Westword staff writer Chris Walker has won the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for non-daily feature reporting for "Acid Trip: Denver's Secret LSD Labs Fueled the Psychedelic Revolution." The award is one of the most prestigious in the country for journalists.
The story detailed the fifty-year-old history of two acid labs in Denver run by Tim Scully, one of the most important manufacturers of the narcotic in the world, which had produced "hundreds of thousands of hits of pure, crystalline LSD" that would fuel the psychedelic revolution.
Written five decades after the Summer of Love, Acid Trip revealed Scully's little-known ties to Denver. Even though the lab operations were short-lived, they created significant repercussions — not just legally for their operators, but for the psychedelic movement as a whole.
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Other local winners of an SPJ award include KUNC for its coverage of sexual harassment at the state legislature. Tim Elfrink, managing editor of one of our partner paper, Miami New Times, took a first-place award in non-deadline reporting for his story "Hooked: How a Floating Bale of Cocaine Led to the Florida Keys' Worst Murder in Decades."
The awards will be presented at a banquet in Washington, D.C., on June 8.