DRCNet Response to the
Drug Enforcement Administration
LSD in the United States
Area of Responsibility: The Atlanta Field Division is responsible for DEA Resident Offices (ROs) located in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Summary: The Atlanta Field Division reports that LSD is readily available in most areas of the division and is popular among high school and college age students who use it primarily as a recreational drug. This user group is receptive to the intriguing designs on the paper and the low cost per dosage unit.
Investigative intelligence indicates that the majority of the LSD transported into the division is supplied by sources located in northern California and Oregon.
A DEA-sponsored enforcement project designed to gather intelligence on LSD trafficking and use revealed a slight increase in availability of LSD throughout the Atlanta Field Division during periods surrounding the concerts by the Grateful Dead Band. For example, in 1994, the Raleigh RO reported a seizure of 3,000 dosage units of LSD from an individual whose source of supply followed the band from the San Francisco area. This appears to be the normal circumstance surrounding almost all LSD-related incidents in the division.
The Memphis RO reported the culmination of an LSD investigation in late 1993 that successfully curtailed the supply of LSD in western Tennessee. Since then, however, availability of LSD has been restored, especially in the high schools.
Although reportedly available in tablet, liquid, and crystal forms, the most widely encountered form of LSD in the division is paper that sells for approximately $5 per dosage unit. Some recently encountered paper designs include the Music Television characters Beavis and Butthead, Birdhead, Felix the Cat, and a sun face, in addition to plain white paper.
Area of Responsibility: The Boston Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Summary: Within the Boston Field Division, LSD is available in quantities ranging from individual dosage units to multihundred lots. The majority of the LSD encountered is in paper form and is transported into the division via express mail services. Source areas are reported to be in California and New York City.
Several high schools in Vermont are experiencing a surge of LSD use. LSD also is popular among college students, especially in the Burlington area, which is home to a half dozen universities.
Drug law enforcement authorities in Maine report that LSD is emerging as a popular drug among students, although it is not generally available in large quantities. Nonetheless, some distributors appear to have developed significant sources for the drug.
LSD prices range from $1.75 to $5 per dosage unit wholesale and from $3 to $7 at the retail level. Potency levels consistently range from 30 to 50 micrograms. Brand names for LSD encountered in the division include Rainbow and Superman. Paper designs include plain yellow or white paper with or without black stars.
Area of Responsibility: The Chicago Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Summary: LSD is available in all areas of the Chicago Field Division and can be obtained in paper or microdot forms in quantities up to 10,000 dosage units. Intelligence indicates that LSD is not manufactured locally, but is shipped from the West Coast, particularly the San Francisco area. The postal service and other parcel delivery services are used for the shipment of LSD consignments into the division.
LSD has increased in availability in Illinois in recent years. Several forms of LSD have been encountered: microdots (obtained from persons following the Grateful Dead Band tour on the East Coast), paper, and tablet or liquid forms with the brand names Felix the Cat and Beavis and Butthead and with orange or black sun designs. DuPage and Lake Counties and the North Shore of Chicago have experienced a sharp increase in LSD use by high school students. Surveys in these areas indicate that LSD ranks third, along with cocaine, in order of preference after alcohol and marijuana.
Drug law enforcement agencies in Indiana report a slight increase in LSD trafficking and abuse in that state after a period of relative stability over the past 5 years.
Price per dosage unit ranges from $2 in Hammond, Milwaukee, and Springfield, to $8 in Fargo, but generally dosage units sell for $5 each.
Area of Responsibility: The Dallas Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Amarillo, Fort Worth, Lubbock, Midland, and Tyler, Texas, as well as the State of Oklahoma.
Summary: Investigative intelligence and population surveys indicate that LSD is popular among white high school and college students and probably is the third most frequently abused drug by youth following marijuana and inhalants.
LSD continues to gain popularity with youths throughout the region. The drug is brought into the division from California and Houston in multithousand dosage unit lots. Although LSD is most readily available near local colleges, reports of LSD sales to high school and junior high school students are not uncommon.
While LSD has been reported as selling for from $5 to $10 per dosage unit in east Texas, it is most commonly available in the $1 to $10 range throughout the division.
LSD is rising in popularity in Lubbock, Texas, and Oklahoma and is available in 100 dosage unit quantities at $3.25 per dosage unit. At the retail level, dosage units of LSD sell for $4 to $8 each.
