Timothy Leary’s Wild Ride and the Folsom Prison Interview

Tim­o­thy Leary had a wild ride. He start­ed as a Har­vard psy­chol­o­gy pro­fes­sor, then went coun­ter­cul­ture in 1960s and advo­cat­ed the ther­a­peu­tic and spir­i­tu­al ben­e­fits of LSD. Before too long, his legal prob­lems began. In 1965 and 1968, he was arrest­ed for pos­sess­ing mar­i­jua­na (less than a half ounce) and giv­en a 10 year prison sen­tence. But he escaped from a low secu­ri­ty prison and fled to Alge­ria with the help of The Weath­er­men (any­one remem­ber Bill Ayers?). He moved then to Switzer­land, Lebanon, and even­tu­al­ly Afghanistan. But, being the “most dan­ger­ous man in Amer­i­ca” accord­ing to Richard Nixon, Leary was deport­ed back to the US. And his next stop was Fol­som State Prison, where, start­ing in 1974, he was locked in soli­tary con­fine­ment and even housed next to Charles Man­son for a time. Above, we fea­ture a clip from a Fol­som prison inter­view. The com­plete 27 minute inter­view can be watched over at the Inter­net Archive, which has cre­at­ed a big Tim­o­thy Leary Video Archive. As a quick foot­note, Leary was released from prison in 1976 by Gov­er­nor Jer­ry Brown (who is now the Attor­ney Gen­er­al of Cal­i­for­nia).

Relat­ed Video:

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out: BBC Video

Grate­ful Dead Free Con­cert Archive

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