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Albert Hofmann, Father of LSD, Dead at 102
AP via Yahoo ^ | 4/30/08 | AP

Posted on 04/30/2008 10:16:35 AM PDT by Clemenza

lbert Hofmann, the father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery inspired — and arguably corrupted — millions in the 1960s hippie generation, has died. He was 102.

Hofmann died Tuesday at his home in Burg im Leimental, said Doris Stuker, a municipal clerk in the village near Basel where Hofmann moved following his retirement in 1971.

For decades after LSD was banned in the late 1960s, Hofmann defended his invention.

"I produced the substance as a medicine. ... It's not my fault if people abused it," he once said.

The Swiss chemist discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 in 1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm in Basel.

He became the first human guinea pig of the drug when a tiny amount of the substance seeped onto his finger during a laboratory experiment on April 16, 1943.

"I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a sudden feeling of unease and mild dizziness," he subsequently wrote in a memo to company bosses.

He said his initial experience resulted in "wonderful visions."

"What I was thinking appeared in colors and in pictures," he told a Swiss television network for a program marking his 100th birthday two years ago. "It lasted for a couple of hours and then it disappeared."

Three days later, Hofmann experimented with a larger dose. The result was a horror trip.

"Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror," he said, describing his bicycle ride home. "I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast."

"The substance which I wanted to experiment with took over me. I was filled with an overwhelming fear that I would go crazy. I was transported to a different world, a different time," Hofmann wrote.

Hofmann and his scientific colleagues hoped that LSD would make an important contribution to psychiatric research. The drug exaggerated inner problems and conflicts and thus it was hoped that it might be used to recognize and treat mental illnesses like schizophrenia.

For a time, Sandoz sold LSD 25 under the name Delysid, encouraging doctors to try it themselves. It was one of the strongest drugs in medicine — with just one gram enough to drug an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people for 12 hours.

LSD was elevated to international fame in the late 1950s and 1960s thanks to Harvard professor Timothy Leary who embraced the drug under the slogan "turn on, tune in, drop out."

But away from the psychedelic trips, horror stories emerged about people going on murder sprees or jumping out of windows while hallucinating. Heavy users suffered permanent psychological damage.

The U.S. government banned LSD in 1966 and other countries followed suit.

Hofmann maintained this was unfair, arguing that the drug was not addictive. He repeatedly argued for the ban to be lifted to allow LSD to be used in medical research.

Peter Oehen, a psychiatrist in the Swiss town of Biberist, says substances such as LSD and MDMA — also known as ecstasy — can produce results where conventional psychotherapies fail.

"They help overcome the wall of denial that some patients build up," said Oehen, who met Hofmann and has studied his work.

Hofmann welcomed a decision by Swiss authorities last December to allow LSD to be used in a psychotherapy research project.

"For me, this is a very big wish come true. I always wanted to see LSD get its proper place in medicine," he told Swiss TV at the time.

Hofmann took the drug — purportedly on an occasional basis and out of scientific interest — for several decades.

"LSD can help open your eyes," he once said. "But there are other ways — meditation, dance, music, fasting."

Even so, the self described "father" of LSD readily agreed that the drug was dangerous if in the wrong hands. This was reflected by the title of his 1979 book: "LSD - my problem child."

In it he wrote that, "The history of LSD to date amply demonstrates the catastrophic consequences that can ensue when its profound effect is misjudged and the substance is mistaken for a pleasure drug."

Hofmann retired from Sandoz in 1971 and devoted his time to travel, writing and lectures.

"This is really a high point in my advanced age," Hofmann said at a ceremony in Basel honoring him on his 100th birthday. "You could say it is a consciousness-raising experience without LSD."

Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: hofmann; lsd; obituary; pharmaceuticals; sandoz; switzerland

1 posted on 04/30/2008 10:16:36 AM PDT by Clemenza
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To: Pharmboy; Calpernia

Sandoz/Novartis Ping!


2 posted on 04/30/2008 10:17:09 AM PDT by Clemenza (I Live in New Jersey for the Same Reason People Slow Down to Look at Car Crashes)
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To: Clemenza

Posted and reposted.


3 posted on 04/30/2008 10:17:33 AM PDT by Phlap (REDNECK@LIBARTS.EDU)
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To: Clemenza

Should the headline read: “LSD, key to long life?”


4 posted on 04/30/2008 10:18:09 AM PDT by dmz
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To: Clemenza

“A Girl Named Sandoz” Originally Recorded by The Animals:

Well I met a girl called Sandoz
And she taught me many, many things
Good things, very good things, sweet things

I met her one sunny morning
It was hot but the snow lay on the ground
Strange things, very strange things, my mind has wings

Sandoz, Sandoz who taught me love
Sandoz, Sandoz heavens above
They could all learn something from your mind
Yeah baby

She is very old
You may think she’s young
One kiss from her
And you know your time has come

Good times, for all time, Sandoz
Sandoz
Sandoz


5 posted on 04/30/2008 10:18:31 AM PDT by Clemenza (I Live in New Jersey for the Same Reason People Slow Down to Look at Car Crashes)
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To: Clemenza

Flashback to yesterday’s thread, or was yesterday merely a mind trip.


