The dose makes the poison – LSD microdosing

I note that LSD microdosing is trending, if only a little bit (see the recent articles in Rolling Stone and the Huffington Post). Microdosing is the practice of taking extremely low doses of LSD during the regular work week for the purposes of increasing functionality, in a sense like a performance-enhancing supplement – indeed, the Huffington Post quotes a practitioner comparing it to Adderall.

What interests me most about this story is how much it focuses on a critical under-examined aspect of drug control, which is – obviously – dosage. The story immediately calls to mind the famous adage attributed to Paracelsus, the dose makes the poison, i.e. because all substances are toxic at some level (depending on the nature of the substance) what determines toxicity is not the substance itself but the amount of the substance ingested. Whether or not that principle is universally true, this story – in which mini doses of LSD are alleged to improve functionality as opposed to high doses teleporting the user to Somewhere Else for 8 hours – demonstrates that the issue of dosage deserves attention in the context of discussions of legalizing psychedelics.

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Author: Noah Potter Law

I'm a commercial litigator based in New York providing provide legal research, writing and strategic analysis as an independent contractor to other attorneys. I have unusually long experience with drug law and policy generally and with cannabis in particular dating back to my time as an undergraduate political science student at Columbia.

1 thought on “The dose makes the poison – LSD microdosing”

  1. Hi Noah,

    Let's decide on some things first before lobbying for decriminalization:

    – All drugs or only LSD and MDMA ? Or all phenethylamines ? Including the toxic ones like Bromo DragonFLY ?
    – Unregulated production/sale or only on prescription/therapeutic ? Only supervised dosage/consumption ?

    Also, as a first step you said asking for immediate pardon of the LSD convicts. But wouldn't this create a precedent and then all future trials will have to rule in this way, thus no one will be convicted any more. This means it will practically be legalized. Thus the first step is also the last step 🙂

    Like

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