Albert Hoffman, inventor of the powerful psychedelic drug commonly known as LSD, has died at his home in Basel at the age of 102.
Hoffman first synthesised lysergic acid diethylamide in 1938 while looking into possible medicinal uses of the cereal crop fungus ergot. He then accidently ingested a mere 250 microgrammes of the substance though his skin and went on a bicycle ride. The rest is history.
I have no hesitation in declaring here that Albert Hoffman’s invention has had a profound personal effect on my life. While I would never advocate the use of LSD as a “recreational pharmaceutical”, in my humble opinion, and the expert opinion of many highly respected mental health practitioners, psychedelic drugs have enormous positive potential. I hope that Dr Hoffman’s legacy will lead to further research into these compounds’ effects and practical applications.