Albert Hofmann dead at age 102

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Albert Hofmann discovered LSDAlbert Hofmann, the chemist who discovered the psychedelic substance LSD has died Tuesday in Switzerland

Hofmann died Tuesday morning in his house in Burg BL, Switzerland. Albert Hofmann was active and was corresponding worldwide till his last moment.

Hofmann was born on 11th January 1906 in Baden. He worked from 1929 until 1972 in the pharmaceutic laboratories at Sandoz in Basle.

The hallucinogenic effects of LSD were discovered by Hofmann by chance in April 1943.

("It is true that my discovery of LSD was a chance discovery, but it was the outcome of planned experiments and these experiments took place in the framework of systematic pharmaceutical, chemical research. It could better be described as serendipity.")

He advocated the reasonable use of psychedelic substances for therapeutic reasons for all his life.

A collection of his best quotes:

I knew immediately that this drug would have importance for psychiatry but, at that time, I would never have believed that this substance could be used in the drug scene, just for pleasure. For me it was a deep and mystical experience and not just an everyday pleasurable one. I never had the idea that it could be used as a pleasure drug.

What began as a miracle substance subsequently became a youth cult drug, and thus a political danger for America. The decision of the U.S. to ban LSD was purely political. Every doctor has controlled access to heroin, morphine and even strychnine. But for LSD there’s a total prohibition.

Before LSD got onto the streets (in the 1960s), we were able to gather a lot of therapeutic experiences. The substance was used in the psychoanalysis of patients who couldn’t be talked to.

This is a wonderful birthday party we are having. One could say it is a consciousness-expanding experience without LSD.

At the beginning of the 1960s, here in the United States, LSD became a drug of abuse. In a short time, this wave of popular use swept the country and it became drug number one. It was then used incautiously and people were not prepared and informed about its deep effects. And then all kinds of things happened, which caused LSD to become an infamous drug. It was a troublesome time! Telephones, panic, and alarm!

It was an April day and I went out into the garden and it had been raining during the night. I had the feeling that I saw the earth and the beauty of nature as it had been when it was created, at the first day of creation. It was a beautiful experience! I was reborn, seeing nature in quite a new light.

In old times, and also in our time among the Indian tribes, psychedelic substances were considered sacred and they were used with the right attitude and in a ritual and spiritual context. And what a difference if we compare it with the careless and irresponsible use of LSD in the streets and in the discotheques of New York City and everywhere in the West. It is a tragic misunderstanding of the nature and the meaning of these kinds of substances.

Through my LSD experience and my new picture of reality, I became aware of the wonder of creation, the magnificence of nature and of the animal and plant kingdom. I became very sensitive to what will happen to all this and all of us.

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