Albert Hoffman, the Swiss scientist known best for being the first person to synthesize LSD and the first person to isolate, synthesize, and name the principal psychedelic mushroom compound psilocybin, dies at the age of 102.
Hoffman dedicated years of his life to research, investigating LSD and Psychedelic mushrooms as well as hallucinogenic substances found in Mexican mushrooms and other plants used by aboriginal people in Mexico. Hoffmann, interviewed shortly before his hundredth birthday, called LSD "medicine for the soul". While admitting that it could be misused, he spoke against its prohibition.
Source: Erowid (2008) "In Memoriam: Albert Hofmann". Erowid Extracts.
||LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), Psilocybin (mushrooms)
Related Timeline Items
Albert Hofmann becomes the first person to experience LSD (1943 CE)
In 1943, 5 years after synthesizing LSD, Albert Hofmann accidentally ingests a small dose of the substance. He reported seeing "an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with kaleidoscope like play of colors." Three days later, on April 19th, he takes another (this time intentional) dose of the drug and, escorted by his assistant, he rides his bicycle home. April 19, 1943 would become known as "Bicycle Day."
Hoffman describes the effects LSD had on him during the bicycle ride home:
"I had to struggle to speak intelligibly. I asked my laboratory assistant, who was informed of the self-experiment, to escort me home. We went by bicycle, no automobile being available because of wartime restrictions on their use. On the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me that we had traveled very rapidly."
Albert Hofmann publishes a book about psychedelic drugs (1979 CE)
In 1979, Albert Hofmann publishes "LSD, My Problem Child". In the book, Hofmann discusses the origins and the effects LSD, the use of LSD in psychiatry, and he also talks about other psychedelic substances (such as magic mushrooms).
Hoffman describes the first time he inadvertently ingested LSD:"Last Friday, April 16,1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away."
While Hoffman supports LSD research and acknowledges the potential benefit of the substance, he also warns against the inappropriate use of LSD, noting that "special internal and external advance preparations are required; with them, an LSD experiment can become a meaningful experience. Wrong and inappropriate use has caused LSD to become my problem child."
Albert Hoffman, (1906-2008)