~5000 BCE

~5000 BCE

Frescos of mushroom-holding shamans were depicted in caves on the Tassili plateau of Northern Algeria.

Image source: Pinterest user Algerie

~ 3700 BCE

~ 3700 BCE

Native Americans in the Rio Grande area collected peyote buttons and manufactured peyote effigy sculptures which were found in the Shumla Caves.

~3000 BCE – 2500 BCE

~3000 BCE – 2500 BCE

Matacao Indian shamans used cebil (Anadenanthera colubrine) in northwest Argentina.

~ 2000 BCE

~ 2000 BCE

Ergot may have been used to make the potion called kykeon, used in the Eleusinian Mysteries.

 

~1500 BCE

~1500 BCE

Archaeological “mushroom stones” indicate that a sophisticated mushroom cult existed in Guatemala.

~1500 BCE - 1200 BCE

~1500 BCE - 1200 BCE

The Indian Rig Veda described the use of the psychedelic drink called Soma.

~1300 BCE

~1300 BCE

A Chavín stone carving from a temple in northern Peru showed the principal deity holding a San Pedro cactus.

~1000 BCE

~1000 BCE

Near the eastern bank of the Pegtymel River in Siberia, petroglyphs depicting anthropomorphic figures with mushrooms attached to their heads indicate that Amanita muscaria was used by the Chukotka people.

1000 BCE

1000 BCE

Statues in Mexico depicted Psilocybe mexicana with god-like figures emerging from it, indicating religious use.

Peyote was used ceremonially by indigenous cultures in Texas and Mexico.

500

500

A mural from Teotihuacán, Mexico, depicted a Mother Goddess with her priests and a vine of ololiuqui (Turbina corymbosa).

Late 8th century

Late 8th century

A burial site in Northern Chile included a bag with snuffing paraphernalia and snuff remnants containing DMT and 5-MeO-DMT.

 

1496

1496

Friar Ramon Pane documented the use of a psychoactive snuff called cohoba/yopo among the Taino who inhabited the island of Hispaniola Haiti/Dominican Republic.  Cohoba/yopo is made from Anadenanthera peregrina, which contains  DMT and 5-MeO-DMT.

1560

1560

Spanish priest Bernardino de Sahagún wrote in his Florentine Codex about the use of peyote and teonanacatl mushrooms by the Aztecs.

1570 – 1575

1570 – 1575

Franciso Hernández carried out investigations in Mexico and recorded the preparation and use of ololiuqui by the Aztecs.

                                      

1588

1588

Johannes Thalius described ergot in Sylva Hercynica.

1591

1591

Juan de Cardenas described peyote use in the Indies. This is the oldest published account of peyote use.

Early 16th century

Early 16th century

The statue of Xochipilli, Aztec Prince of Flowers, was discovered on the slopes of volcano Mount Popocatepetl. Glyphs depicted a tendril of morning glory, flower of morning glory, a bud of sinicuiche (Heimia salicifolia), and caps of Psilocybe aztecorum.

1620

1620

The first English language appearance of the term “conscious” appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary.  It was defined as “inwardly sensible or aware.”

1638

1638

The first proper botanical description of peyote was made by Francisco Hernández.

1651

1651

Francisco Hernández identified ololiuqui as a morning glory. He described it and discussed its medical uses, its value as an aphrodisiac and its ceremonial use by priests.

1658

1658

The first illustration of ergot was drawn by Swiss botanist Bauhin’s son.

A Polish prisoner of war described the Ob-Ugrian Ostyak culture from western Siberia.  “They eat certain fungi in the shape of fly agarics, and thus they become drunk worse than on vodka, and for them, that’s the very best banquet.”

Late 17th century

Late 17th century

A Spanish missionary in Nayarit provided the first account of a peyote ritual practiced by the Cora tribe.

1783

1783

The fly agaric gains its modern name Amanita muscaria when it is moved to the genus Amanita by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.

1799: October 3rd

1799: October 3rd

In London, the first psychedelic mushroom experience was documented in a scholarly journal by Dr. Everard Brande. The mushrooms were determined to be Psilocybe semilanceata.

