Hamilton's Pharmacopeia (2011) s01e06 Episode Script

The Lazy Lizard School of Hedonism

Morris: In the mid to late
Miocene Epoch,
massive pools of magma
erupted across
the western United States.
Once the tephra had settled,
a volcano on the border
of the Great Basin
lay dormant
for 20 million years,
Only to be found by a man
who made it erupt once more
not with lava,
but phenethylamines.
I've been fascinated
by psychoactive drugs
my whole life.
I love to study their chemistry
and impact on society.
And my work has allowed me
to investigate extraordinary
substances around the world.
Yet there are still mysteries
that remain.
[ Bubbling, fizzing ]
Those who consume
their medicines
rarely understand the risks that
were taken to create them.
In a society that has made
their work a crime,
the psychedelic chemist
is an outlaw.
This is the story
of Casey Hardison
and Darrell Lemaire.
In 2015,
I became aware of a story
unlike any other
I'd heard before.
An underground
psychedelic chemist
operating secretly
in the core of a volcano
had worked for decades,
evading detection.
Built in 1966,
the lab held
a central -- yet unknown -- role
in the history
of psychedelic synthesis
and MDMA psychotherapy.
I traveled to the lab
with my friend Casey Hardison,
a former LSD chemist,
to get a glimpse of the outside,
but was amazed to gain entry.
At the base of the volcano,
there were two iron doors
bolted shut with three padlocks
that opened to a portal
with a spiral staircase
leading directly into the earth.
[ Indistinct conversation ]
In the antechamber,
a stone was removed
to reveal an electronic keypad
to an adjacent metal door.
Morris: Wow.
Through the door was a tunnel,
approximately 100 feet
in length,
blasted into the volcanic rock.
-Man's a nutter.
As I walked through the passage,
I saw relics from the past --
three carbide lamps,
a mining helmet,
and a date etched
into the cement floor.
Near the end of the tunnel,
it branched,
revealing a terminal chamber.
This was the laboratory.
The lab had
both plumbing and electricity,
as well as a fume hood
that vented exhaust
through a camouflaged opening
on the surface.
Behind the remains
of a drop ceiling
were holes containing
specially designed tubes
that once held chemical samples.
The shadowy figure
who built the lab
could be traced to little more
than a single scientific article
in a pseudonymously
authored booklet
on the subject
of cognitive enhancement.
It was at this location
that hundreds of kilos of MDMA
were synthesized
and used to fuel
the psychotherapeutic revolution
that came before
the drug was criminalized.
The man behind this pioneering
work has since retired,
but still resides in the West.
He's known to some
as Hosteen Nez,
to others as the Liz.
But his name is Darrell Lemaire.
[ Traffic approaching ]
Now, at the age of 90,
he wanted the world
to know his story,
so I set out to meet him.
I first encountered
the story of Darrell Lemaire
while scanning
a stack of letters
at the home
of Ann and Alexander Shulgin.
[ Music volume increases ]
Darrell Lemaire operated
in secrecy for decades.
He manufactured
all sorts of psychedelics.
MDMA was synthesized
on a large scale
to supply psychotherapists,
but there was also exploration
of novel compounds
with Sasha Shulgin.
Darrell wanted
to stay out of the public eye,
so they were careful enough
not to let anyone know
what they were doing.
This is the home
of Alexander Shulgin.
I've been coming here
for just about one decade now,
and everywhere you look,
it's a different part
of psychedelic history.
Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin
synthesized over 100
novel psychedelic compounds,
which he tested on himself
and his wife, Ann,
a psychedelic psychotherapist.
He passed away in 2014,
but Ann still resides at their
home in Lafayette, California.
[ Laughs ]
By the way, how many pairs
of white pants do you have?
I've know people who went around
entirely in black
just so they wouldn't have to
keep doing laundry all the time.
that's what I used to do,
and then I started to think
it was disgusting.
I like you in white.
