Like many stoners, when preparing for my psychedelic experiences I’ve always tried to surround myself with pleasurable and positive sensory items. I always assumed that the way to avoid a “bad trip” was to only trip with familiar people and to avoid potentially triggering content, however after a very eventful LSD experience, my perspective has been shifted.
Though I have had prior experience with mushrooms, I was always hesitant about trying LSD as it seemed much more daunting (for some reason?). In late November, during the height of post election tension, my roommate and I started acquiring our cannabis from a friendly dude who we shall call Jimmy for our purposes here. Jimmy seemed extremely friendly and charismatic, and despite his propensity towards cargo pants, we had no indications of his backwards political values, especially after he enthusiastically agreed with my roommates anarchist and egalitarian rants during our smoke sessions.
One morning, Jimmy came by to bring us some of our illicit items, and while smoking a joint with us, offered some acid he had just gotten from a trusted friend. Though this was my first time trying LSD, the day was beautiful, I was with my roommate who I trust, and Jimmy seemed nice enough to trip with, so I decided “why not?” After an hour, I began to feel the effects, and spent the rest of the afternoon in bliss admiring the nature around me. Early in the day the topic of Twitter came up, when I asked Jimmy what his twitter handle was, he responded “You wouldn’t like it, I post lots of anti-biden stuff”. Of course, this only intrigued me further (as I also enjoy a good anti biden meme), so after Jimmy left (and while at the height of my trip), I decided to investigate further. It didn’t take long to find his twitter (not much anonymity), and oh was I in for a surprise.
I was immediately alarmed by a Gaston “dont tread on me” flag as his pinned tweet, and numerous likes and retweets from multiple deplorable conservatives including (of course) donald trump. I immediately began panicking, and grew increasingly paranoid over the fact that I had let a trump supporter into my feminist cottage. However, after my roommate calmed me down, I decided to follow my academic curiosity, and messaged him asking for an explanation of his political values. He responded back with a very unfortunate paragraph about his conservative/libertarian values, his future intent to join the military, and a “comforting” reassurance that he voted for Gary Johnson not trump (though I am still skeptical).
Though I was horrified by this disturbing revelation, it inspired many hours of LSD fueled dialogue between my roommate and I, as well as with our friends, about whether it’s productive to engage with our political opponents, especially when they are so set in their ways. Though there are many different perspectives on this, from my own personal viewpoint, it can be interesting to look into the mindset and the driving forces behind the values of our political opponents, however we must keep in mind the fact that engaging with those who have racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc. mindsets can be extremely damaging as it implies that human rights are up for debate. Though I would not personally recommend taking acid with a libertarian, stepping outside your comfort zone when on psychedelics can open up a much deeper internal dialogue and is something I consider an important experience.