1801

1801

Baron Alexander Humboldt identified the yopo tree as Anadenanthera peregrine.

1847

1847

The first published image of peyote appeared in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.

1851

1851

While exploring the Amazon, English ethnobotanist Richard Spruce observed the Tukano Indians of the Rio Uapes in Brazil engaging in a visionary ritual involving drinking tea made from the ayahuasca vine. He drank a small amount of the tea. He named the vine Banisteria caapi and sent samples home for chemical analysis. This is the earliest known western record of the psychoactive effects of ayahuasca.

1858

1858

Geographer Manuel Villavicencio published his experiences drinking ayahuasca in Geografia de la Republica Del Ecuador. He described his experience of “flying” to marvelous places.

1864

1864

Griffon du Bellay first reported the use of the iboga root as a stimulant and aphrodisiac in Gabon and the Congo.

1867

1867

Iboga was promoted to the public at the Paris Exposition. Afterward, tonics based on the whole plant extract became extremely popular in France and Belgium.

 

1880

1880

During a widespread shortage of wine in Italy, Dr. Batista Grassi wrote an enthusiastic paper recommending Amanita muscaria as an alternative.

1887

1887

Dried peyote buttons were distributed by Parke Davis & Co. Louis Lewin obtained them and began extracting, characterizing, and self-experimenting with them.

1889

1889

The genus Tabernanthe was established and the botanical description of Tabernanthe iboga was made by Henri Baillon at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

1894

1894

Peyote was classified as Lophophora williamsii.

1896: December

1896: December

Two early experience reports describing the effects of a peyote extract were published in The British Medical Journal

1897: November 23rd

1897: November 23rd

Arthur Heffter demonstrated that mescaline is the main psychedelic component in peyote by consuming 150 mg of mescaline hydrochloride. This is the first psychedelic experience with a purified compound.

1901

1901

Ibogaine was first isolated from Tabernanthe iboga by Jean Dybowsky.

In the Contes Rendu Societe Biologue, Cesaire Phisalix first described the visionary effects of ibogaine.

1902

1902

An early article on peyote titled “Mescal: A Study of a Divine Plant” was published in Popular Science.

 

1904: August

1904: August

American mycologist Franklin Sumner Earle was the first person to collect and identify Psilocybe cubensis in Cuba.

1906

1906

Stropharia cubensis was described by Franklin Earle in a Cuban agronomy journal.

1912

1912

MDMA was first synthesized by Anton Köllisch and patented by Merck Pharmaceuticals in Germany.

1914: September 18th

1914: September 18th

A firsthand experience report of ingesting psilocybin mushrooms was published in Science magazine.

1918

1918

James Mooney, a Smithsonian Institute archeologist who traveled through Oklahoma in 1891 participating in various peyote ceremonies, became convinced of the need to unite the Indians and protect their legal right to worship with peyote. He wrote the charter and incorporated the Native American Church.

1919

1919

Dr. Blas Reko published an article stating that teonanácatl was a hallucinogenic mushroom. His reports were ignored.

Mescaline was first synthesized by Ernst Spath.

1923

1923

A film of South American yage ceremonies was shown at the annual meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association.

1924

1924

Louis Lewin published Phantastica, a landmark book on psychopharmacology.

1927

1927

Chemists E. Perrot and M. Raymond-Hamet isolated the active agent from Banisteriopsis caapi and name it “telepathine” due to accounts that it induced telepathy in Amazonian tribes.

1929

1929

Shortly before his death, Louis Lewin published his monograph Banisteria Caapi.

1930

1930

Over a dozen states outlawed possession of peyote, largely as an anti-Native American statement.

1931

1931

DMT was first synthesized by British chemist Richard Manske and named “nigerine.”

1938

1938

Roberto J. Weitlaner’s daughter, Irmgard, along with anthropologist Jean Basset Johnson and two others were the first Caucasians to attend a mushroom ceremony in Huatla, Oaxaca.

Harvard botanist Richard E. Schultes and Blas Reko traveled to Oaxaca and obtained mushroom specimens of two different genera: Panaeolus sphinctrinus, and Stropharia cubensis. The specimens were housed in the Harvard herbarium.