[ Chuckles ]
MDMA was a tremendously valuable
psychotherapeutic drug.
Sasha -- he was not
in the job of, uh, production.
His job was
to discover new compounds
and, uh, then to publish
his findings.
Darrell was
a superb chemist.
He helped a lot
in supplying the MDMA
to -- to the many therapists
who contacted Sasha.
In 2013, I volunteered to help
digitize Shulgin's papers,
and was offered
a stack of letters
from a chemist
named Darrell Lemaire.
In the early 1980s,
thousands of therapists
had become aware
of the extraordinary
properties of MDMA.
The drug was still legal,
relatively unknown
on the street,
and had yet to gain
the popular name "ecstasy."
Despite a great demand
from the therapeutic community,
there were no pharmaceutical
sources to obtain the drug,
and so Darrell Lemaire
became the supplier.
He used his lab to produce
hundreds of kilos of MDMA
that were wholesaled
to the medical community.
As I read the letters,
which span the decade
between 1982 and '92,
I realized I had uncovered
a secret chapter
in the history of MDMA.
There were
some real efforts made
to influence the powers that be
in Washington
to keep MDMA safe
from being scheduled.
But they did not succeed.
The -- The reasons were many
and mostly political.
But once the government
makes a decision like that,
it doesn't go back on it,
'cause governments never admit
that they made a mistake.
This is the lab
of Alexander Shulgin --
the most legendary lab in the
history of psychedelic research.
Every opportunity I have
to visit this place, I come.
There's another dozen boxes
upstairs for you to play with.
[ Both chuckle ]
This is an intermediate
for the synthesis of 2C-D.
2C-D was the smart drug that
Darrell Lemaire investigated.
It was one of Darrell Lemaire's
favorite drugs.
But the compound
was controlled by the DEA.
The research
that was once scientific
is now considered criminal.
When I first came here,
I remember looking
at some of these compounds
that were so mysterious to me.
And now,
close to 10 years later,
I know every single one of them.
This book, "PiHKAL," is
Alexander Shulgin's magnum opus.
It details MDMA psychotherapy,
the history of psychedelics,
the synthesis of psychedelics,
the qualitative effects
of psychedelics,
but he didn't do it alone.
He did it with the help
of a lot of other people --
people like Darrell Lemaire,
who, for legal reasons,
couldn't take credit
for their own work.
All right, sweetheart.
Thanks again.
Love you.
Love you, too.
Come back soon!
I hope I will.
Ray Chamberlain is a professor
of organic chemistry
living in northern California.
While he was researching
his dissertation
at the University
of Nevada, Reno,
he met Darrell Lemaire,
and the two became partners.
As a graduate student
in chemistry,
it's pretty much 24/7.
If you're not in the lab,
then you're down in library
doing research.
Periodically, there'd be a few
strange people in the library.
One of them was up there
using the library a lot
doing synthetic research,
and I walk over and,
"What you doing?" you know?
And we found out we have
similar interests, so on.
And after that,
he invited me to the house,
and he had a shop.
He'd been working
by himself.
I was blown away
because of the equipment
he had in there.
After I had had a few
of these compounds myself,
you start waking up
and you realize
this is a very important
branch of research.
So, uh, I became
sort of his lab assistant.
Ray, who Darrell
nicknamed "Cosmic,"
was one of few people trusted
to work inside
the volcano laboratory.
On the property itself,
there's uh, an old plug
from the volcano.
As an engineer and miner,
Darrell got out there
with the dynamite
and blasted a big hole out
of the ground, dug a tunnel.
So, we just built
a small chemistry lab
down in the tunnel,
and, uh, we were making kilos
at a time.
From day one, Darrell talked
to me about this --
"Even though it's legal,
we still have to be very careful
about who we talk to
and talk about
these compounds with
there's always people
that are against
all of this sort of stuff."
Do you ever
tell your students
about the work
that you did with Darrell?
