The above photo of Harvard psychologist Timothy Learys arrest in 1972 is one of the most shocking and hilarious documents of the early stages of political reaction against drug use in the United States. Leary was a respected professor of Psychology in Harvard who had become heavily involved in experiments and research with the hallucinogen LSD. Leary and colleagues like Richard Alpert believed the psychedelic drug to be one of the most potent psychological medicines ever discovered and felt it provided a valuable medium through which to explore and heal the human mind. Leary became an immensely important figure in the 60s hippie counterculture and advocated disengaging from mainstream society and immersing oneself in psychedelic drugs and free love with his famed phrase Turn on, tune in, drop out. Leary quickly found himself an enemy of the United States establishment and he was arrested in 1968 for possession of two joints. For these joints of cannabis Leary was given 20 years in prison. Leary escaped from his low security prison and, with the help of the leftist militant group the Weathermen, he and his wife fled to Algeria where he hooked up with the Black Panther Party. He was soon returned to prison in the US and Leary would remain in prison until 1976 until he was freed by Governor Jerry Brown. All for two joints.
David O'Donoghue is a student and freelance writer from Co. Kerry, Ireland. His writing has appeared in the Irish Independent, Film Ireland, Ultraculture.com, Listverse and he is the former Political Editor for Campus.ie. He also writes short fiction and poetry which can be found at his blog/spellbook davidjodonoghue.tumblr.com