During an expedition in Mexico, anthropologist Jean Johnson learned that the Mazatecs drank a “tea” for divination.  It was made from the beaten leaves of the “hierba Maria” plant, which was probably Salvia divinorum.

1938: November 16th

1938: November 16th

Dr. Albert Hofmann, working for Sandoz laboratories, synthesized LSD-25. He stated, “I had planned the synthesis of this compound with the intention of obtaining a circulatory and respiratory stimulant”. Colleagues showed no interest in it, so testing was discontinued.

1939

1939

Richard Evans Schultes published a paper describing teonanacatl as a specific psilocybin-containing mushroom.

1943: April 16th

1943: April 16th

“A peculiar presentiment – the feeling that this substance could possess properties other than those established in the first investigations – induced me, five years after the first synthesis, to produce LSD-25 once again so that a sample could be given to the pharmacological department for further tests.” Albert Hofmann accidentally absorbed a small amount of LSD. This was the first human experience with LSD-25.

1943: April 19th

1943: April 19th

Bicycle Day. Albert Hofmann took 250 μg of LSD. This was the first time a human intentionally used LSD.

1943: June 12th

1943: June 12th

Twenty-one-year-old Susi Ramstein was the first woman to take LSD. She initially took 100 μg and had a good experience. Susi was Hofmann’s lab assistant, and she accompanied him from Sandoz to his home via bicycle on the day that Hofmann took his first dose of LSD.

1945

1945

Blas Reko referred to a “magic plant” employed by the Cuicatec and Mazatec Indians to produce visions. It was known as the “hoja de adivinación” (leaf of prophecy). Although Reko couldn’t identify the plant, it was likely Salvia divinorum.

1945: October

1945: October

The US Navy Technical Mission reported that the Germans were conducting mescaline experiments on prisoners at the Nazi concentration camp in Dachau.

1947

1947

Sandoz Laboratories marketed LSD under the name Delysid as a psychiatric drug to be used for treating a wide variety of mental disorders.  Sandoz provided researchers with free supplies of LSD.  In its marketing literature, Sandoz suggested that psychiatrists take LSD to gain a better subjective understanding of the schizophrenic experience, and many did.

The first article on the mental effects of LSD was published by Werner Stoll in the Swiss Archives of Neurology.

The U.S. Navy initiated Project Chatter. At the Medical Research Institute in Bethesda Maryland, Dr. Charles Savage gave subjects mescaline to determine if it could be used as a truth serum.

1949

1949

Boston psychiatrist Max Rinkel obtained LSD from Sandoz and was the first person to bring it to the United States.  He conducted an LSD study with 100 volunteers at the Boston Psychopathic Institute.

Hungarian psychiatrist Nicholas Bercel commenced LSD research in Los Angeles.

1950

1950

Dr. Paul Hoch theorized that LSD was a “psychotomimetic: or “madness-mimicking” agent. Though his thesis was incorrect, it caused a sensation in scientific circles and accelerated the science of neurochemistry, leading to the discovery of neurotransmitters, specifically serotonin.

1950: August

1950: August

The first American article about LSD appeared in Diseases of the Nervous System, where it was suggested that LSD might be useful as an aid to psychotherapy.

1951

1951

Captain Al Hubbard first took LSD. He was the first person to emphasize LSD’s potential as a visionary or transcendental drug. He also pioneered the use of a comfortable treatment room that featured evocative pictures, flowers and music. His life’s mission was to introduce LSD to as many people as possible. He travelled with a leather case containing pharmaceutically pure LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. Over a 20 year period, Hubbard conducted LSD sessions at the Hollywood Hospital; with Dr. Abram Hoffer and Dr. Humphry Osmond; with Myron Stolaroff at the International Federation for Advanced Study and at the Stanford Research Institute. Ironically, Hubbard also worked for the Canadian Special Services, the U.S. Justice Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  He introduced more than 6,000 people to LSD, including scientists, politicians, intelligence officials, diplomats, and church figures. He was known as “Captain Trips” and the “Johnny Appleseed of LSD.”

