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William Leonard Pickard

William Leonard Pickard (b. 1945) is a Harvard graduate from Mill Valley, California and a former deputy director of a University of California program that tracks illegal drugs. He is currently appealing a 2000 conviction in which he was sentenced to 2 concurrent life sentences without the possibility of parole for conspiracy to manufacture LSD at a converted Atlas-E nuclear missile launch facility in Kansas. Pickard denies the charges and claims that he was investigating the emerging use of ayahuasca and DMT analogues.

The DEA believes that Pickard and his partner Clyde Apperson were responsible for manufacturing a majority of the LSD sold in the United States and cites a 95 percent reduction in the drug's availability as evidence of this. The DEA maintains that Pickard and Apperson previously manufactured LSD in Mountain View, California, in Oregon and in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The DEA claims their Santa Fe lab typically produced about 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of pure LSD, about 10 million doses with a street value of $100 million, every five weeks.


Within the recreational drug community, Pickard's actions were controversial. Alexander Shulgin regarded Pickard, his former student, as having "pulled a Leary" (a reference to Timothy Leary and his quest to make the psychedelic drug experience more widely known about, even at his personal expense). Pickard had an extensive criminal history dating back to 1964, for numerous charges ranging from forgery and false identification charges to arrests for manufacturing controlled substances and carrying a concealed weapon.

Apart from the contentious Rolling Stone interview, the trial also generated controversy surrounding its proceedings. The government informant and principal witness at trial, Gordon Todd Skinner, was arrested a few months after Pickard's trial and convicted of distributing MDMA at the Burning Man festival near Reno, Nevada. Skinner was also charged with the interstate kidnapping and torture of an 18 year-old male. Skinner's kidnapping charges occurred after he was granted immunity in exchange for helping the prosecution.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "William_Leonard_Pickard". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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