(HighTimes) Dr. Hofmann’s “problem child” turns 70.
The CIA tried to use it as a weapon; self-appointed shamans claim that it brings people closer to God; psychiatrists argue for its therapeutic potential; and ordinary citizens have been dosing themselves for decades simply because they like the high. But 70 years afer its invention, we still have a lot to learn about LSD.
The last time I saw Dr. Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who invented LSD, he was keynoting to a packed house in a large auditorium in Basel, Switzerland. It was January 2006, and Hofmann had just turned 100 years old. A small, slightly stooped spry man with wisps of white hair, he stood onstage without a cane or walker and spoke to more than 1,000 people at the international symposium being held in his honor. Twentysomethings with multicolored dreadlocks, straitlaced research scientists, and psychedelic veterans of the hippie era listened with rapt attention as Hofmann talked about his infamous “problem child,” lysergic acid diethylamide 25, the hallucinogenic drug that blew minds and upset societal apple carts when it catalyzed the countercultural rebellion of the 1960s.
“As I look at you today,” Hofmann told his audience, “I see you are not my problem child. You are my prodigy.”
Thank you, Dr. Hofmann. From problem child to prodigy – what a long, strange trip it’s been.