I have to be extremely careful
about that sort of thing.
I have the jobs of my dreams
right now teaching it,
and I don't ever talk
about things like that
to my students.
With Dr. Chamberlain's
Darrell synthesized
a diverse array of molecules,
some of established
psychedelic activity,
and others of his own invention,
Including BOD
and a series
of ethoxyphenethylamines
he called the "tweetios."
What he was doing was
taking some of the things
that Sasha had started
and optimizing a better way
to make it.
It was unknown,
it was all research,
and just like
Sasha would do,
Darrell would make
the new compound and
then he'd test it
and then try to scale it up
to larger amounts --
especially later on
for MDMA.
Um, MDMA was not illegal,
and there were thousands
of psychiatrists
in the United States
using MDMA
as a psychiatric drug.
There was a nucleus of us
that were all working together
to do this research.
Not just doing research
to make the compound,
but this is also doing research
to try and figure out the effect
of each of the compounds.
Seeing what happened,
and then,
when the experience was over,
we'd all get 3x5 cards
and we'd write down,
um, what it felt like
and the level.
We spent so much time laying out
in the backyard and in the sun
that we came up
with a club.
And so it's the Lazy Lizard
School of Hedonism.
And, uh, Darrell was known
as the Liz.
In 1985,
MDMA was emergency scheduled,
and Ray left his work in Reno
Self-experimentation of any kind
carries risks,
but a far more serious danger
had emerged
in the form of prohibition.
Male Reporter: In powdered form,
it's called MDMA,
better known on the streets
as ecstasy.
Enough MDMA
got out onto the street
that people were doing
the raves,
and that's when, uh,
the DEA finally realized
they had to have
a designer-drug law.
Here, agents found
boxes of chemicals --
enough to mix 500 pounds
of ecstasy.
MDMA was
a very important drug.
This is a very important
branch of research,
um, that should be
Morris: With Ray gone,
Darrell continued his work
until he felt
he could no longer evade
a prohibitionist government.
He sold his volcano
and dedicated himself
to studying plant medicines,
waiting patiently for a student
who could take up the torch.
Male Reporter #2:
An American chemistry expert --
33-year-old Casey Hardison --
produced hallucinogenic drugs
on an industrial scale.
Casey Hardison is best known
for an LSD lab he built
in the United Kingdom,
but he got his start
synthesizing phenethylamines
with chemicals and equipment
given to him by Darrell Lemaire.
It had been a year since our
visit to Darrell's volcano lab,
and we felt it time to reunite
and pay Darrell a visit.
Hardison: Most people who
consume psychedelic drugs
don't think of the chemists
that risked their liberty
to -- to produce them.
[ Wind blows ]
So, what made you decide that
you wanted to take that risk?
What made me decide?
I took LSD
and I had this amazing
transformative experience.
We were just getting ready to
watch "A Brief History of Time."
My friend, he says to me,
"I got some acid
that a friend of ours made."
And I knew people had
spiritual awakenings.
I think, "I'm ready for this.
Let's have it."
Hawking: Where did
the universe come from?
You know, suddenly, I'm like,
"Fuck, I want to go outside."
We hike ourselves
down to the lake shore,
and I'm in this reverie,
and I'm out in this reverie
for a long time.
I don't even -- you know,
I have no idea how long,
but the lights
in my brain,
and the vastness
of my thinking,
and the -- the stillness
at the same time.
And in the midst
of that absorption,
I felt something
I'd never felt before --
at one with the cosmos.
I was rattled out of that
'cause I heard this bell
across the -- this gong,
and it's like, "Dong, dong,"
and it was "Dong" --
[ Bell tolling ]
3:00 A.M.
And I walked over,
and I figured out
what this building is,
and I'm looking at it,
and it's the science building.
And when
I figured that out,
I'm like,
"It's time to go to school."
I wanted to study what the hell
had just happened to me
in this last, you know,
12 hours of my life.