1952

1952

Dr. Charles Savage published the first study of the use of LSD to treat depression.

Dr. Humphry Osmond and Dr. Abram Hoffer began treating alcoholics with LSD and mescaline at Weyburn Hospital in Saskatchewan, Canada. Treatment involved a single high dose of LSD as an adjunct to psychotherapy. They reported abstinence rates of 50%.

 

Anthropologist Roberto Weitlaner reported the use of “hierba de María” by the Mazatecs in the Oaxacan village of Jalapa de Díaz. The shaman prepared a leaf infusion, which the patient drank. Fifteen minutes after ingesting the potion, the patient would go into a semi-delirious trance and from his speech the shaman diagnosed and treated the ailment.

1953

1953

Dr. Ronald Sandison opened the first LSD clinic at Powick Hospital in England. His “psycholytic” treatment used low to medium doses of LSD over repeated sessions as an adjunct to psychoanalysis.

The CIA began operation MK-Ultra, in which unwitting subjects in the United States were given LSD.

To assess LSD’s use as a non-lethal incapacitant, the United States Army Chemical Corp Army began administering LSD to civilian volunteers and servicemen at Edgewood Arsenal , Fort Bragg, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Benning, Fort Leavenworth and Dugway Proving Ground.

William Burroughs visited the Amazon and drank ayahuasca.

Amateur mycologist R. Gordon Wasson visited Oaxaca Mexico and sat in on a mushroom ritual.

1953: May 6th

1953: May 6th

Aldous Huxley took 400 mg of mescaline under the supervision of Dr. Humphry Osmond. Huxley commented, “It was without question the most extraordinary and significant experience this side of the Beatific Vision.”

 

1954

1954

The Eli Lilly Company in Indianapolis began manufacturing LSD.

Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception was published. In it he described his experience with mescaline.

The first detailed description and specific identification of the genus Virola was published as well as its preparation and use among Colombian Indians. Virola contains DMT and 5-MeO-DMT.

In Los Angeles, psychiatrist Dr. Oscar Janiger administered LSD to patients to determine the subjective nature of the LSD experience. When his research concluded in 1962, he had administered LSD to approximately 900 patients.

1955

1955

The first conferences focusing on LSD and mescaline took place in Atlantic City and Princeton, N.J.

Under the supervision of Captain Al Hubbard, Aldous Huxley took LSD.

DMT and 5-MeO DMT were identified as the active chemicals in the Anadenanthera peregrina seeds used to make cohoba snuff. This marked the first time these chemicals were discovered occurring naturally in plants.

1955: June 29th

1955: June 29th

R. Gordon Wasson and Allan Richardson were the first two Americans to ingest mushrooms at a ritual. They did so under the supervision of Maria Sabina. The ritual and the mushrooms were popularized by Wassons’ book Mushrooms, Russia and History.

1956

1956

Dr. Stanislav Grof first took 250 μg of LSD.

R. Gordon Wasson invited French mycologist Roger Heim to Oaxaca to research the use of sacred mushrooms. He identified 14 species and several subspecies belonging to three genera, Psilocybe, Stropharia, and Conocybe. Many of these were new to mycology.

Stephen Szára injected DMT and became the first person to describe its psychedelic properties. His subsequent research publicized DMT’s properties to the rest of the world.

In a letter to Aldous Huxley, Dr. Humphry Osmond wrote, “To fathom hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.”  Thus, he coined the term “psychedelic”, meaning mind-manifesting. Previously, the drugs were erroneously called psychotomimetic or hallucinogenic.  Osmond and Abram Hoffer employed the term to describe their use of a single high dose of LSD as an adjunct to psychotherapy.

1957

1957

Mexican botanist Arturo Gómez Pompa collected specimens of a hallucinogenic Salvia plant he described as “xka [sic] Pastora”. He could not identify the sage at the species level.

The definitive description of the chemical structure of ibogaine was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

1957: May 13th

1957: May 13th

Life magazine published a story on Psilocybe mexicana written by R. Gordon and Valentina Wasson. The article was instrumental in popularizing psychedelics in America.

