The LSD Chemist Who Lived On a School Bus


As the saying goes; ‘Fact is stranger than fiction.’ 

Case in point, have you heard about the self-taught LSD wizard who built his lab on a school bus?

Years ago I saw this short Vice documentary, and it’s captivated my imagination ever since.

Vice has a series called Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia. In one of the episodes, they feature a self-taught chemist and his passion for psychedelics. 

The series features an episode where Hamilton meets with Hardison in the Nevada desert and heads off on a road trip to visit another hero of psychedelic history, Darrell Hayden.

If you’re wondering what kind of a person would build and run an LSD lab in a school bus, let me introduce you to Casey William Hardison.

Self-Taught At Every Level

He’s a self-taught LSD chemist, passionate about psychedelics, and fiercely committed to cognitive liberty, and resolving his legal battles. 

Born in the USA in the summer of 1971, Hardison’s journey prompted him to declare himself an alcoholic at the age of 14 when he joined Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Psychedelics turned out to be a gateway drug for him, but not toward more addiction, quite the opposite. 

In his sobriety from alcohol and street drugs, he became an advocate for the entheogenic use of psychedelics, believing in their potential for psychedelic psychotherapy and personal growth. 

In 2000, he published “An Amateur Qualitative Study of 48 2C-T-7 Subjective Bioassays” in the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) bulletin, sharing his experiences and insights about the psychedelic compound 2C-T-7.

Hardison’s legal troubles began when he illegally manufactured three class A drugs, 2C-B, DMT, and LSD, in his rented bungalow in Brighton, UK. 

Using only £38,386 worth of chemical ingredients, he produced hallucinogenic tablets with a street value of up to £5m. 

Return to Sender

In July 2003, Hardison sent two packages to the U.S., one of which was intercepted at the FedEx hub in Memphis, Tennessee, revealing four bags of MDMA (Ecstasy) hidden between pages of a magazine.

Hardison insisted on representing himself in court, challenging the drug laws as violating his cognitive liberty and his rights to freedom of thought, therapy, and religion.

In 2005, Hardison was convicted in the United Kingdom of six offenses involving psychedelic drugs, including production, possession, and exportation, and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. This was one of the most severe sentences ever handed out for drug offenses in Sussex.

While in prison, Hardison found drugs readily available, including LSD, 2C-B, DMT, pharmahuasca, research chemicals, kratom, cannabis, and home-brewed alcohol. 

He served his sentence in British jails, which he described as “fairly gentle” and “pretty damn civilized”. 

Free But Still Committed

Following his release in May 2013, Hardison was deported from the UK to the U.S., where he now advocates for reform of the Misuse of Drugs Act and continues to write about cognitive liberty and the psychedelic policy quagmire.

Hardison is relentless in his commitment to exploring the potential of psychedelics for personal growth and psychedelic psychotherapy. 

Despite his legal battles, he remains an advocate for cognitive liberty and the entheogenic use of psychedelic substances, inspiring others to challenge dominant ways of thinking and illuminate new pathways.

A quote of his from the Vice documentary that stands out for me is: “The cartography of the human soul is nothing to be afraid of”.

Another notable interview of his is the conversation with his wife Charlotte Walsh.

Here Hardison discusses his experiences in prison, his advocacy for cognitive liberty, and his views on the psychedelic policy quagmire.

He also discusses his contributions to the psychedelic community, including his work with the Drug Equality Alliance, a non-profit organization working to secure equal rights and protections for drug users.

Where Is He Now?

After his release from prison in the UK in May 2013, he returned to the United States with his English wife, Charlotte Walsh opting for a quiet life.

These days, he’s apparently living in a cabin in the Idaho wilderness near Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. 

Yellowstone wilderness is the perfect place for him to enjoy snow sports and raise wildlife like deer, geese, and even the occasional moose. 

I sometimes think of people like Casey and try and measure their impact on society. Upon his arrest, he was in possession of 145,000 doses of LSD.

To have produced that much LSD in the first place makes me wonder how many LSD experiences he was responsible for prior to his arrest.

When I consider the impact of LSD on my perspective, Casey might have changed the course of more people’s lives than many global politicians.

It’s not only the front-facing people like Paul Stamets who have contributed to our current psychedelic renaissance. 

People like Casey have really moved the needle by sacrificing more than many of us could ever comprehend in the name of freedom and personal sovereignty.

Quick, someone call Netflix, I can’t wait to see this full-length documentary.

Is there a historical psychedelic figure you would like me to feature in future blogs?

Let me know in the comments below!

As always, 

Flow strong.

Asha ✨

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