And it was in
that first chemistry class,
looking in the textbook,
and there was
the structure of LSD,
and I'm like, "I'm being taught
what's necessary to make this."
And it wasn't
until Darrell said,
"Hey, I want to give you a lab,"
that I was actually like,
"Well, hell, here's the time.
The time's now."
You know,
I was an idealistic chemist.
I just wanted people
to experience the mind state.
You know, I happened to be one
of those rare individuals
that was brave enough
to actually, you know,
mix the shit, you know,
in my bedroom.
We do have something
figured out.
[ Morris chuckles ]
Hardison: The cartography
of the inner soul
is nothing
to be afraid of.
The game is, you skirt the law,
you make analogs --
not interested in that game.
You know, I'm not interested
in gaming the law
and making
a bunch of things
that aren't
what I want to make.
So I just won't make anything.
It's that simple.
I think they should just
actually end the drug war
on such things.
It's not really
a war on the drugs,
it's a war on us,
and about controlling
who gets to experience
these powders, pills,
plants, and potions.
[ Indistinct conversations ]
At this point,
it seems quite intractable,
but at the same time,
there's so many different
molecules being made
that the genie really is
out of the bottle.
They're never going to be able
to contain it and put it back,
and it's just
a matter of attrition now.
Morris: As revelers,
sated from their week-long
psychedelic gorge,
spilled onto the roads
across America,
Casey and I made our way south
toward the man who gave him
his first laboratory.
[ Music volume increases ]
Morris: Alexander Shulgin
first synthesized 2C-T-7
in the early '80s,
but it wasn't until 2000
that the drug became
widely available.
While attending a conference
in Palenque, Mexico,
Casey watched over 100 people
ingest the drug,
and was inspired by Shulgin
to author and publish a survey.
I got 48 responses,
got into volume 10, number 2
in "MAPS Bulletin,"
but the really cool part
about it
is that a man
named Darrell Lemaire
was reading his wife's copy
and wanted to talk to me.
There's that adage, you know,
when, uh, a student is ready,
the master will appear,
and, fuck, he did.
Hardison: He wanted
the torch to be passed on.
He chose me. I mean,
we're gonna have to ask him.
I never -- I've never asked him,
"Why me?"
And when you first got
a message from him,
did you know
anything about him?
Not at all.
Not a single thing.
He said, "I had made
a number of these compounds,
and I thought you might be
interested in talking with me."
And that made me
a tiny bit paranoid --
so much so that
I just basically ignored it.
Another month later,
I got another letter
going, "Oi, wake up!
I'm trying to give you
Do you want to talk?"
And I called him
on the phone
and arranged
in that phone call
to meet him
the full moon of March 2001.
He was very generous.
I asked what I could
ever do to repay him,
he's like, "Nothing.
Just spread the word,
make some molecules,
give them away,
help people."
So he's a real believer.
Fuck, yeah,
he's a real believer.
He's a man that had real passion
from the very beginning.
He really believes that these
molecules cause transformation.
I believe it, as well.
I'm not sure
it's all chemists,
but it is a brotherhood.
There's a camaraderie
with it.
Because of prohibition,
we're outlaws.
We used to be the priest class
or the shamans.
But in Western society,
there's no position
for that anymore.
There became a thirst
for some meaningfulness
in this post-modern
meaningless world
that many of us
find ourselves in.
And there's a search for answers
to, "What are we doing here?"
And I think psychedelics can
provide some of those answers.
Did he tell you
what you were coming to get?
No. He's just like,
"I've got a bunch of things
I think you'll want."
You know, I didn't know
if I was gonna walk
into getting arrested.
Seems like
a reasonable concern.
I mean, I had good faith
in my mission.
For many years,
I really felt that I was --
not necessarily untouchable,
but pretty un-fuck-with-able.
Why did you
feel that way?
The molecules.
I felt that, you know,
these molecules
are really
a blessing in my life
and that I was part
of the entheogencia
or the apoptese --
those who had seen the holy,
la tiara.
