Dead: Albert Hofmann, LSD Inventor Takes Final Trip

Albert Hofmann, Father of LSD

Albert Hofmann, the inventor of the mind-blowing, day-tripping drug LSD, has passed on to another reality.

LSD inspired millions in the 1960s hippie generation to "turn on, tune in, drop out".

Hofmann was 102. He died yesterday at his home in Burg im Leimental, Switzerland, where he retired to in 1971.

LSD may have been banned and blamed for the corruption of youth, but Hofmann defended his invention with the zeal of a father.

"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."

But then Hofmann experimented with a larger dose and went on a "bad 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.

Pharmaceutical giant Sandoz sold LSD 25 under the name Delysid and promoted it to doctors, urging them to try it themselves. It was hoped that LSD would be an important treatment for mental illnesses.

LSD was one of the strongest of medicines: a couple of grams was enough to drug 20-40,000 people for up to 12 hours.

Hofman lived long enough to applaud the decision by Swiss authorities last year to allow LSD to be used in therapy experiments.

There was no word if the funeral music will include selections by the Jefferson Airplane or the Grateful Dead.

by Mondoreb
image: wikipedia
Source: Albert Hofmann, Father of drug LSD, dies in Switzerland

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