Home > Uncategorized > Lethal Dose of LSD?

Lethal Dose of LSD?

Humboldt County coroner Frank Jager says the man who died in police custody on August 9, had levels of LSD “10 times higher than what’s considered potentially toxic” according to the toxicology report.

The final word on the cause of death of Martin Cotton has yet to be released.

The flimsy wording of the Times-Standard breaking report got us googling. Can someone overdose on LSD and die from nothing more than the drug alone? Some studies show there is no known lethal dose of “acid.” People might do crazy stuff that results in death while under its influence, but that’s another story.

It’s unlikely that Cotton died simply from ingesting LSD.

  1. Anonymous
    August 23, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    200 kg to more than 1 mg/kg of human body mass.

  2. Anonymous
    August 23, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    It has already been pointed out on the T-S comments that LSD is an alkaloid and therefore can be lethal in the right amount. Please don’t pipe in with your idiotic “ANYthing can be lethal in the right dose” because that’s just rationalization.

    Why is it that the people on the scene keep saying he fought the cops like a crazy man but won’t tell this to the cops or the papers? Oh, because anyone who thinks the papers report the facts is a total moron as is anyone who trusts the cops.


  3. Anonymous
    August 23, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    I’m glad we have EPD to save us from dangerous folks like 6:42. I wouldn’t want to pass by you on the street and have a wayward glance translate into a punch in the face. You’re psycho.

  4. August 23, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    6:42 wrote, “Why is it that the people on the scene keep saying he fought the cops like a crazy man but won’t tell this to the cops or the papers?”.

    Not sure who you’re referring to, as far as “people on the scene”. The guy who called the cops to the Rescue Mission has said publicly (at the Chief Nielsen’s town hall) that Cotton was out of control and, once the cops had him restrained, they didn’t fight with him.

    Maybe you’re speaking of the people that supposedly witnessed the fight(s) and are afraid to come forward?

    I have a rough time believing that part of the story.

  5. robash141
    August 23, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    I think it’s quite possible that this guy was so loaded he fatally injured himself by smashing his head against his cell wall, just like the Chief said

    Not a lethal dose of LSD unto itself but the result is the same..

  6. August 23, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Maybe you’re speaking of the people that supposedly witnessed the fight(s) and are afraid to come forward?

    I have a rough time believing that part of the story.

    Something similar happed a few years ago with the critical mass protests on 101. People said they saw police violence but wouldn’t act as witnesses.

    If people have witnessed police abuse but don’t come forward, how is it ever going to stop? If you’re withholding testimony any criminal case against the cops is weakened. Same with any civil suit brought by the victim.

  7. Anonymous
    August 23, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Even if the LSD (almost typed LDS, wouldn’t that be a Mitt Romney slip?) wasn’t the cause of death, and the EPD didn’t “beat him to death” (which will still not quiet down Dim Kim Starr and her crowd) I still think SOMEONE should have recognized that this guy was violent in a different way than 1) just being an asshole 2) being crazy, and maybe thought that there were some drugs involved. Could be another symptom of all the rookies EPD has out on the street by themselves now. If they didn’t spot it, the jail staff should have, and the jail nurse should have had a look at him. But who knows if the ER would/could have picked it up in time? Still, the guy died, and that’s too bad…

  8. Anonymous
    August 23, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Heraldo, re: 8:58 PM, a lot of people talk a lot of crap because they want to join in the fray. They may even make stuff up. So when it comes down to making an official statement or testifying even those nitwits know what perjury is, even if they can’t spell it. I think the I was afraid defense is crap.

  9. hcn
    August 23, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    It seems difficult for some to face the facts. No matter how hard you try you can’t make it EPD’s fault. Give it up.

  10. robash141
    August 23, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Verily verily.
    If these people who supposedly witnessed the police brutality are not willing to come forward and testify in court ,under oath then their stories really don’t amount to Jack squat…

  11. Anonymous
    August 24, 2007 at 12:25 am

    Yeah, people who claim police violence locally and then don’t come forward are, umm, entirely, umm, what’s the word? Oh yeah, unbelievable.

