The Texas Observer MARCH 17, ‘1967 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to The South 25c 4. ea. Nib aa oft alb The Legislature Morality, Patriotism And Stuff Like That Austin The forces of evil are enduring their biennial flogging at the hands of the Texas legislature. The 1967 flagellations include consideration of a sort of student loyalty oath to replace the one recently done away with by the state attorney general; proposed prison terms of from two to ten years for possessing LSD, DMT, amphetamines, or barbiturates; talk of an investigation of leftist elements on college campuses; and a bill that would impose standards of dress and grooming for students of state colleges. A hearing conducted by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee has really set things rolling, morality-wise. On hand was a turn-away crowd of perhaps 200 spectators, many of them college students, some of them bearded and longhaired. The subject of the hearing was three LSD control bills,,that are vying for favorauthored by Reps. Burke Musgrove of Breckenridge, Dave Finney of Fort Worth, and Lee Duggan of Houston. Musgrove appears to have the inside track in making the issue “his.” Before the current session he mailed out news releases calling for cracking down on LSD. Scotchtaped to each release was a capsule that contained a written message urging support of the Musgrove bill. Musgrove is a young . freshman legislator who is not long out of the University of Texas. He said his own investigations, conducted for several months, convince him of widespread use of LSD among at least the U.T. students. Musgrove has been employed by H. L. Hunt, the Dallas billionaire and right winger, doing youth. organization work and public relations jobs, among others, for him. Musgrove says he has been approached by college students who agree that LSD controls are necessary; but they believe the penalties Musgrove and Duggan intend are too severe \(Finney’s bill would make the first Musgrove says, the students have suggested that automatic review of the law, if passed, should be required, to take into account the data developed in legitimate research, and that there should be provision for taking LSD legally and un 7 der supervision, perhaps in licensed psychedelic parlors. The students who have talked to him have “all been very reasonable about it,” Musgrove says. “I’ve been very impressed with their intelligence. I just wish we could direct it into something besides rebellion.” MUSGROVE HAS been criticized by The Rag, a New Left tabloid that is published in the University of Texas neighborhood, as “a quixotic moralist in virgin’s underwear.” He is attacking LSD, the Rag says, because “he must select a safe windmill which will not fall upon him when struck, and second, he must have a windmill which will make a colorful, if inept, opponent.” What about research into possible beneficial uses of LSD? Musgrove is aware of such considerations. He believes that misuse of LSD has contributed to a decline in legitimate research which might make the chemical useful. Legislation. to outlaw LSD might “drive it underground, where there is a profit,” speculated Robert Hinds, director of the Dallas office of the Federal Bureau of Drug Abuse Control, testifying before the House committee. Hinds apparently favors the legislation. Musgrove says his bill is to limit “amateur usage” of LSD, but there is no provision for research. He defers, in conversation, to recent federal laws that control manufacture and sale of the chemical, but it is uncertain whether personnel at a research laboratory, for example, would be exempt from prosecution under his, or the other two, LSD bills. Frequently those speaking at the House committee hearing referred to LSD as a drug, though it is a chemical. Harris county district attorney Carroll Vance said it is a “lot stronger than marijuana.” Musgrove has called LSD a drug. Dr. William Wheeler, psychiatrist at the Austin State Hospital, said he believes that LSD is as dangerous as many forbidden drugs. There were about ten young adults who, in answer to a question of Rep. Jim Nugent, Kerrville, acknowledged having taken LSD “trips.” The only witness to speak out against the bills was a U.T. professor of classics, British-born and Cambridge-educated, John P. Sullivan. He voiced concern that the bills would be unenforceable without informers, agent provacateurs, illegal searches, and other such methods. “I suggest,” Sullivan said, “as an analogy, the general unenforceability of the state laws against extramarital sexual intercourse and homosexuality.” He said he also fears that an LSD law might be selectively applied in that “beatniks” would be prosecuted and “respectable” people would not. “It’s just like the marijuana thing is enforced against the Mexicans and Negroes,” he said later. S ULLIVAN TOLD the committee he believes that control of other items is needed firstfor, in this order, guns, alcohol, cigarettes, “then the hallucinogenic drugs.” He fears the effect on research. “The use of LSD for psychiatric purposes or for the treatment of alcoholism where, I believe, there has been some statistical evidence for its effectiveness, will be effectively discouraged, despite provisos in such bills for scientific research. LSD, it is said, has certain possible ‘positive benefits: it has, I am told, induced in people an appreciation of music and painting, and has helped to aesthetic experiences that they could not have attained by other means. Thus the possible CIA-NSA Article Was by Sherrill Robert Sherrill, the Observer’s contributing editor who lives in Washington, D. C., wrote the lead article in the last issue, detailing much of Texas’ and Texans’ involvement in the disclosures that the Central Intelligence Agency had made funds available to, and through, certain non-profit foundations and to the National Student Assn. Through inadvertence Mr. Sherrill’s name did not accompany publication of his article.
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