LSD Takes Trip Down Memory Lane at Age 60



LSD, the hallucinogenic drug that launched a million trips for hippies, was discovered 60 years ago when a Swiss chemist accidentally inhaled a substance that made his bike ride home something special.

Albert Hofmann was actually trying to develop stimulants for the circulatory system in his Sandoz AG lab on April 16, 1943 when he mixed up a batch of LSD from ergot, a fungus that grows on rye.

Instead, he created one of the most powerful agents ever to change perceptions of reality, an icon of the 1960s Flower Power movement and the drug of choice for a generation of musicians and writers who rode the psychedelic wave.

Hofmann, now 97 and living near Basel, recalled in a newspaper interview 10 years ago that he had made LSD in his lab that fateful day after discovering it five years before.

"Afterwards on the way home I suddenly had hallucinations, a beautiful and pleasant trip. The only thing was, I could not at first explain what had made me so high," he recalled.

Only three days later did he conduct a direct experiment on himself with lysergic acid diethylamide-25.

"I took what I then thought to be a very small amount, namely 25 mg. Then it all became clear," he remembered.

Researchers seized on the drug as a tool to probe human consciousness and perhaps shed light on psychoses such as schizophrenia, but it also became an underground cult drug whose illicit use Hofmann came to decry.

Sandoz, which also isolated hallucinogen psilocybin from Mexican mushrooms in 1958, never marketed either drug but distributed them free to research labs and clinics until 1966, when it halted shipments.

"Unfortunately, increasing abuse of hallucinogenic drugs is being noticed of late, especially among young people abroad," it said at the time, blaming sensational media reporting that gave rise to "an unhealthy interest" in mind-bending drugs.

Hofmann always insisted LSD should remain administered only by researchers and psychiatrists because of the danger that people high on the drug could unwittingly do themselves harm.

"The great danger of LSD is that one cannot come to grips with and integrate the shock of being transported into a different reality, that one 'flips out'," he once recalled.


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Only three days later did he conduct a direct experiment on himself with lysergic acid diethylamide-25.

000101001 high tensile dog, fetch.

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Surely when on LSD who needs to go home, where/what is home and how would one class travellinganywhere whilst on it ! That bicycle is my friend and so is small particle of matter thats materialised in my digestive system and has converged from another universe (allegedly), officer. You smell a funny colour ?