LSD suit against CIA dismissed
SAN FRANCISCO - A lawsuit filed by a former U.S. marshal who claimed the CIA slipped LSD into his drink in 1957, causing him to act irrationally and rob a bar, has been dismissed by a federal judge.
Wayne Ritchie, 78, a former marshal and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, claimed he was part of Project MKULTRA in which government operatives tested LSD and other psychoactive drugs on unwitting subjects.
He claims the drug, given to him at an office Christmas party, made him feel "overcome by a sense of worthlessness that compelled him to engage knowingly in self-destructive conduct."
Later that day, he tried to rob the Shady Grove bar in San Francisco's Fillmore district before getting beat up. He pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and in March 1958, was sentenced to five years' probation and resigned from his job.
U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel dismissed the lawsuit in a ruling issued on Tuesday, following a four-day nonjury trial in her court in San Francisco in April.
Patel noted the government has conceded that CIA operatives drugged some individuals without their knowledge in December 1957 during testing of the drug.
But she said Ritchie hadn't proved the drug was slipped into his drinks or that the robbery was the result of an LSD-induced psychotic disorder.
A call to Ritchie's lawyer, Sidney Bender, was not immediately returned.
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