LSD UK law, LSD law policy.
LSD and the UK law
The United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances
(adopted in 1971) requires its parties to prohibit LSD.
Hence, it is illegal in all parties to the convention,
which includes the United States and most of Europe. However,
enforcement of extant laws varies from country to country.
LSD is easy to conceal and smuggle. A tiny vial can contain thousands
of doses. Not much money is made from retail-level sales of LSD, so the
drug is typically not associated with the violent organized criminal organizations
involved in cocaine and opiate smuggling.
Unlike alcohol prohibition, LSD prohibition does not make an exception
for religious use, presumably because nontraditional entheogen-centered
religions are extremely uncommon and not generally accepted by modern
societies. By contrast, the United States government permits some tribes
of Southwestern American Indians to cultivate and use hallucinogenic peyote
cactus in traditional religious rituals.
LSD in the United States
LSD was legal in the United States until 1967. The
US Federal Government classified it as a Schedule I drug according to
the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. As such, the Drug Enforcement Administration
holds that LSD meets the following three criteria: it is deemed to have
a high potential for abuse; it has no legitimate medical use in treatment;
and there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision.
Lysergic acid and lysergic acid amide, LSD precursors, are both classified
in Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. Ergotamine tartrate,
a precursor to lysergic acid, is regulated under the Chemical Diversion
and Trafficking Act.
Prior to 1967, LSD was available legally in the United States
as a prescription psychiatric drug. The aforementioned Al Hubbard actively
promoted the drug between the 1950s and the 1970s and introduced thousands
of people to it.
LSD has been manufactured illegally since the 1960s. A limited number
of chemists, probably less than a dozen, are believed to have manufactured
nearly all of the illicit LSD available in the United States. The best
known of these is undoubtledly Augustus Owsley Stanley III, usually known
simply as Owsley. The former chemistry student set up a private LSD lab
in the mid-Sixties in San Francisco and supplied the LSD consumed at the
Acid Test parties and other major events such as the Gathering Of the
Tribes in San Francisco in January 1967. He also had close social connections
to leading San Francisco bands The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and
Big Brother And The Holding Company, regularly supplied them with his
LSD and also worked as their live sound engineer and made many tapes of
these groups in concert. Owsley’s LSD activities—immortalised by
Steely Dan in their song “Kid Charlemagne”—ended with
his arrest at the end of 1967, but some other manufacturers probably operated
continuously for 30 years or more.
Pickard and Apperson ran an LSD lab in this former missile silo in Kansas.LSD
manufacturers and traffickers can be separated into two groups. The first
group was based in northern California and later identified by the DEA
as run by chemists (referred to as cooks) William Leonard Pickard and
Clyde Apperson. Initial distribution points for this group’s LSD were
usually in the San Francisco area, or coordinated elsewhere through informal
meetings at Grateful Dead concerts. These men worked in close association
with trusted traffickers. The government claims that these two men were
responsible for the vast majority of LSD sold illegally in the United
States and a significant amount of the LSD sold in Europe, and that black
market LSD availability dropped by 95% after the two were arrested in
2000.  (http://washingtontimes.com/national/20031126-110958-8471r.htm)
In November of 2003, Pickard and Apperson were sentenced to two life
sentences and two 30 year sentences, respectively, after being convicted
in Federal Court of running a large scale LSD manufacturing operation
out of several clandestine laboratories, including a former missile silo
near Wamego, Kansas.
The second group of cooks consists of small independent producers who,
operating on a comparatively limited scale, can be found throughout the
country. As a group, independent producers are of less concern to the
Drug Enforcement Agency than the northern California group, as their production
is intended for local consumption only.