The Man With Over 30,000 LSD Tabs in His Home
Having 30,000 of anything would usually be enough to get your own episode of Hoarders. However, Mark McCloud doesn't consider himself a hoarder; he identifies himself as an LSD historian, with a mission to show the world the benefits of the drug but with an artful touch. Although, initially, a plan to stop eating LSD tabs he kept collecting, his eventual decision to frame the tabs gave him self-control and an idea to display them for the select public to see.
Since the '70s, McCloud has collected blotters and framed them like Picassos in his home. Blotters are sheets of paper with a psychedelic twist; they're soaked in LSD. McCloud began his collection when images first appeared on LSD tabs in the late '60s from New York, being the first commercially available version of the drug. Prior to that, tabs of LSD used to resemble plain index cards with no sign of drug activity attached to them and really just a place to study your multiplication tables. Artistic blotters came to be a way for users, dealers, and producers to tell the origin of one LSD tab from another via tiny crystals hanging out on the art.
McCloud argues that blotter art gives the acid tripper an insight into how their experience may go, creating a more engaging encounter with the drug. How would a Mickey Mouse Fantasia trip differ from a Snoopy-wearing sunglasses roller coaster ride?
Depends on who you are surrounded by and what your plans are that evening, McCloud suggests. He notes that adding art to the experience is similar to "the impression of religious symbols on the host in Catholicism." Into the '70s, most imagery was being produced on sheets of LSD the size of LP records to ship the drug incognito.
However, McCloud had a signifying event that opened the door to seeing LSD as his savior. As he told Wired, "December 8th, 1971, I took the most powerful substance on earth… I happened to fall out of a window onto my kisser and die in the middle of it, and thanks to the LSD, I was reborn. That's why I collect blotters – a small thank you for the thing that saved me." McCloud would dub his sanctuary the "Institute of Illegal Images" and the "Blotter Barn."
Yet how does McCloud get away with hosting over 30,000 tabs of LSD in his home? Well, the tabs have expired. Their trips have far run their course. As his unofficial museum is covered wall to wall in this drug paraphernalia, they've been subject to ultraviolet rays over time as well as oxygen, both of which have deactivated the acid in the sheets. He's still been arrested, though, multiple times, for "conspiracy to manufacture and distribute narcotics," and been threatened to receive a life sentence in jail for his obviously very troubling, completely immoral sin of keeping everyone up at night knowing there is an LSD art collector out there … somewhere.
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Top Image: Pyschonaught/Wiki Commons