Area of Responsibility: The Denver Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
Summary: LSD is readily available in many areas of the division. Sources for LSD in Colorado are located in Boulder and usually have ties to the San Francisco area. California commonly is cited as a source area for LSD available in other areas of the division.
Drug law enforcement officials in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Junction, Colorado, report an increase in LSD availability. The Glenwood Springs RO reports a sharp increase in LSD availability in western Colorado and that it rapidly is becoming a serious abuse problem among teenagers.
Intelligence from local drug law enforcement agencies reveals that LSD is transported into Colorado by individual distributors in sheets of 100 to 500 dosage units. Adults reportedly are selling significant quantities to juveniles who, in turn, sell it to their peers in individual dosage units. More sophisticated distributors usually sell quantities of from 5 to 100 dosage units per transaction.
LSD in microdot form has been seized in Palmer Lake, Colorado. The potency of the microdots was determined to be very low, suggesting that the origin of the drugs was a rudimentary LSD conversion laboratory and distributed by a low-level distribution group.
Drug law enforcement authorities in New Mexico report that LSD is available around the University of New Mexico campus and that the drug is shipped to Albuquerque from the San Francisco area. The State Crime Laboratory in Las Cruces reports a continuing increase in LSD exhibits submitted for analysis. Laboratory analysis reveals potencies to be approximately 60 micrograms per dosage unit.
A number of drug distribution groups in the Salt Lake City area are believed to be affiliated with the counter-culture groups and LSD trafficking organizations in the San Francisco area.
LSD frequently is sold in the form of paper, tablets, and window panes. The Pueblo, Colorado, Police Department has encountered sugar cubes laced with LSD. Prices for LSD in the Denver Field Division range from $0.65 to $3 per dosage unit in wholesale quantities and from $3 to $5 per dosage unit at the retail level. Potencies consistently range from 40 to 60 micrograms per dosage unit. Designs on paper popular in the Denver metropolitan area include Loony Toons and Elvis. LSD encountered in Albuquerque has been sold under brand names such as Strawberry and Ying Yang. Other designs seen in the division include pig going to market, concentric circles, yellow paper with black sun, and the elephant god.
Area of Responsibility: The Detroit Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.
Summary: LSD distribution and use are rising in Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio, primarily among white teenagers who perceive the drug as relatively safe to use. Investigative intelligence has identified northern California as the source area for the majority of the LSD distributed throughout the division.
Investigation has revealed that the paper LSD available in the city was being sent via mail services from Arizona and California. The Saginaw RO reports that LSD popularity is rising among high school students in Alpena, Flint, and southwest Saginaw County. The sourcebelieved to be in Lansingeither obtains the drug from a local LSD laboratory or from sources in California. Both paper and microdot tablet forms are available in quantities ranging from 100 to 3,000 dosage units, with wholesale prices of $1 per dosage unit. Single dosage unit prices range between $2.50 in Saginaw to $7 in outlying areas.
The Michigan State Police recently has reported that LSD is applied to gourmet mushrooms and sold as psilocybin mushrooms to naive customers. Apparently, these incidents have been isolated to the Michigan State University campus.
The Columbus RO reports that LSD is available in multithousand dosage unit quantities. Investigations have indicated that LSD is obtained from sources located in Florida. The Cincinnati RO reports that LSD is readily available in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky and is used primarily by teenagers who pay $4 per dosage unit. At higher distribution levels, LSD paper is sold in 100 page books containing 100 dosage units per page, with each page costing approximately $225. The Toledo RO reports that LSD is shipped into the area via mail services from sources in California and is readily available. Primary users are high school and college students.
Surveys in Louisville indicate that LSD has replaced cocaine as the third most abused drug among teenagers and young adults after alcohol and marijuana. However, the Lexington RO reports that LSD is only sporadically available.
Paper is the most dominant form of LSD available at the retail level and typically costs from $1.50 to $7 per dosage unit.
Area of Responsibility: The Houston Field Division is responsible for DEA District Offices (DOs) and ROs located in Alpine, Austin, Beaumont, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Eagle Pass, El Paso, Galveston, Laredo, McAllen, and San Antonio, Texas.
Summary: LSD is the drug of choice for many middle and upper-middle class white youths and is readily available in many high schools and nightclubs throughout the division. In addition, the cities reporting ready availability contain large populations of students attending the many colleges and universities, particularly Austin.
