Ernesto Londono in The New York Times:
The last known experiment at a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic with psychedelic-assisted therapy started in 1963. That was the year President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. “Surfin’ U.S.A.” topped the music charts, and American troops had not yet deployed to Vietnam.
At the time, the federal government was a hotbed of psychedelics research. The C.I.A. explored using LSD as a mind-control tool against adversaries. The U.S. Army tested the drug’s potential to incapacitate enemies on the battlefield. And the V.A. used it in an experimental study to treat alcoholism.
But booming recreational use of drugs, including hallucinogens, sparked a fierce political backlash and helped set in motion the war on drugs, which, among other things, ended an era of research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.