Koala Podcast

Top Marijuana Blog