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Psychology and Drugs (Essay Sample)


Why was the CIA experimenting with LSD? Why was Timothy Leary experimenting with psilocybin and LSD? How did their experimental methods differ, and what kinds of ethical or professional concerns did each set of research methods present? What potential benefits did Leary see in hallucinogens, and how did these compare with the CIA's ideas about these drugs? After reading about Leary's psilocybin experiments, are you at all persuaded by his perspective?


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The CIA was concerned about substances with the capability to control the brain. They were curious about the experiments done by the German air force medical branch. During World War 1, the Nazis were conducting experiments on how to eliminate the will of a person. They were experimenting while using mescaline. The Nazis had a report on their experiments. Although the report did not focus mainly on the mescaline, they had their luck with the use of liquid marijuana which was injected into the cigarettes. A large part of the report was about ice water projects. Liquid marijuana in their experiments was able to crack a famous and notorious gangster. In the experiments, the subjects were kept in a room that had doctored cigarettes. The subjects were taken through a rigorous exercise and questioning in order to crack them. Except for nonsmokers, the Nazis cracked everyone that they interrogated. This made the CIA become enthusiastic about mind control substances, and almost immediately after the formation of the CIA, they were all up in the business of mind control substances.
Tim and Learly were upcoming psychologists who were experimenting with a local drug. They tried a local drug and experienced feelings of ecstasy that they could not explain. Due to this unexplainable feeling, they decided to experiment on more subjects and record their experiences. The prevalence of drugs in the world is among young people due to the need to disconnect from the world, according to Hibell Et. Al., (2012). They explain that the field of the experiments was not for the faint hearted as it included taking risks and experimenting on yourself. The two were very enthusiastic and they had little experiments popping up in their minds. There were experiments on Mexican mushrooms, but they were not interested in that. Learly was the one who proposed the idea of using psilocybin to everyone interested, but all of them refused, except for Murray.
Learly had better chances with younger colleagues who either had attached themselves to the personality clinic or had just arrived at the institution. Timothy wanted to start things small and saw no need to create jealousy over Lee’s perspective. Learly was not following the unwritten rules of psychology and, in a short time, he and Tim had collected a group of eager graduate students.
Learly believed that hallucinogens allowed one to experience his own consciousness. It allowed him to experience the enchanted world of his imagination. He believes that theology would not exist without the use of drugs. He believed that psilocybin was cutting into the future. In one of the experiments, he says that the prisoners were changing and the rate at which they were changing was so fast that it made science uncomfortable. He explained that the drug made one feel something that even the scientific writings and metaphors could not explain. The CIA on their side also had the same feeling about the hallucinogens. They believed that they could be used to change the behavior of convicts and explain the truths hidden deep inside. The drug was powerful enough to break the subjects. The CIA had experimented with mind-controlling drugs on prison junkies, and they even took the experiment to a brothel to alter the subject’s behavior and understand how it responded. A group of the last learly experiment felt the pleasure and the effects of psilocybin for the past 15 months as very vital and they could not possibly go back to traditional psychology after the experiment.
The ethical issues surrounding the experiment were that there was no knowledge of being involved, according to Geebe (2008). It is generally considered unethical to experiment on human life without the concerned consent. The experiments did not take this into consideration. The case of the CIA, where the experiment was conducted. The experiment was fairly successful until one of the subjects committed suicide suddenly. This raised questions about the mode of conducting the experiments. In the case of Learly, some of the subjects that consumed large doses of psilocybin explained that they felt like they were losing

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