In Houston, although wholesale quantities are limited, retail amounts of the drug can be obtained easily. Some of the LSD sold in the Houston area is contained on heavy bond paper with designs that appear to have been photocopied. Reports also indicate that LSD in both paper and gelatin forms is available.
Investigative reporting reveals that a large-scale LSD distribution group is operating in the Austin area with connections to San Antonio. LSD trafficking and abuse appear to be on the rise in Beaumont with the traffic originating from San Francisco sources of supply and transshipped through Houston.
Single dosage units of LSD cost from $2 to $10 each at the retail level while quantities of 1,000, referred to as books, are sold for $800 to $1,100 each. Potencies consistently have remained around 50 micrograms per dosage unit.
Area of Responsibility: The Los Angeles Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Riverside, Santa Ana, and Santa Barbara, California, in addition to Hawaii, Nevada, and Guam.
Summary: LSD and other hallucinogens, particularly MDMA, are popular with students from middle school to college age. Los Angeles serves as an LSD source city for other areas of the country. For example, an individual from Portland, Oregon, was arrested recently at Los Angeles International Airport after purchasing LSD and methamphetamine from traffickers in Los Angeles.
In Las Vegas, LSD is readily available, with sheets of 100 dosage units selling for as low as $100. LSD is available in smaller quantities in Reno at $4 to $5 per dosage unit. Intelligence indicates that the LSD in Reno is of poor quality and is brought into the area by a small group of distributors. LSD trafficking is not a major drug law enforcement concern in the Reno/Sparks area or in the Tahoe Basin.
LSD and MDMA are encountered periodically in Honolulu, but usually are distributed in relatively small quantities. The price for individual dosage units of LSD ranges from $3.50 to $6 in Hawaii.
Area of Responsibility: The Miami Field Division is responsible for DEA DOs and ROs located in Florida, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Country Offices located in The Bahamas, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica.
Summary: LSD is brought into the Miami Division via express mail services from sources located in California. For example, DEA Orlando special agents arrested an individual at the Orlando International Airport after he took delivery of 5,000 dosage units of LSD that had been shipped by plane from San Francisco. On a previous occasion, this individual had paid the supplier $2,500 for 3,000 dosage units.
LSD is readily available in the Gainesville and Tampa areas, particularly at large dance gatherings called raves. The Orlando and Jacksonville ROs report an increase in LSD distribution and availability in central and northern Florida. Sources of supply in California and Oregon allegedly are exporting multithousand dosage unit quantities into the area.
On June 23, 1993, the DEA Orlando Task Force and Orange County Sheriffs Office seized 46 sheets of LSD containing 46,920 dosage units and arrested the head of the organization that was distributing almost 50,000 dosage units per month in central Florida.
LSD prices in Miami range from $1 to $3 per dosage unit. The drug is slightly more expensive in the northern part of Florida, where dosage units containing 50 to 60 micrograms of LSD sell for $3 to $5 each.
Area of Responsibility: The Newark Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Atlantic City and Camden, New Jersey.
Summary: LSD is available on a limited basis throughout the Newark Division, although the availability of retail quantities has increased slightly in several northern counties. Young adults and high school students have been and continue to be the predominant users of the drug and many are involved in distribution as well.
Clandestine laboratories located in California are believed to be the primary sources for LSD available in New Jersey, with drug consignments transshipped through nearby drug source areas that traditionally have supplied New Jersey with other major drugs of abuse. New York City is reported as a source city for LSD available in northern New Jersey and investigations in the southern areas of the state reveal that sources for the drug are located in the Philadelphia area. Ocean County, in the eastern part of the State, consistently reports the ready availability of LSD in a number of beach communities where LSD has been popular for many years.
LSD prices in New Jersey range from $1.50 to $5 per dosage unit in wholesale quantities and from $3 to $10 per dosage unit at the retail level.
Area of Responsibility: The New Orleans Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Summary: The New Orleans Field Division reports that LSD is readily available at the retail level. Distributors obtain wholesale quantities from sources in California, often in crystal form to be applied to paper locally. Allegedly, LSD has replaced MDMA as the drug of choice among high school and college students and among nightclub habitues. According to a local police laboratory, the size and frequency of LSD exhibits submitted for analysis are increasing. The price per dosage unit of LSD ranges from $1.50 to $5 in the New Orleans area.
