October 20, 2015By Brian Manchester
LSD is the abbreviation for the chemical compound lysergic acid diethylamide, originally known as LSD-25 and sold under the brand Delysid in the 1940’s through the 1960’s. LSD was synthesized from ergotamine, which is a derivative of ergot, a grain fungus that grows on rye.
LSD is usually ingested orally so it is found in many different forms, including blotter paper, sugar cubes or gelatins. This type of evidence is sensitive to light, heat, oxygen and chlorine so it needs to be packaged correctly. LSD is potent in very small amounts (micrograms), so the LSD is only a very small part of the weight of the evidence. The remaining weight is the oral carrier.
When one of these items suspected to contain LSD is seized as evidence, it is sent to a crime lab for a forensic drug analysis. This analysis is not identifying the majority of the evidence but is simply looking for the LSD, which is the Schedule I controlled substance. This analysis will be measuring the total weight, including the weight of the oral carrier, but will not be able to report how much of that weight is due to the LSD alone.
In addition to the unknown true weight of the LSD, the identification may not be as reliable as the crime lab report indicates. Lab analysts seldom receive this type of evidence, and the typical lab process is not designed for LSD. This substance is present in very small amounts, which means testing is occurring at the edges of its capabilities. LSD easily degrades under normal environmental conditions, but particularly oxygen, heat and light. This means it degrades under police storage and laboratory conditions also.
Finally, evidence that looks like LSD, such as blotter paper and sugar cubes, may not contain LSD at all. Some other compounds found on these items include NBOMe compounds, 2-C compounds, and LAMPA, and these compounds may not be controlled substances. LAMPA, lysergic acid methyl propyl amide, is an isomer of LSD, which makes them different compounds so it is important that the lab be able to differentiate these.
If you have been charged with selling and possessing LSD one of the most crucial parts of defending these cases is attacking the LSD test results. Few lawyers do this but is one of the first pieces of evidence we review. The testing of LSD is very complex and in my firm we get the test data which can be hundreds of pages of paper. It isn’t the one page piece of paper that the lab gives the police in LSD cases. If charged with LSD charges in Pennsylvania call our firm at (888) 994-7616.