1958

1958

Albert Hofmann isolated and determined the structure of the two active agents in mushrooms. He named them psilocybin and psilocin.

Alan Watts was invited to test the mystical qualities of 100 µg of LSD-25 by Dr. Keith Ditman of the Neuropsychiatric Clinic at UCLA Medical School. Watts stated, Indeed, my first experiment with LSD-25 was not mystical.” Several months later in 1959, Watts tried LSD-25 again with Drs. Sterling Bunnell and Michael Agron of the Langley-Porter Clinic, in San Francisco. He reported, “In the course of two experiments I was amazed and somewhat embarrassed to find myself going through states of consciousness that corresponded precisely with every description of major mystical experiences that I had ever read.”

1959

1959

Allen Ginsberg took LSD at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California.

Produced by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, the First International Conference on LSD Therapy was held in Princeton, NJ.

Albert Hofmann published the synthesis of psilocybin.

In an interview with syndicated columnist Joe Hyams, Cary Grant extolled the wonders and benefits of LSD therapy. The interview was published in several popular magazines, creating a surge in demand for LSD therapy.

1960

1960

Sandoz Pharmaceutical began producing psilocybin pills. Each pill contained 2 mg of psilocybin.

Ken Kesey volunteered as an experimental subject at the Veterans Hospital in Menlo Park, where he was given LSD, mescaline, Ditran and AMT.

Arizona Judge Yale McFate ruled that Native Americans were guaranteed access to peyote under the First and Fourteenth amendments.

1960: April 2nd

1960: April 2nd

Alexander Shulgin ingested 400mg of mescaline sulfate for the first time. The experience “unquestionably confirmed the entire direction of my life”. He would go on to create over 200 new psychedelic compounds.

1960: August

1960: August

Dr. Timothy Leary ate magic mushrooms in Cuernavaca, Mexico. He stated, “It was above all and without question the deepest religious experience of my life.” During the same year he tried synthetic psilocybin and obtained some from Sandoz in order to experiment on prisoners in Concord State Prison, Massachusetts. Dr. Richard Alpert assisted him.

Dr. Timothy Leary, Dr. Ralph Metzner and Dr. Richard Alpert started the Harvard Psilocybin Project. They gave psilocybin to graduate students and many volunteers including Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Aldous Huxley.

1960 – 1967

1960 – 1967

Stan Grof was the Principal Investigator in a psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He conducted over 4000 LSD therapy sessions.

1961

1961

In Tangiers, William Burroughs took mescaline under Timothy Leary’s supervision. Burrough’s stated, “No good, no bueno.”

Timothy Leary tried LSD that was given to him by Michael Hollingshead. Leary described the trip as “the most shattering experience of my life”.

Dr. Ralph Metzner and Dr. Richard Alpert tried LSD for the first time. LSD became part of Leary’s, Alpert’s and Metzner’s research repertoire at Harvard.

Electrical engineers Myron Stolaroff, and Willis Harman formed the International Foundation for Advanced Study in Menlo Park, California. The foundation’s mission was to explore the potential of LSD to enhance human personality and creativity in healthy people. 350 people experienced guided LSD sessions before the foundation closed in 1966.

1961: July 12th

1961: July 12th

R. Gordon Wasson drank tea made from the juice of 34 pairs of “ska Pastora” leaves. He noted that the effects came on much faster than mushrooms, but they lasted a much shorter time. He reported seeing only, “dancing colors in elaborate, three-dimensional designs.”

1962

1962

In an expedition organized by R. Gordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann visited Maria Sabina with a bottle of psilocybin pills synthesized by Sandoz (under brand name Indocybin). Maria tried them and was pleased that she could now experience the effects even when mushrooms were not available.

Congress passed new drug safety regulations and the FDA designated LSD as an experimental drug and restricted research. Sandoz restricted LSD sales. Underground chemists began producing LSD.

1962: June

1962: June

Sterling Bunnel brought the first live Salvia plants to the United States from Huautla de Jiménez. Cuttings from this sample were widely propagated and disseminated.