This over here -- right
over here past my finger --
is, uh, Darrell's.
After decades of operating
underground laboratories,
Darrell sold his volcano
and moved with his wife
to a secluded meadow
that he called Birdsong.
[ Car ignition beeping ]
It's really beautiful.
It's really,
really beautiful.
-Great to see you.
-Ah, well!
Thank you.
Hi, Darrell,
great to see you.
Good to see you.
Hugs are good.
Well, gosh, you guys.
It's wonderful to have you come.
Lemaire: I built the place
about 25 years ago.
I've been living here
more or less ever since.
Where did you live
before this house?
Uh, in Reno.
I had about 3,200 square feet,
big downstairs.
We first used the place as
an underground machine shop,
then it became
an underground wine cellar.
Then it became a, uh,
underground drug lab,
which was
the best use for it.
Well, I decided
I would just make my own,
and to hell
with the street stuff.
[ Garage door whirring ]
Hardison: When I came in,
I got my chemistry stuff --
a lot of it
was in this room.
You've made a lot of things
in here, haven't you?
Oh, yes.
Quite a few.
There, that'll make it look
like I'm doing something.
Fire away.
Hey, get a load of this.
This right here is, uh, a copy
of what Darrell gave to me.
This is
a single-pill press.
You take
a ring full of powder,
and you'd run this ring
over this hole.
And then you'd scrape it
by the other way.
And then you'd grab the arm,
get a good press on it,
then you'd lift that up.
Then you'd hit the foot pedal
to eject the pill.
And you'd have pressed wafers,
Darrell Lemaire style.
Morris: Oh. He's leaving.
He's walking away.
He's getting bored.
These little pills
were able to change these people
There were a number
of psychotherapists
that relied on me
to provide them with new drugs.
It's changes that wouldn't have
happened without the pill.
Morris: When you were
in college studying chemistry,
did you ever think
that you would get
into this sort of work?
Nothing in psychoactives
at all.
Lemaire: I first became
interested in psychedelics
when I got a position
as metallurgical engineer
at a uranium ore-processing
near a little place
called Tuba City.
Various white shift bosses
would say to me,
"See that Navajo over there?"
I'd say, "Yep."
They'd say,
"Damn peyote eater."
It only took a few days
to find out that
these so-called "peyote eaters"
were the best workers they had.
They were born intelligent,
good sense of humor,
weren't bitter about
the white man doing all
sorts of things to him.
So, it was a very good thing.
So I decided that
I would like to try
some of this peyote myself.
But I was never able to get
close enough to a medicine man
to do the whole nine yards.
But I synthesized mescaline.
And it was very good.
Everybody loved it.
Changed my life totally.
So, what did it do?
It unloaded 32 years of hangups
and fears and phobias
and stuff like that.
Morris: Do you remember
any of the structures
of the compounds
that you worked on?
Mescaline is very simple.
That was a material
that we started from.
And we just
went from there.
Morris: The peyote-derived
alkaloid mescaline
is the prototypical
phenethylamine psychedelic --
a starting point
for the compounds
that Alexander Shulgin
and Darrell Lemaire explored
throughout their careers.
A few modifications
of this simple structure
can yield a dazzling array
of psychopharmacologically
unique compounds.
Remove an oxygen atom
from mescaline
In the four position?
It's desoxymescaline.
A compound
that's four times as potent.
Move a methoxy group,
and you have 2C-D --
a compound that's now
an order of magnitude stronger
than mescaline.
Amidst the many compounds
that Darrell synthesized,
he felt that some could be used
to enhance memory
and other cognitive processes.
He administered
these experimental compounds
to the Lazy Lizards
in his research group
and reported his findings
in a booklet
that he authored
under two layers of pseudonyms.
The fact
that psychedelics
might have a more
practical application,
like enhancing memory
is something most people
don't think about.
