20 December 1965
- Timothy Francis Leary was an American writer, psychologist, futurist, and advocate of psychedelic drug research and one of the first people whose remains have been sent into space. An icon of 1960s counterculture, Leary is most famous as a proponent of the therapeutic, spiritual and emotional benefits of LSD. He coined and popularized the catch phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out."
Leary's first run-in with the law came on December 20, 1965. During a border crossing from Mexico into the United States, his daughter was caught with marijuana. After taking responsibility for the controlled substance, Leary was convicted of possession under the Marihuana Tax Act on March 11, 1966, and sentenced to 30 years in jail, given a $30,000 fine and ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment. Soon after, however, he appealed the case, claiming the Marihuana Tax Act was, in fact, unconstitutional, as it required a degree of self-incrimination.
Leary claimed this was in stark violation of the Fifth Amendment. On December 26, 1968, Leary was arrested again, in Laguna Beach, California, this time for the possession of two roaches of marijuana, which Leary claimed were planted by the arresting officer. He was later convicted of this offense. On May 19, 1969, The Supreme Court concurred with Leary in Leary v. United States. The Marihuana Tax Act was declared unconstitutional, and his 1965 conviction was quashed.