    Case in point, individuals who made wild claims at the illegal camp in Arcata. They succeeded in rallying a bunch of naive HSU students, but the police acted with all due restraint and professionalism.

  12. Anonymous
    August 24, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Right. I respect EPD because over 30 years of living in Eureka has proved to me the EPD is humane and effective. Every time one of the detractors speaks up, I am more convinced that our police department is functioning correctly, and that the criminals and their apologists are our major problem here. Are some police review advocates worthy of respect? Yes. But that doesn’t mean they have examined the realities of such boards or convinced me that they are a good idea. Too late, sadly, to complete or polish this post.

  13. Anonymous
    August 24, 2007 at 11:13 am

    So, lets assume somehow he dies of an LSD overdose, why was this man not taken to the hospital?

    If there ever was to be a human to die of an LSD overdose, it would be Timothy Leary. This is very strange reasoning and ups my suspicion.

  14. tad
    August 25, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    peace be with you,

    It takes around 250 hits of D-lysergic acid diethylamide to be a lethal dose. Ex-cop Frank Jager Humboldt County coroner claimed Martin had 10 times that amount or around 2500 hits of LSD in his . . . well we don’t know what was tested. The Western Journal of Medicine claims “Massive LSD overdose in man is life-threating and produces striking and distinctive manifestations.” Martin would have been throwing-up, any wounds would bleed profusly and not clot, He would lack muscle control and very likely wouldn’t be able to walk let alone “fight” someone, and he would of gone into a coma long before the events at the Brian Hall House of Satan had finished. So my question is why would someone living on the streets eat $15,000 worth of drugs at one sitting? Again the lies of the murdious EPD just don’t add up.

    love eternal

  15. Anonymous
    August 25, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Time for a Citizens Police Review Board in Eureka. Long past time actually. The only people opposed to public oversight of the EPD are apologists for murder.

  16. Anonymous
    August 26, 2007 at 10:31 am

    “The only people opposed to public oversight are apologists for murder.”

    No. You forgot to include the vast majority of Eurekans who are not willing to be good little followers in your dreams of world domination.

    Go find yourself another soap box, baby. I hear the good righteous folks at “Your Black Muslim Bakery” could use some dingbat agitators like you in the streets and blogs of Oakland these days.

  17. mv
    August 26, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    LD-50 measurements of LSD are known for various animals:

    (LD50 is the dosage at which half of the exposed animals die. The dose for which there’s a 50% chance of death.)

    Various figures:
    LSD, LD50 mice, 46mg/Kg intravenous.
    LSD, LD50 rats, 16.5mg/Kg intravenous.
    LSD, LD50 rabbits, 0.3mg/Kg intravenous.

    To compare these LD50 figures to the Times Standards’ report of a Fresno Coroner’s figure of 10.6ng/ml blood level (nanograms of LSD per milliliter of blood), you’d have to convert that to mg/Kg (milligrams of LSD per kilogram of body weight)

    In mice the LD50 of intravenous LSD appears to be nearly 9500 times an estimated analogous human dose of 250 micrograms for a 150 pound adult.

    At very high doses LSD has been reported to have effects on organ systems other than the nervous system and the symptoms resemble those of ergot poisoning, including hemorrhage and hyperthermia. (I have no citation for this anecdotal report)

    The NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances lists most published LD50 measurements.

  18. Anonymous
    August 26, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    10:31AM is a racist.

  19. mv
    August 26, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Here’s an account of a large LSD overdose involving 8 people. They became comatose in 10 minutes and eventually recovered after suffering some rather obvious and alarming symptoms.