It's one of these things
where a very small quantity
is different
than a large quantity.
This sort of work isn't
necessarily lucrative,
especially if you're doing
actual research.
And people like
Alexander Shulgin
and Darrell Lemaire
had to make money creating
some sort of innovation
outside of the world
of psychedelic drugs
to support
their psychedelic research.
In the case
of Alexander Shulgin,
it was an insecticide
called Zectran.
In the case of Darrell Lemaire,
it was his mercury detector.
If you could map mercury
on the surface,
then you could find the precious
and the base metals at depth.
That it is the tech.
I put it all into a little box.
It gave me plenty of bucks
to work with.
I was 42 years old,
and that was a good time
to retire
to work on
psychoactive chemicals.
It was a very creative
sort of thing.
A lot of these chemicals
that we made
were just off the wall.
They were totally new.
And so, we're making them
and trying them out.
Yeah, that's me
hanging out there.
Could you tell me
about the Lazy Lizard
School of Hedonism?
Some people would come
in the front door,
and they'd start peeling.
By the time they got up
to the bedroom,
where they stepped out
by the pool, they were naked.
So they would go out, and they'd
just fall in the water --
And so, I'd feed them
some of these psychedelics.
We called it "tasting" --
making these things
and trying them out
to show them a different aspect
of life as they knew it.
Were you having a lot of sex
with all those naked people
hanging out by the pool?
Oh, uh, sometimes, yeah.
Not so much
orgy atmosphere,
but people had a tendency
to pair off
and go into
one of the bedrooms
and tear off a piece.
Work with the psychoactives
was the most rewarding endeavor
that I got into.
We had a lot of fun
with psychedelics
until the government
made them all illegal.
When I came out here and I got
my materials for the laboratory,
we went out and found
a number of drums
that were full
of chemicals.
They were buried
along the edges out here.
He'd grab a shovel
or something.
He's like, "Come on.
Let's walk this way."
He'd find some twig
or something,
and he's stop, and it'd be,
like, a coffee can.
And in the coffee can
would be, like, a group
of phenethylamines
just buried
in the ground.
He just looked for, like,
you know, sticks and twigs.
So, over here,
this might be a --
Oh, here we go.
This is one of them.
Just a safe place
to put solvents,
but this --
all over the property.
Casey set up his first lab
in the back of a school bus
with glassware, a Kugelrohr,
and precursors
provided by Darrell.
He used the profits
to travel the world
and study psychedelics.
It was just one year
after his meeting with Darrell
that he moved to the U.K.
and set up a lab
to synthesize a compound
that neither of them
had ever made before -- LSD.
I mean,
I had designed the lab
in a way
that I could pack it down
into those big rough-tote
Rubbermaid things --
glassware and chemistry
with vermiculite.
It needed to hold it
and keep it safe.
And it would all fit
in a 14-cubic-meter panel van.
So, I could be packed
in three hours
and unload it in three hours,
set up.
I had a station
for solvent recovery,
a station
for carbon filtration,
a station for weighing up
and titration.
I was trained well,
you know?
What was the method
you were using?
PyBOP prionization.
It worked beautifully,
it worked
at room temperature.
It required no heating,
just stirring.
And that's like --
you know,
that's the Holy Grail
of chemistry.
If you can do shit
at room temperature
and not have
to apply heat,
yields are way better.
I was living
on this estate in Surrey
when I made
my first batch of LSD.
And I licked my stir rod.
I was high,
and I walk outside,
and it's a beautiful,
sunny morning,
and it's like
bluebells everywhere.
It was so radiant,
these bluebells.
Nine years to the day,
to go from that first day
where I consumed
to actually
having made my own.
[ Sighs ]
fucking phenomenal.
The whole point
of going to school
was so that I one day
would be able to understand
and manufacture what was,
for me, at that very moment,
a sacrament.
A beautiful molecule.
