Common sense tells us that—in order to reach our full potential at the office—we’d probably be wise to avoid using illicit drugs.
Just tell that to Steve Jobs, who famously ranked his acid trips as some of the most important experiences of his life. Though Jobs is said to have stopped taking LSD once he went to Apple, he had often credited the drug for making him a more creative person.
He’s not the only person who’s made that claim. Need some more convincing? Just look at the Beatles’ catalog. Compare their efforts before they allegedly first consumed the drug in 1965 with what they released after their initial trip.
If Steve Jobs and the Beatles could use LSD to become more creative, why can’t you?
LSD Moves to Silicon Valley
Just as cocaine was synonymous with Wall Street in the 1980s, some folks out in Silicon Valley are finding inspiration in LSD these days. These tech heads swear that the drug helps them be more creative, more attentive and more productive at work.
No, they’re not tripping their balls off at work. Instead, they’re microdosing, i.e., taking anywhere from 6 to 25 micrograms of LSD (depending who you ask, an average dose of acid is anywhere from 100 to 250 micrograms). By taking a small amount, the acid-droppers say they’re able to experience the effects of the drug peripherally, which helps them become better workers without losing control.
Okay, so this anecdotal evidence is great and all. But does that mean you should take acid at work?
The Stigma of Drugs in the Office—Is It Fair?
According to a recent study, nearly 60% of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Sure, we can bet a good chunk of those drugs are taken to treat chronic illnesses. But what about the folks who take Adderall, Dexedrine, Vyvanse and the like—all of which are stimulants designed to treat ADHD?
Just because those drugs are legal doesn’t mean they’re not without their downsides as well. Yet as a society, we generally overlook the fact someone might pop Dexedrine pills all day long—so long as they have a prescription. It’s a legal drug, after all.
The kids in Silicon Valley are well aware of these legal stimulants. Still, they’re turning to LSD because they feel as though it’s a “healthier” alternative to Adderall, coffee, and Red Bull. Compared to drugs prescribed to energize workers, these folks feel as though small doses of LSD simply makes them feel better.
But despite any benefits of acid—real or imagined—LSD remains a Schedule I drug, the highest and strictest such classification the U.S. government assigns substances. So even if you happen to be the kind of person who can benefit from microdosing at the office, it’s not as if you can broadcast your acid use to the rest of your colleagues. There’s certainly a stigma attached to using illegal drugs.
Is it fair? Who cares. Laws are laws, and acid is still illegal. But good news for Silicon Valley-based professionals who want to give the drug a try for work purposes (or otherwise): Thanks to the passage of California’s Prop. 47 in 2014, simple possession of LSD has been downgraded to a misdemeanor. So if you wanted to roll the dice and you got caught by the authorities, you wouldn’t become a felon. Crisis averted.
Still, even if the cops don’t catch you, there’s always a chance that your employer will. Suffice it to say that should your boss find out you’re taking acid at work—no matter how small your dose is—you’ll almost certainly be punished, and likely terminated. If they let you skate, who’s to say people won’t start smoking joints during their cigarette breaks?
To Drop LSD or Not to Drop LSD…
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t generally use substances, you probably shouldn’t experiment with dropping acid to see whether it helps you become a better worker. Remember, there are numerous documented cases of people having horrible experiences on the drug (to be fair, those are usually associated with larger doses). There’s no sense in rolling the dice on a psychedelic substance just because some tech bros are doing it.
But on the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys altering your consciousness—and you feel like maybe the drug can work for you—you may want to imbibe in a work setting, particularly if you’ve used the drug before. You’d probably be better off microdosing at home and working remotely, though. Just to be safe.
That said, do you really want to become the guy or gal who takes a small amount of acid every single day at work? Probably not. So as they say, everything in moderation—even your potential microtrips.