[H]arlem, New York-bred rapper A$AP Rocky raised a few eyebrows when he admitted in a recent interview that he used LSD. Rocky delved into his drug use in a discussion with Billboard magazine, while promoting his upcoming album At. Long. Last. ASAP
A$AP Rocky said he used it to cope with the pressures that comes with working in the entertainment and fashion industries and that his new music was influenced by the drug. “It helps me cope with life,” the rapper told Billboard. “I’ve been doing this stuff since I got into the industry. People are scared to talk about it.”
Before A$AP Rocky and other confessed users like Chance The Rapper, Denzel Curry, and Apple founder Steve Jobs are judged too harshly, it must be noted that a first of its kind study is taking place in Britain surrounding the drug.
Researchers at the University of Cardiff recently gathered 20 volunteers who had their brain scanned while they were high on LSD, which was created by a Swiss scientist named Alfred Hoffman, in the 1930’s. The study was meant to dispute the traditional view of LSD, which is illegal in most countries.
The study was led by Professor David Nutt, who is the ex-chairman of Britain’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. Professor Nutt was fired from his job in 2009, after asserting the same claims – that LSD and ecstasy are less toxic than alcohol.
“This is a drug which changed the whole way people perceived the world in the 1960’s and 1970’s,” Professor Nutt said. “It changed music, but it’s never been studied because its been banned. And we decided that it was ridiculous that the ban should stop scientific research into this really interesting drug.”
Professor Nutt maintains the drug is illegal because of exaggerated studies by the CIA and the U.S. drug enforcement administration (DEA). British researchers think the drug can have a positive therapeutic effect on the brain in small doses.
Professor Nutt said the aim of the study was to see if LSD can help users cope with stress, alcoholism, anxiety and even death.
“When we look at why LSD is illegal, we realize it was made illegal not because it was particularly harmful, but because it was changing the way American youth felt about fighting in Vietnam,” Professor Nutt said. “So then a whole series of lies were told about its harms to justify it being banned. Since then it’s been quite widely used, there’s been little evidence of harm. Our harm analysis, which we published in 2010, showed that it was the least harmful of all drugs.”
For now, the drug is still illegal in the United States and other countries. Getting caught with just a diagram of the drug can land you 1-3 years in prison in the United States. Selling it can get you all the way up to life in the penitentiary, even for relatively small amounts by weight.