Lysergic acid
is a molecule so complex
that its synthesis
is only undertaken
as an academic exercise.
For this reason,
all lysergamide compounds
start from natural
ergot alkaloids --
principle among them,
ergotamine tartrate.
Ergotamine tartrate is
the precursor to lysergic acid,
which is essential
to making LSD.
Difficult to obtain because
it's a watched precursor,
and therefore it came
from the black market,
and it was really
fucking expensive,
which, that kind
of expensiveness
people with guns.
The reality is,
is that precursor
is, like, cheap as hell.
It's only the black market
and prohibition, again,
that makes it dangerous,
and I was operating in a world
of cash, and I couldn't --
I didn't have a bank account
in the United Kingdom,
and I needed money behind my
credit card in the United States
so I could buy
that PyBOP.
And I called my friend up,
and I said,
"Hey, can you put
five grand in there?"
And he's like,
"Yeah, sure."
He was
under investigation.
A goon squad rushed in,
and they started
searching his house,
and eventually, over
the course of a couple of days
of searching his house,
they'd find the receipt
in his pocket
for the $5,000 in cash that
he deposited in my account.
And they brought
that receipt to him,
and he just
started singing.
He realized
that he was fucked,
'cause now he's part
of something bigger.
But I had an agreement
with some gentlemen,
and I wasn't gonna
break that agreement.
'Cause, remember,
that whole idea is, like,
once you get that ergotamine
tartrate from the black market,
and, you know,
if people are running around,
you know,
worried about their money,
you know,
the guns and knives are drawn.
And you couldn't
just return?
No, no, no.
I got it wet.
You can't return shit
you got wet.
That seems like an extremely
stressful situation.
For a while, it was --
very stressful.
The DEA tipped off
U.K. law enforcement,
who initiated an investigation
called Operation Pathfinder
dedicated to locating, stalking,
and eventually arresting Casey
for his lab work.
Male Reporter:
An American chemistry expert --
33-year-old Casey Hardison --
produced hallucinogenic drugs
on an industrial scale.
Casey Hardison studied biology
and botany back in the States
before heading to the U.K.
to set up his lab.
But this was no
school-boy chemistry set.
Sussex Police seized
145,000 doses of LSD.
"Thank you for your love
and compassion,"
heckled Hardison sarcastically
as he was taken down.
"You'd think I was a terrorist."
Morris: Casey elected
to represent himself,
and argued that
his activities were protected
by a freedom to produce and use
mind-altering substances.
Cognitive liberty must guarantee
the right of each individual
to think independently
and autonomously,
to access and use the full
spectrum of his or her mind,
and to willfully engage
in multiple modes of thought.
Does the interior space of my
cranium -- inside of my mouth --
are they my lawful territory?
The state has invaded
the sovereign territory
of the human mind and body
as never before.
What crosses
the blood/brain barrier
has became subject
to the same surveillance
as what crosses
international borders.
This is an idealized harm
based on the fact that
the government is terrified
of the power of people that
have actually freed their mind.
And you were sentenced
by someone wearing a wig?
I never saw him without it.
Morris: Casey Hardison refused
to inform on his associates
or acknowledge that
synthesis of LSD was a crime.
It was his first offense.
Hardison: You know, I'd been
on a pretty damn good run
when I finally got caught.
Yeah, it was really nice
to actually finally rest.
It's like I didn't have to do
anything other than wait and be
and, you know, play chess
and study and go to the gym.
You know, I got three
large trashbags full of mail
in those first
couple of years.
Some of them actually,
you know,
contained DMT and LSD and
5-MeO-DMT and 2C-B and MDMA,
and that, I got away with it,
you know?
Was tripping in prison
Fuck yeah.
Oh, my God.
It's fucking fabulous.
After serving 9.32 years
of his sentence,
Casey was released on the
condition that he be deported.
Yeah, I never expected to get
that letter from you,
that said that you wanted
to give me a lab.
I had no idea
what you wanted to give me.
