The involvement of universities with LSD research and control is "a nightmare that has come true," Dana L. Farnsworth, Director of University Health Services, told about 80 Cliffies yesterday.
Speaking in Holmes Hall on "the effect of drugs on the mind," Farnsworth emphasized his sorrow over the "slow disappearance of objectivity" on the part of the entire university community about psychedelic drugs.
No single group is responsible, Farnsworth said, for what he calls the "fantastically unnecessary problem" about the drugs that exist today. On one hand, the medical profession has encouraged, "perhaps more than it should, the idea that for every unhappiness there is a pill to take." Within this "nation of drug takers," Farnsworth specifically blames "people who should know better, for glamorizing and romanticizing drug taking."
Academic freedom, usually a university's strength becomes a special problem in the area of drug research, Farnsworth noted. "We bend over backward to make sure that individual privacy is respected, but the question remains how tolerant the university and its doctors should be.
A university's best weapon against drug abuse, he said, is "the good judgment of 90 per cent of its students. We can help them by drying up the sources of supply and by providing an atmosphere of calm discussion."
Farnsworth called the search for magic in psychedelic drugs "a barren chase." "No good results have come from it," he said. "We have yet to find anything that someone has done with a mind-expanding drug that couldn't have been done better without it."
Although he is equally opposed to the use of both the psychedelics and marijuana, Farnsworth differentiated between the dangers posed by the two. Marijuana, unlike LSD, is not intrinsically harmful, he noted, "but its danger lies in the peer group pressure to go on to other things. The harm is not to the brain, but to the individual."
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