Paradigms change one death at a time:
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Owsley “Bear” Stanley, a 1960s counterculture icon who worked with The Grateful Dead and was a prolific LSD producer, died in a car crash in Australia, his family said Monday. He was 76.
He reportedly had no regrets:
Stanley remained unrepentant about his pioneering role in Californian drug culture that made the name “Owsley” a slang term for quality LSD and landed him in prison for two years in the early 1970s.
“I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle in a rare media interview in 2007.
“What I did was a community service, the way I look at it,” he added.
A family statement Monday described Stanley as “our beloved patriarch.”
He is survived by his wife, Sheila, four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, the statement said.
His legacy is the Dancing bear logo and lots of pretty images. It is worth wondering what we might have learned from LSD and other hallucinogens (still rarely used in research because of legal restrictions) had it not become caught up in the counter-culture wars.