Investigative intelligence indicates that a trafficker in Baton Rouge has access to vials of liquid LSD. Each vial contains enough liquid LSD to produce approximately 3,500 dosage units when applied to paper. The vials allegedly cost $2,000 each. Reports also indicate that small vials of liquid LSD are sold for $85 and can produce from 120 to 150 dosage units each. At the retail level, LSD is readily available in Baton Rouge. Distributors, often in their late teens, obtain quantities of up to 100 dosage units from acquaintances in Houston or in major cities in California. They commonly purchase sheets of 100 dosage units. Prices in Baton Rouge range from $2.50 to $5 per dosage unit.
An LSD source of supply located in San Francisco who was shipping multithousand dosage unit quantities to distributors in the Jackson, Mississippi, area was convicted and incarcerated recently. His removal from the illicit drug market has curbed the availability of LSD in the area. The Gulfport Post of Duty reports that most of the LSD available on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi is transported into the area from New Orleans in sheets of 100 dosage units that sell for approximately $100 each.
The Mobile RO reports that LSD availability is sporadic, which is reflected in higher prices in that area than in other parts of the division. Prices in Mobile range from $6 to $10 per dosage unit.
Area of Responsibility: The New York Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Albany, Buffalo, Long Island, Rochester, and Syracuse, New York.
Summary: Both paper and microdot forms of LSD are available in New York City. The availability of LSD in suburban and semi-rural areas of upstate New York is increasing as are arrests for distribution. Potency ranges from 40 to 80 micrograms per dosage unit. Prices at the retail level range from $3 to $7 per dosage unit, while wholesale quantities average approximately $0.50 each when purchased in multithousand lots.
The availability of hallucinogenssuch as LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin mushrooms has increased recently in the Albany and Buffalo areas. LSD in paper form is becoming more available and its popularity is rising among certain groups. An investigation in Buffalo resulted in the arrest of an individual from Oregon who had sold 10,000 dosage units of paper bearing a Red Lips design to an undercover officer. In another case, 5,000 dosage units of LSD were mailed from Portland, Oregon, to an undercover officer in Buffalo; the cost of the shipment was $2,500. During the biannual Grateful Dead concerts, sham LSD often is sold on the streets.
The Syracuse RO reports that the availability of LSD has been steady, with arrests occurring regularly. Both plain white paper and paper with designs are available in Syracuse. Prices range from $3 to $10 per dosage unit.
Area of Responsibility: The Philadelphia Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Summary: LSD is distributed in Philadelphia in multihundred dosage unit lots. Occasionally, drug law enforcement authorities seize multithousand dosage unit quantities. LSD is popular throughout the division, particularly in suburban areas and college campuses, and dosage units generally sell for $3 to $5.
LSD availability in the Lehigh Valley area has increased recently, with prices ranging from $3 to $6 per dosage unit. In Cumberland County and the Hershey area, LSD has become a major drug of abuse and is believed to originate from sources located in California.
The Pittsburgh RO reports that minimal amounts of LSD are available; however, the cost per dosage unit is quite low, ranging from $0.65 to $1.25 each.
Area of Responsibility: The Phoenix Field Division is responsible for a DEA DO in Tucson and ROs located in Nogales, Sierra Vista, and Yuma, Arizona.
Summary: In the Phoenix Field Division, State and local drug law enforcement authorities consistently encounter retail-level quantities of LSD; however, large numbers of dosage units are seized only occasionally. The hallucinogen is reported as being readily available. LSD is popular with high school and college students throughout the division.
Paper designs seized in the Phoenix Division include the Woodstock bird character, the Ziggy character, pyramids with eyes, the fleur-de-lis, and an insect and animal motif. Paper with a peace sign design became highly sought after once it had been identified as highly potent. Laboratory analysis confirmed that this type of paper contained a higher concentration of LSD than other exhibits.
Prices for LSD in the Phoenix Division have decreased since 1989 when dosage units cost from $3 to $5 each. The price has dropped to $1 to $4 per dosage unit since that time.
Area of Responsibility: The San Diego Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Calexico, Carlsbad, and San Ysidro, California.
