No sooner than we post something about psychedelic drug research becoming mainstream than a newspaper reports on a psychologist being barred entry to the US because he wrote an article on a 1967 LSD experience.
Dr Andrew Feldmar (pictured right) is a Vancouver based psychologist and psychotherapist who was attempting a regular cross-border visit, this time to meet a friend in Seattle.
When crossing the border, he was stopped for a random check and security typed his name into Google – bring up a link to a 2001 paper on the hot topic of psychedelics and psychotherapy.
The official said that under the Homeland Security Act, Feldmar was being denied entry due to “narcotics” use. LSD is not a narcotic substance, Feldmar tried to explain, but an entheogen. The guard wasn’t interested in technicalities. He asked for a statement from Feldmar admitting to having used LSD and he fingerprinted Feldmar for an FBI file.
Then Feldmar disbelievingly listened as he learned that he was being barred from ever entering the United States again. The officer told him he could apply to the Department of Homeland Security for a waiver, if he wished, and gave him a package, with the forms.
Feldmar trained under R.D. Laing, the radical psychiatrist and psychotherapist who himself took LSD in an attempt to better understand psychosis and altered states.
As a curious aside, the article notes that Feldmar first tried LSD after being offered a 900 microgram dose (that’s one big hit of acid), not by Laing, as you might have guessed, but by cognitive neuroscientist par excellence Zenon Pylyshyn, who was his collaborator at the time.
Pylyshyn had reportedly tried LSD out of curiosity but had since become interested in other things and had some of the compound left over.