1962: October 9th

1962: October 9th

R. Gordon Wasson and Anita Hofmann, wife of Albert Hofmann, drank juice of Salvia leaves. Mrs. Hofmann “saw striking, brightly bordered images.”  Two days later, Albert Hofmann tried the leaves and found himself  “in a state of mental sensitivity and intense experience, which, however, was not accompanied by hallucinations.”

1962: December

1962: December

Wasson and Hofmann collected flowering samples of Salvia for identification. Carl Epling and colleagues identified it as a novel species and gave it the name Salvia divinorum.

1962 – 1963

1962 – 1963

Howard Lotsof conducted experiments on ibogaine’s use in the treatment of cocaine and heroin addiction.

1963

1963

LSD first appeared on the streets as sugar cubes.

Articles about LSD appeared in Look and The Saturday Evening Post.

1963: May

1963: May

Timothy Leary was fired from Harvard for leaving Cambridge and his classes without permission or notice. Richard Alpert was fired from Harvard for giving psilocybin to an undergraduate.

Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner created the International Foundation for Internal Freedom and set up offices in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. Later that summer, IFIF moved its headquarters to Zihuatanejo, Mexico. They were kicked out of Mexico six weeks later.

Leary, Alpert, Metzner and their associates rented a mansion in Millbrook, New York from Billy Hitchcock. IFIF disbanded and the group formed the Castalia Foundation.

1963: November 22nd

1963: November 22nd

Aldous Huxley was dying of cancer. He wrote a note to his wife Laura, asking her to inject him with 100 μg of LSD. She did. Several hours later, he died serenely.

1964

1964

Ken Kesey bought a bus, named it “Further”, and travelled across the country with the Merry Pranksters. The Pranksters visited Leary’s group at Millbrook but received a cool, disappointing reception from the members.

DOM was first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin.

Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert’s The Psychedelic Experience (based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead) was published. They defined and emphasized the importance of “set” and “setting.”

1964: April

1964: April

Owsley Stanley took LSD for the first time.

1965

1965

The first published analysis of the venom of the Sonoran Desert toad (Bufo alvarius) appeared in Experientia. Up to 15% of the venom consists of 5-MeO-DMT.

1965: February

1965: February

Owsley Stanley set up his first LSD lab in Berkeley. His product soon hit the streets of San Francisco.

1965: February 21st

1965: February 21st

Owsley’s lab was raided and his equipment was confiscated. The police were looking for methedrine or LSD, but found only precursors. Owsley beat the charges and successfully sued for the return of his equipment.

1965: March

1965: March

Owsley moved to Los Angeles and set up a new lab.

1965: May

1965: May

Owsley produced 300,000 hits of LSD (250 μg each).

1965: August

1965: August

Ken Kesey invited the Hell’s Angels to La Honda, California.  They met the Merry Pranksters, tried LSD and partied peacefully for two days.

Ken Kesey created the “Acid Test” events to popularize LSD.

Dr. Alexander Shulgin synthesized MDMA.

1966

1966

DMT became a Schedule I drug.

The complete synthesis of ibogaine was published by Professor George Buchi.

1966: January

1966: January

Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters conducted the Trips Festival in San Francisco.

1966: March 25th

1966: March 25th

Life published a cover article on LSD. “LSD: The Exploding Threat of the Mind Drug that Got Out of Control”.

1966: April

1966: April

Sandoz Pharmaceutical recalled the LSD it had previously distributed and withdrew its sponsorship for work with LSD.

1966: April 16th

1966: April 16th

G. Gordon Liddy raided the Millbrook colony.

1966: September 19th

1966: September 19th

Timothy Leary founded the League for Spiritual Discovery, a religion declaring LSD as its holy sacrament.

 

1966: October 6th

1966: October 6th

LSD became illegal in California.

1966: October 16th

1966: October 16th

The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, founded by John Griggs and Michael Randall, was established as a tax-exempt religious entity, with LSD as its sacrament. The group’s mission was to turn the world on to the benefits of LSD. For the remainder of the ‘60s and early 70s, with their chemists Tim Scully and Nick Sand, the Brotherhood was the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of LSD.