Summary: Reports from local police departments indicate that LSD is becoming increasingly available in junior and senior high schools. Although sources of supply are believed to be located in the San Francisco area, specific distribution organizations have not been identified. Nonetheless, in December 1993, the San Francisco Field Division Task Force 3, in cooperation with the San Diego Narcotics Unit, arrested an individual after he delivered 20,000 dosage units of paper LSD with a yellow sunshine face design to a San Diego Police Department informant. Also in December, agents in the Carlsbad RO culminated a 6-month investigation with the arrest of two LSD distributors and the seizure of 7,000 dosage units and drug-related ledgers.
Area of Responsibility: The San Francisco Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Fresno, Monterey, Sacramento, and San Jose, California.
Summary: LSDin gram quantities of crystal or liquid forms and in paper formis available throughout the San Francisco Bay area and northern California. Its popularity is highest among high school or junior high school and university students.
Investigative intelligence indicates that the majority of the LSD distributed throughout the United States originates from sources located in the San Francisco Field Division, primarily in Marin and Sonoma Counties and the city of Berkeley. No LSD manufacturing laboratory has been seized recently by drug law enforcement authorities. However, it is suspected that the majority of the LSD-related activity occurs at simple conversion laboratories, where the liquid LSD is applied to various types of paper.
San Franciscos Haight-Ashbury district is the primary distribution center for wholesale and street-level retail quantities of the drug. The Telegraph Avenue area of Berkeley is a secondary distribution site. LSD and heroin have been encountered in combination in these two locations.
In December 1993, DEA special agents arrested a multigram LSD distributor in Golden Gate Park, near Haight Street, with approximately 20,000 dosage units of LSD in paper form. The subject had been arrested on two previous occasions in the same location for LSD distribution violations.
The arrests of LSD traffickers in the San Francisco area have had little impact on the availability of LSD at the lower levels of the traffic. However, distributors require more time to obtain larger quantities of the drug.
It has been reported that heroin addicts sell LSD or act as runners for larger LSD distribution operations in order to help support their habits.
LSD exhibits in paper form seized in the San Francisco Division consistently contain approximately 50 micrograms each. Seizures of gram quantities of LSD crystal typically have a purity of approximately 60 percent.
Area of Responsibility: The Seattle Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
Summary: The availability of LSD in the Seattle Division is limited. However, drug law enforcement reports indicate that Oregon is considered a major source area for LSD. In addition, drug law enforcement authorities in Montana, where LSD availability and use have increased slightly, cite sources for LSD in Boulder, Colorado, who have ties to the San Francisco area. The drug usually is sold in quantities no larger than 100 dosage unit sheets for $40 to $50 per sheet. Individual dosage units sell for $1 to $5 each. The crystal form of LSD, when available, costs from $3,000 to $3,200 per gram.
Area of Responsibility: The St. Louis Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
Summary: LSD is reported by drug law enforcement agencies to be available throughout the division on a limited basis. In St. Louis, LSD appears to be gaining in popularity among white high school seniors and recent graduates in the more affluent areas.
Drug law enforcement authorities in Iowa report that LSD distribution has increased lately, with the paper form available in quantities of up to 1,000 dosage units.
The Sioux Falls RO also reports increased availability of LSD in South Dakota. Prices are high at $7 to $10 per dosage unit with purity averaging 40 micrograms.
LSD in paper form is sparsely available in Nebraska, according to reports from the Omaha RO, although prices are relatively low at $2 to $4 per dosage unit or less for large quantities.
LSD in paper form is available in Kansas City. Prices range from $5 to $8 per dosage unit with price reductions given for purchases of 100 dosage unit lots.
The St. Louis Division reports increased distribution of LSD among high school students and recent graduates.
The paper form of LSD is most prevalent with potency in the 40 to 50 microgram range; however, the potencies of recent undercover purchases have been as low as 21 micrograms. Papers with the Beavis and Butthead, Felix the Cat, and Stars and Stripes designs have been seized recently in St. Louis.
Area of Responsibility: The Washington Field Division is responsible for DEA ROs located in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Summary: Drug law enforcement authorities report that LSD is readily available in many areas of the Washington Division, primarily in major cities and universities. Prices range from $2 to $5 per dosage unit at the retail level and from $90 to $350 for a sheet of 100 dosage units. Paper designs encountered in the division include Felix the Cat and Orange Sunshine.
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