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Acid HypeAmerican News Media and the Psychedelic Experience$
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Stephen Siff

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039195

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039195.001.0001

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Moral Panic and Media Hype, 1966–1968

Moral Panic and Media Hype, 1966–1968

(p.145) Chapter 6 Moral Panic and Media Hype, 1966–1968
Acid Hype

Stephen Siff

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on how media coverage of LSD changed as recreational use of the drug was increasingly identified as an aspect of the blossoming hippie movement. Horror stories about LSD side effects and tales of nightmarish trips, including several that were demonstrably false, circulated through media. Still, the apparent cultural currency of psychedelic experience encouraged magazines in particular to continue to describe and depict drug experiences for their readers. A number of publications, including Time and Life, defended the importance of LSD and psychedelic experiences even while condemning its reckless use. The significance of LSD experiences was weighed against its harm to users in a number of television specials, radio documentaries, and printed reports.

Keywords:   LSD, media coverage, recreational drug use, hippie movement, psychedelic experience, Time magazine, Life magazine

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