1966: Spring

1966: Spring

Owsley set up a lab in Point Richmond, CA and Tim Scully became his apprentice. The lab produced more than 300,000 tablets (250 μg each) of LSD, dubbed “White Lightning”.

1967: January 14th

1967: January 14th

The first Human Be-in occurred in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Timothy Leary exhorted the crowd to “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”

1967

1967

Tim Scully set up a lab in Denver. Scully made the LSD while Owsley put the product into tablets in Orinda, California. They produced “Blue Cheer” and “Monterey Purple” LSD and DOM (STP). The lab was raided by police who confiscated 350,000 doses of LSD and 1,500 doses of DOM. Owsley was tried and found guilty. Owsley’s total production of LSD has been estimated to be 4,000,000 doses.

DOM (STP) first appeared on the streets of San Francisco. It came in 20mg tablets, four times more potent than Shulgin’s recommended dosage. 5000 doses were given away at the Human Be-In. Hundreds of people experienced extreme trips lasting up to three days, with many ending up in the hospital.

Carlos Castaneda’s The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge was published.

The Millbrook commune disbands.

Richard Alpert traveled to India where he met the spiritual teacher, Neem Karoli Baba. Under his guru’s guidance, he studied yoga and meditation and received the name Ram Dass, or “servant of God.”

A more comprehensive study of the Sonoran Desert toad and 5-MeO-DMT appeared in Biochemical Pharmacology.

In San Francisco, it was The Summer of Love.

1968

1968

Tim Scully set up a second LSD lab in Denver.

R. Gordon Wasson’s Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality was published. He contended that Soma was Amanita muscaria.

Timothy Leary’s High Priest was published.

Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test was published.

Holmstedt, Lindgren and Agurell hypothesized that the effects of ayahuasca are caused by a combination of a naturally occurring monoamine oxidase inhibitor and DMT.

1968: Oct 24th

1968: Oct 24th

Possession of ibogaine was banned in the U.S.

1969

1969

Tim Scully set up an LSD lab in Windsor, CA and began production. Nick Sand assisted him and learned the production process. They produced 3.6 million doses (330 μg each) of Orange Sunshine, the most popular brand of LSD of all time.

The mysterious Ronald Stark visited the Brotherhood at their Idylwood ranch. He presented them with a kilo of pure LSD. He said that he ran a large French LSD lab, with his British chemist Richard Kemp. He asked the Brothers to distribute his product. He also offered to provide them with the precursors needed for their own manufacturing. The Brothers partnered with him. Soon, Stark would become their banker and money manager and he would oversee the production aspect of their LSD operation.

1970

1970

Owsley was imprisoned from 1970 to 1972.

Timothy Leary was convicted of marijuana possession and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Ronald Stark and Richard Kemp set up an elaborate network for distributing their product. During the mid-70s, Stark and Kemp succeeded the Brotherhood of Eternal Love as the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of LSD.

Blotter LSD hit the streets.

Leonard Eros’s A Key to the North American Psilocybin Mushroom was published, instructing laypersons how to obtain psilocybin mushrooms in nature.

1970: June

1970: June

Windowpane acid was first reported in the U.S. by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

1970: August

1970: August

The first case report of recreational MDMA use was published.

1970: September

1970: September

Timothy Leary escaped from prison by climbing along a telephone wire over the wall. The Brotherhood of Eternal Love paid the Weathermen $25,000 to pick up Leary and help him travel to Algeria.

1970: October 27th

1970: October 27th

LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, peyote, cannabis and MDA became Schedule I drugs.

1971

1971

Terence McKenna first tried psilocybin mushrooms.

DMT became a Schedule I drug.

Ram Dass’s Be Here Now was published.

Dr. Ralph Metzner’s Maps of Consciousness was published.

Ronald Stark shut down his French LSD lab. Several months later, he opened a lab in Brussels.

1971: September 3rd

1971: September 3rd

Albert Hofmann and Timothy Leary met in Lausanne, Switzerland.

1972

1972

Several members of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love were convicted of distributing LSD and the group essentially disbanded. But the major players eluded arrest and went underground.

