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Drugs and ThugsThe History and Future of America's War on Drugs$
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Russell Crandall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300240344

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300240344.001.0001

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Alternative Consciousness

Alternative Consciousness

(p.117) 9 Alternative Consciousness
Drugs and Thugs

Russell Crandall

Yale University Press

This chapter stresses how illicit drugs were difficult to obtain in America and were often heavily diluted by the early 1940s. It illustrates the conditions that limited the supply of drugs in the Unites States, such as the massive diversion of resources toward a single national effort, the militarization of almost every major sea passage, an extremely limited supply of private aircraft and navigable international airspace. It also recounts how cannabis became a potent fuel for the countercultural awakening that began to spread across the nation after the war. The chapter focuses on the term “psychedelic drugs,” which is generally taken to mean a class of substance that primarily affects cognition and perception. It identifies how psychedelic alkaloids such as psilocybin, LSD, DMT, and mescaline bind to serotonin receptors thought to regulate sensory input and interpretation.

Keywords:   illicit drugs, psychedelic alkaloids, cannabis, psilocybin, LSD, DMT, mescaline, psychedelic drugs

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