Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Celebrating Al Hofman - father of LSD

My pal Ann Harrison has a new piece posted at Wired with the details on the 100th birthday party for Albert Hofman in Switzerland. Over 2,000 scientists, researchers, artists, historians and assorted computer geeks showed up to celebrate the man and his work, namely the re-discovery of LSD-25 at the conference LSD: Problem Child and Wonder Drug held recently in Basel.

So why do the computer geeks revere the guy? Because some of the biggest breakthroughs in all that computer stuff nobody but a geek understands happened while they were tripping on acid. "When I'm on LSD and hearing something that's pure rhythm, it takes me to another world and into anther brain state where I've stopped thinking and started knowing," said Kevin Herbert, long time employee of Cisco Systems who also lobbied against drug testing in the workplace there.

If you need any more proof that responsible LSD consumption not only doesn't destroy brain cells but can make you more aware, consider this. "During a press conference on Friday, Hofmann revealed that he was told by Nobel-prize-winning chemist Kary Mullis that LSD had helped him develop the polymerase chain reaction that helps amplify specific DNA sequences." Meanwhile, there's a resurgence of interest among psychiatrists and other therapists in the drug's use in treating various emotional disorders. Newly allowed trials in treatment of PTSD for instance have shown great promise in the early stages of testing.

Just goes to show how the drug war works. Drugs that are shown to be useful and in fact therapeutic with little or no side effects as LSD and marijuana are vilified by those drug warriors who benefit from their prohibition, touted as "dangerous drugs" while pharmaceuticals that often cause death and other severe adverse reactions in patients are rushed to market with the blessing of our law enforcers. One might note that the pharma corps are big political donors to the legislators who make the laws favoring their less useful chemical concoctions while banning these drugs that have been used for millenia.

You don't have to drop LSD to see the cause and effect in that.


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