    (clipping from erowid.org)

    “A report of eight patients with severe LSD intoxication resulted from the substitution of LSD for cocaine, which the patients then snorted in doses greater than 2 “lines” each. The product was analyzed and found to be 80 to 90 percent pure, thus comprising a massive ingestion (milligram amounts). On presentation 10 minutes later, five patients were comatose, three with depressed respirations requiring endotracheal intubation. Sinus tachycardia (ranging from 110 to 200 beats/minute), mydriasis, vomiting, flushing and diaphoresis were uniformly present. Four patients developed fever (highest temperature, 41C or 107F), and transient hypertension was observed in three patients. Coagulopathies was demonstrated in all patients. Recovery was rapid and complete by 12 hours, but included a stage of hyperactivity and severe visual and auditory hallucinations.

    This was attributed to: Klock JC, Boerner U, Becker CE: Coma, hyperthermia, and bleeding associated with massive LSD overdose: A report of eight cases. Clin Toxicol 8:191, 1975

  20. Anonymous
    August 27, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Knee-jerk calling of people “racist” is like the boy who cried wolf. You are debasing the currency of language. Ultimately, only real racists benefit when everyone is called racist.

  21. W
    August 28, 2007 at 6:54 am

    He was beaten to death in the jail. The video will show it if it is ever released.

    The cops who beat him will go to prison.

  22. mresquan
    August 28, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    If you haven’t read this week’s Arcata Eye yet,do so.Interesting article,the Human Rights Commission rates our county jail right up their with Abu Garub.

  23. mresquan
    August 28, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Oops,up there.

  24. Anonymous
    August 29, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    One thing I just read makes me angry. I am one of the long-time supporters of the officers of EPD. My years of living in Eureka have shown them to be decent and humane, even when dealing with malcontents like me.

    But when I read that an officer thas told someone to turn off their camera or camcorder, it makes my blood boil.

    While it is true that videos can be edited to make the police look bad, citizens in a truly free country ought to be free to record events happening on city streets, among other places.

    Unless the camera operator is getting in the way of the police as they do their work, I believe it is completely wrong for a police officer in a democratic republic such as ours to command that a camera be turned off so as to prevent the police behavior from being recorded.

    In fact, let me amend that. If a camera operator is getting in the way of the police, the police should instruct that person to move back. The police should not be telling citizens that they cannot take pictures of police activity.

  25. loupgarous
    August 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

    There are TWO published reports of death connected with massive overdosage of LSD and no other cause of death evident from autopsy or medical evidence.

    One was printed in the Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association (Griggs EA, Ward M. “LSD toxicity: a suspected cause of death”. J Ky Med Assoc. 1977;75(4):172-3.) Quoting from the conclusions section of this paper, “the subject of this report would have received an LSD dose equivalent to 320 mgm, I.V., or 23 times the previously calculated lethal human dose. This amount is 1600-800 times the usual “street” dose of 200 – 400
    ug, p.o.”

    The other was published in the journal Forensic Science International (A fatal poisoning with LSD. Fysh RR, Oon MC, Robinson KN, Smith RN, White PC, Whitehouse MJ. Forensic Sci Int, 1985; 28(2):109-13) based on forensic postmortem laboratory investigation of the death of a 25 year-old male who died within 16 hours of presenting at a British hospital with no other cause of death ascertainable apart from the very large amount of LSD in the man’s system.

    The pre-death levels of LSD in this man’s system were reportedly approximately 14 nanograms/milliliter of serum and plasma (tested separately by radioimmunoassay) and 55 ng/ml in the stomach contents.

    This second case more nearly resembles the case reported by the Humboldt County coroner, in which 10 nanograms/milliliter of LSD were reported.

    In fact, the British case shows a HIGHER level of LSD in the decedent’s plasma and serum before his death than that reported by Coroner Jager in the Cotton case.

    Just trying to replace some of the heat in this discussion with light. The level of LSD reported by Coroner Jager is actually LESS than the highest level of LSD reported in the literature.

    Of course, this is a separate issue from the record of police custody and related deaths in Humboldt County.

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