When Bobby Kennedy Defended LSD — DJ Pangburn
In a previous post, I mentioned my own experience seeing Robert Kennedy speak at San Fernando Valley State college during run for President in 1968. Rumors abound as to the actual involvement that the brothers Robert and John Kennedy has with the psychedelics during the Sixties.
DJ Pangburn’s recently published piece cited at the top of this post discusses Bobby Kennedy’s prescient worries about the crackdown on LSD research back in 1966. Here is an extended excerpt from the post which I cite up at the top:
RFK, whose wife had been treated with LSD and benefited from the experience, adopted a quite different tone in his questioning of FDA and NIMH officials in his own subcommittee hearing on LSD. He was curious as to why so many LSD research projects were getting scrapped. When the officials evaded the questions, RFK got straight to the point.
“Why if they were worthwhile six months ago, why aren’t they worthwhile now?” he asked repeatedly. “Why didn’t you just let them continue?… We keep going around and around… If I could get a flat answer about that I would be happy. Is there a misunderstanding about my question?”
It would seem that the question was an acknowledgment on the part of Kennedy that the hysteria surrounding the counter-cultural use of LSD was what was driving the anti-LSD sentiment, not new research.
“I think we have given too much emphasis and so much attention to the fact that it can be dangerous and that it can hurt an individual who uses it… that perhaps to some extent we have lost sight of the fact that it can be very, very helpful in our society if used properly.”
As some of you know, LSD is one of my favorite subjects, so more about it soon!