Albert Hofmann, the pioneering Swiss chemist and advocate ofpsychedelics who discovered the hallucinogenic properties of LSD, diedTuesday. He was 102. What? I thought drugs caused you to die early. He took the first LSD trip on April 19, 1945.
Hofmann reportedly died of a heart attack at his home in Basel, Switzerland.
Hofmann’s most famous discovery happened on April 16, 1943. He was researching the synthesis of alysergic acid compound, LSD-25, when he inadvertently absorbed a bitthrough his fingertips. Intrigued by the effect it had on hisperception, Hofmann decided further exploration was warranted. Threedays later, on April 19, he ingested 250 milligrams of LSD, embarking on the firstfull-fledged acid trip. That day became known among LSD fans as “bicycle day” because Hofmann began experiencing the drug’s intense effects on his bicycle trip home from the lab.
In his autobiography, LSD, My Problem Child, Hofmann remembered his discovery this way:
Hofmann called LSD “medicine for the soul” and was frustrated by the worldwide prohibition that has pushed it underground. “It was used very successfully for 10 years in psychoanalysis,” he said, adding that the drug was hijacked by the youth movement of the 1960s and then unfairly demonized by the establishment that the movement opposed. He conceded that LSD can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Hofmann was due to speak at the World Psychedelic Forum from March 21 to March 24, 2008 but was forced to pull out due to poor health.
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