WellI didn't,
[ Chuckles ]
I just felt that
you were the right person
to continue the work
along previous lines.
I wanted you to have
a perfectly free hand.
I was able to,
you know,
basically launch my whole
chemistry life from that.
One of the last things
you said to me as I drove away
is, you're like,
"I wish I'd told no one."
And, uh, I wound up
telling a few people.
Too bad.
Morris: Other than Casey,
did you know anyone
who got caught?
I knew several people
who got caught
that did time.
How did you feel
when you first heard
that Casey had been
arrested in England?
Oh, I figured,
well, he was careless
with his yap.
He told too many people.
I felt bad for him
'cause he was in the slammer
for a long time.
The first thing
is to keep your mouth shut,
and I guess Casey didn't
keep his shut enough
to, uh,
keep the narcs away.
[ Insects chirping ]
Millay: We're pretty quiet
around here,
and just sort of feeling
into the energies.
Those are cores
that they had drilled into --
into the underground lab.
The little stones
around the big stone
represent a molecule.
A monument to psychedelics?
That's a nice, little
chemical riddle.
You got a 5 methyl, maybe,
and then a 4-Methoxy.
It seems reasonable
to assume that
this is 2 4-Dimethoxy-
That's -- That's
a psychedelic molecule.
Yep, that's him.
[ Chuckles ]
That's him.
Though Darrell sold his volcano,
he wasn't prepared
to leave his work there behind.
[ Grunts ]
There we go.
He took 14 andesite cores
removed from the laboratory
and buried them in the form
of a genericized
phenethylamine structure
as a monument
for future generations.
If there is one drug that
you would want to try again,
what would it be?
[ Chuckles ]
You like that
pharmacological tofu, don't you?
Pretty good.
[ Chuckling ]
It certainly is.
Morris: Darrell Lemaire
just turned 90 years old,
and I wanted
to make him a cake.
32, 64, 96 candles.
with a diagram
of 5-Ethoxy-2C-D
as a way of commemorating
one of his more
interesting discoveries.
This is a drug that he thought
has some
cognition-enhancing effect.
[ Indistinct conversation ]
[ Fire alarm beeps rapidly ]
[ Blowing ]
Hardison: My Lord.
that's a lot of years.
Boy, that's gonna take
a lot of puff.
No chance.
Let's get in there.
Too bad.
-I'm gonna help.
-Okay, me, too.
[ All blowing ]
Morris: You have
any plans for 90?
Oh, just hang out.
In 1965, Jean Millay
co-directed an experimental film
"The Psychedelic Experience."
It's kind of like
a visual Rorschach test.
[ Light switch clicks ]
Narrator: The psychedelic
experience is a voyage inside,
a trip
into the countless galaxies
of your own nervous system.
Chemicals are perhaps
the most effective method
because the language
of the body,
the language
of the nervous system
is itself biochemical.
There are things in your mind
that you don't know about,
and if you're free and open
to whatever's there,
then it all comes out.
Lemaire: It's just hard
to describe the ineffable.
One thing
that these drugs can do --
allow you
to live your life more fully.
I don't know why I'm here,
but I am.
Men have studied methods
of consciousness expansion.
Lemaire: There should not be
any fear of dying.
When you die,
it's just like going to sleep.
You wake up on the other side.
Darrell's mentorship
was just, like, knowing
that I needed that lab --
a tiny bit of guidance,
a kick in the pants.
That was the real mentorship
from Darrell.
Definitely grateful for that --
very grateful.
I can't run around
making acid anymore,
and if it was lawful,
that's what I'd be doing.
It's a very beautiful
and wondrous molecule,
allowing us
to be part of nature again.
If 1% of the planet
can experience that,
maybe we'll transform,
maybe we'll have less war.
Techniques for going
out of your mind.
Morris: The world needs healing,
and the medicines are known.
The question is,
who's going to make them?
Lemaire: That's him.
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