6 posted on 04/30/2008 10:18:47 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: Clemenza
arguably corrupted — millions - what a load of bull
7 posted on 04/30/2008 10:21:06 AM PDT by SF Republican
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To: Clemenza
Albert Hofmann, Father of LSD, Dead at 102

If we'd just started the war on drugs sooner, we might have saved this man.

8 posted on 04/30/2008 10:21:10 AM PDT by umgud
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To: Clemenza
I have a friend who took LSD back in the day - he said he could see the whole world at one time, and had such empathy for its people. He wanted to take it in his arms and heal the ills that he saw and he cried because he couldn't do it. It was a very odd trip.

Carolyn

9 posted on 04/30/2008 10:26:20 AM PDT by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: Clemenza

Nobody has ever died from a physiological result of taking acid.


10 posted on 04/30/2008 10:28:29 AM PDT by Revenge of Sith
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To: Clemenza

11 posted on 04/30/2008 10:30:42 AM PDT by Free ThinkerNY ((((Obama's issues would be better resolved in a psychotherapists office, than in the Oval Office))))
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To: Clemenza

12 posted on 04/30/2008 10:34:46 AM PDT by SlowBoat407 (It's a fine line between Guardian Angel and Stalker.)
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To: Clemenza; Tijeras_Slim; martin_fierro
The Acid Song
13 posted on 04/30/2008 10:39:06 AM PDT by CougarGA7 (Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.)
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To: Clemenza

Heavy users suffered permanent psychological damage.

14 posted on 04/30/2008 10:41:53 AM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: theDentist

One of the best sitcom characters ever!


15 posted on 04/30/2008 10:44:00 AM PDT by GOP_Party_Animal
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To: umgud

Another drug related death!


16 posted on 04/30/2008 10:45:21 AM PDT by SF Republican
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To: Revenge of Sith
Nobody has ever died from a physiological result of taking acid.

It's the sudden stop on the pavement.

17 posted on 04/30/2008 10:51:45 AM PDT by SlowBoat407 (It's a fine line between Guardian Angel and Stalker.)
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To: Clemenza
Again? He died at least twice yesterday too.

Albert + Hofmann

18 posted on 04/30/2008 10:58:23 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Do we really want Huma answering the White House phone at 3 AM?)
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To: Clemenza

LSD .. just a little tab`ll do ya.. (apologies to brylcreem)


19 posted on 04/30/2008 11:09:16 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... San FRancisco or Bust!)
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To: Clemenza

Trip Like I Do


20 posted on 04/30/2008 11:14:42 AM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways Guero >>> with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona....)
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To: Clemenza

Body dead at 102.
Mind dead at 37.


21 posted on 04/30/2008 12:06:22 PM PDT by kidd
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To: Clemenza
Albert Hofmann, Father of LSD, Dead at 102

I thought that was Joseph Smith.

22 posted on 04/30/2008 12:20:17 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Clemenza
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
23 posted on 04/30/2008 12:24:44 PM PDT by windsorknot
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To: Clemenza

Thank you, Albert. I appreciated your work. A few hundred times. ; )


24 posted on 04/30/2008 12:30:26 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin 1936. Olympics for murdering regimes. Beijing 2008.)
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To: RightWhale

What if it’s still yesterday and you never left that thread? Would you know?


25 posted on 04/30/2008 1:19:23 PM PDT by bamahead (Avoid self-righteousness like the devil- nothing is so self-blinding. -- B.H. Liddell Hart)
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To: bamahead

There are some differences. Yesterday I didn’t have to shovel three inches of surprise snow out of the driveway, today I did. It’s not conclusive proof, but tends to support the argument that this is a different thread since the snow was here before this thread and after the other.


26 posted on 04/30/2008 1:25:09 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: Clemenza

(I thought Joseph Smith was the father of LSD?) :)


27 posted on 04/30/2008 1:27:53 PM PDT by Colofornian (What's a planetary compound w/a local god ruling polygamous wives? LDS celestial kingdom)
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To: Colofornian

Joseph Smith was the spiritual father of hallucinatory tripping!


28 posted on 04/30/2008 1:31:24 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (You're gonna cry 96 tears!)
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To: Clemenza

Yeah...I guess LSD isn’t harmful to your health...or longevity. I sit 8 miles from Novartis in East Hanover,and their headquarters in Basel is lovely. He helped build it.


29 posted on 04/30/2008 3:13:03 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Clemenza
Is it true that his last words were

...what a long strange trip its been!

30 posted on 04/30/2008 3:38:22 PM PDT by chilepepper (The map is not the territory -- Alfred Korzybski)
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