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Drugs in the 1970s

There was a really jolly period during the 70s before everyone figured out how bad drugs really were for you and got all 12-step and “Just say No!” about it.


The ‘lid’ was fading into the 60s to be replaced by Buddha sticks. THC content was also a big consideration.

A 1971 US Federal survey of marijuana use on college campuses revealed that 31% of students had tried it and 14% were regular smokers.

Of course, there was a large margin of error, assuming that some people wouldn’t admit to using illegal substances, and some used so much that they couldn’t give a serious answer – or even remember the question.


Originally introduced to calm down all those sex-crazed suburban housewives, this downer was soon appropriated by Glam Kids who loved to mix it with other drugs: barbiturates, speed, booze, you name it.

Is it any wonder that the students stopped revolting?


Being convinced that your neighbours are aliens, hearing the voice of Satan tell you to kill your neighbours while listening to Pink Floyd and worrying you may never be the same again. (Sometimes we are right to worry!).

Or perhaps you would plan out an amazing trip scenario with some of your friends. Finally, it’s Friday night and you ingest the sacrament (Tables & Chairs, Blue Meanies, Black Cats etc) and decide to hang out and listen to music and generally be psychedelic all night. Without warning, your mum decides it’s high time you stayed home for once because you’ve been “going out far too much lately”. She’s made reservations at some horrible “family” steak-house.

Since by now you’re completely frying, all you can do is draw incomprehensible weirdness on the placemat and try not to look at the slab of dead stuff on your plate (that the glowing maggots are crawling out of).

In 1978, British police staged “Operation Julie” and busted the biggest ever UK lab, finding enough LSD for 20 – 30 million doses. Those involved had links to The Brotherhood Of Eternal Love, whose leading light, Ronald Stark, many believed was a CIA operative.

Footnote: Riding a motorcycle at night on acid is to be considered a BAD thing – The handlebars turn to rubber and oncoming headlights become a beautiful and hypnotic thing of wonderment . . .


This rhinoceros tranquillizer was the most high-risk drug of all time. Just think – a drug that affects every single person a completely different way!

Some got mellow, some had a speed-like effect, some had hallucinations . . . some went completely bonkers and tore up paving stones with their fingernails.

Since replaced in demographic popularity by the comparatively tame Crack.


At first, no one really sussed how bad they were – Thank Studio 54 and Keith Richards. Then John Belushi’s Speedball death occurred at Chateau Marmont and Richard Pryor torched on with his crack pipe and the age of innocence was gone . . .

In 1967, 22 kilos of cocaine were confiscated in the US by government agents. In 1970, 10.5 kilos were confiscated in one week alone.