Psychedelic Horror Stories in the War on Drugs

MAPS Bulletin Spring 1992 Vol. 03, No. 2 Small Steps, Gradual Progress, New Opportunities

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MAPS has been contacted by several parents whose college-age children have been sentenced to very lengthy terms in jail for the sale of LSD. The Guidelines by which penalties are determined are inconsistent and have been the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court case. If the accused seller is convicted in a Federal court, the penalties are usually draconian. Minimum Mandatory sentences are based not on the amount of LSD but on the weight of the LSD and its carrier. For example, selling 100 doses of liquid LSD would result in a sentence of 10 to 18 months, with parole likely. Selling the same number of doses of LSD on blotter paper would result in a sentence of 5-1/2 to 16 years with no parole possible, if the LSD were on sugar cubes the sentence could be as long as 40 years.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission is currently considering changes to the Guidelines, and has invited public comment. Please consider writing to the Commission requesting that the carrier weight in LSD cases be specifically excluded, that this be "grandfathered" to shorten the sentences of those already serving time, that parole be reinstated, and that Judges be given flexibility to appropriately consider such factors as first offense, youth of the offender, etc. Write to:

William Wilkens, Jr., Chairman
U.S. Sentencing Commission
133 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Suite 1400
Washington, D.C. 20004