Ask Erowid

Ask a Question

Find an answer:

View By Category

Search Ask Erowid
Search Vaults

Enter a keyword in the search field above to look up a question or answer on a specific topic.

Off-Site Psychoactive Question Resources
  Ask Dr Shulgin

Resources at Erowid
  Plants & Drugs
  Freedom & Law
  Mind & Spirit
  Arts & Sciences
  Library / Bookstore
  What's New
  About Erowid
Was Orange Sunshine actually ALD-52?
Q: I read in numerous places that Orange Sunshine acid was really ALD-52, is that true?

A: No. Orange Sunshine was definitely LSD. Orange Sunshine was not ALD-52.

The claim that Orange Sunshine could have been ALD-52 was circulating in the 1970s1, and appeared in a 1984 book, The Brotherhood of Eternal Love2, which was paraphrased for an 1992 alt.drugs post in 1992 about ALD-52, later archived on Erowid.

Ott also makes this claim in Pharmacotheon (p 153)3; he may have based his belief that this was the situation from reading court transcripts of the case against Nick Sand, who, along with Tim Scully, was charged with manufacturing Orange Sunshine LSD. The transcripts show that Sand's lawyer, Michael Kennedy, made the argument that Sand was making ALD-52 and not LSD, and hence the charges should be dropped.

In January 2003, Earth asked Nick Sand 'How much ALD-52 has been sold over the years as 'acid' or 'LSD'?' and Sand replied, 'The answer is none.'4

In December 2005, Sand revealed5 that the pretense of synthesizing an unscheduled drug, ALD-52, and selling it as LSD ('acid') was fabricated during his and Tim Scully's pretrial proceedings in the 1970s, to try to argue they had not produced LSD. Facing overwhelming evidence that they had made and sold something LSD-like, they came up with the idea as a last-ditch attempt to get the case against them thrown out of court. Because ALD-52 decomposes into LSD, it was theoretically a reasonable candidate as a scapegoat if the attorney could sell the idea that it had simply broken down while in evidence awaiting trial.

In a Reddit AMA in January 2017, Tim Scully confirmed that Orange Sunshine was LSD and not ALD-526:
The Orange Sunshine we delivered was LSD 25. ALD 52 was an ill-advised desperate defense strategy that failed miserably. I recommend that anyone who is guilty should stay off the witness stand; I wish I had followed that advice.
He continued in private email discussing the situation:
I got on the witness stand for the defense and claimed that we were making ALD 52. Another witness had bravely testified that he made a ketene generator for us to buttress that claim. But we were still worried that the government would argue that because no ALD 52 was ever detected on the street our claim was fictitious. So I foolishly put some tablets into evidence which I believed were ALD 52, freshly tableted from alleged ALD 52 made by Lester Friedman. Of course it turned out that when the government tested them they were LSD. I don't think we'll ever know whether Lester actually made ALD 52 or not.
Unfortunately, no one involved in the defense had examined the law books carefully enough to discover that possession or manufacturer of lysergic acid had become a felony in October 1968. Since lysergic acid was an essential ingredient for making ALD-52 as well as LSD, claiming on the witness stand that the duo had made ALD-52 amounted to a confession.7

  1. Eisner B. LSD Purity: Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness. High Times, 1977.
  2. Tendler S, May D. The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, Chapter 11. Panther Books, England 1984.
  3. Ott J. Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic drugs, their plant sources and history, p 133. Natural Products Co. 1993.
  4. Sand N. Personal Email with Earth Erowid. Jan 2003.
  5. Sand N. Personal interview with Earth Erowid. Dec 2005.
  6. Scully T. Reddit AMA, Cosmo Feilding Mellen and Tim Scully, re: The Sunshine Makers. Feb 2017.
  7. Scully T. Personal Email with Earth Erowid. Feb 2017.

Asked By : zXurgan
Answered By : Earth, Jon Hanna, Spoon
Published Date : 3 / 14 / 2016
Last Edited Date : 5 / 11 / 2017
Question ID : 3189

Categories: [ Myths ] [ Nick Sand ] [ ALD-52 ] [ LSD ] [ Chemicals ] [ Tim Scully ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

(content and html © the Vaults of Erowid. Please ask permission before publicly reproducing.)