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Owsley Stanley
Photo by Erowid, 2009
Owsley Stanley
Photo by Spiralmunk, 2009
Owsley Stanley
Photographer Unknown
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Owsley Stanley
Owsley Stanley was the first underground chemist to mass produce high-quality LSD in the 1960s. While born Augustus Owsley Stanley III, he is widely known by simply Owsley or the nickname "Bear". He served 18 months in the Air Force during the 1950s. In 1963 he began attended U.C. Berkeley where he tried his first psychoactive and decided to produce methedrine. Police eventually raided his lab in 1965 but found only precursors.

Owsley moved to L.A. to pursue the production of LSD. He used his methedrine proceeds to buy bulk lysergic acid and produced somewhere between 300,000 and 10 million doses of LSD. Once finished, he returned to the bay area where he supplied LSD to Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters for their acid tests. Through them he also met the Grateful Dead in 1966 and began supporting them both financially and as a sound man.

Owsley soon hooked up with Tim Scully and together they continued to produce LSD as well as STP (DOM). Owsley's best-known acid was "White Lightning" (300,000 doses) made in 1966-1967. Another popular run included "Monterey Purple" (14,000 doses). Most of his LSD was produced in large batches and either pressed into tablets or encapsulated. He produced a few grams of LSD in Los Angeles in 1965, more than that in Point Richmond in 1966, and the rest in Denver in 1967. Owsley Stanley's total production has been estimated to be around 460 grams of LSD. In 1967, Owsley's lab was raided and he was eventually sentenced to three years in prison. The same year, he officially shortened his name to "Owsley Stanley".

Owsley Stanley went on to do more sound work for the Grateful Dead after he was released from prison. He lived in Australia until his death in a car accident near his home in northern Queensland.
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