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SPEAKERS

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MARTIN A. LEE
Author

Martin A. Lee is the director of Project CBD, an educational service that focuses on cannabis science and therapeutics.  He is the bestselling author of several books, including Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD – The CIA, the Sixties and Beyond (Grove Press) and, most recently, Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Social.  Smoke Signals is the winner of the American Botanical Council’s James A. Duke Award for Excellence in Botanical Literature.  Lee is the co-founder of Emerald Pharms, an innovative, solar-power medical cannabis dispensary in Northern California.  In 2016, Lee received the Emerald Cup’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is also co-founder of the media watch group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), and his articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Salon, The Nation, Le Monde Diplomatique, the Daily Beast, and many other publications.

ABSTRACT: WHAT THE CIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT LSD

Before LSD became illegal in the mid-1960s, several groups, representing disparate segments of society (scientists, therapists, artists, military officers, cloak-and-dagger operatives) were keenly interested in the drug. They had conflicting ideas about LSD and how it could be used to advance their specific agendas. The Central Intelligence Agency secretly embraced LSD as a truth serum and a weapon of “unconventional warfare.” Many CIA personnel experimented on themselves during the Cold War. What impact did LSD have on the CIA as a spy organization? What light does the CIA’s extensive dalliance with hallucinogenic drugs shed on how we understand LSD and its potential?