Julius Axelrod of the National Institutes of Health discovered that DMT occurs naturally in human brain tissue.

Ronald Stark and Richard Kemp parted ways. Kemp set up a lab in England and began manufacturing LSD.

1972: November

1972: November

Authorities raided Ronald Stark’s LSD lab in Brussels. Stark was not apprehended. It has been estimated that between 1969 and 1972, Stark produced twenty kilos of LSD. That would be the largest amount of LSD ever produced by one underground individual.

1973

1973

Timothy Leary was arrested by DEA agents in Afghanistan and returned to prison in California.

1973: September 21st

1973: September 21st

DOM became a Schedule I drug.

1974

1974

2C-B was first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin.

Tim Scully was convicted of running the Windsor lab and received a 20 year sentence.

Nick Sand was convicted of running the Windsor lab and was sentenced to 15 years, but he jumped bail and relocated to Canada, where he set up a new lab.

1975

1975

Jonathan Ott and Jose Luis Diaz observed people smoking dried Salvia divinorum leaves in Mexico City. This was the first report of the leaves being smoked.

The first specimens of Stropharia cubensis appeared on the streets.

Stan Grof’s Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research was published.

1975: February

1975: February

Italian police arrested and incarcerated Ronald Stark for possession of 4600 kilos of marijuana, morphine and cocaine.

1975: June 25th

1975: June 25th

Alexander Shulgin first ingested 2C-B and described it as “beautifully active”.

1976

1976

Alexander Shulgin first took MDMA. He developed a new synthesis method and introduced the chemical to Leo Zeff, a psychologist from Oakland, California. Zeff used the substance in his practice in small doses as an aid to psychotherapy. Zeff introduced the substance to hundreds of psychologists and lay therapists around the nation.

Terence and Dennis McKenna’s The Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide was published. They suggested the extraterrestrial origin of Stropharia cubensis.

1976: April 21st

1976: April 21st

Timothy Leary was released from prison.

1977

1977

MDMA appeared on the streets.

Tim Scully was incarcerated from 1977 – 1980.

An investigation called Operation Julie resulted in the arrest of Richard Kemp and 120 members of his network. Six million doses of LSD were seized in the raid. All of the LSD later disappeared, prompting speculation that the police may have sold it. Kemp was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Sixteen members of his network also received prison terms.

1978

1978

Alexander Shulgin and David Nichols published the first report on the subjective effects of MDMA in human subjects in The Psychopharmacology of Hallucinogens.

1979

1979

Albert Hofmann’s LSD: My Problem Child was published.

Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hofmann’s Plants of the Gods was published.

1979: April

1979: April

Ronald Stark was released from Italian prison and promptly disappeared.

1980

1980

Stanislav Grof’s LSD Psychotherapy was published.

1982

1982

Ronald Stark was arrested and incarcerated in Holland for trafficking hash, cocaine and heroin.

In the Journal of the Chemical Society, Ortega, Blount and Manchand published a paper describing their isolation of a novel compound from Salvia divinorum, which they called salvinorin.

1982: August 31st

1982: August 31st

Captain Al Hubbard died.

1983

1983

Ronald Stark was deported to the United States. He spent a few months in a San Francisco jail until charges against him were dropped.

1984

1984

Albert Most’s Bufo Alvarius, the Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert was published. It provided detailed instructions for collecting and drying the venom for smoking.

In the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Valdes, Butler and Hatfield identified two Salvia divinorum derivatives which they called divinorin A and B. Divinorin A was found to be identical to Ortega’s salvinorin, so the compounds were re-named salvinorin A and B.

1984: December

1984: December

Ronald Stark died.

1985

1985

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Howard Lotsof a patent for using ibogaine as an ultra-rapid opioid detox.

Acid Dreams by Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain was published.

1986

1986

Rick Doblin founded the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). It continues to support and conduct pioneering research demonstrating the safety and enhanced benefits of LSD, psilocybin and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.

1987

1987

Jay Steven’s Storming Heaven was published.

1988: March 23rd

1988: March 23rd

MDMA became a Schedule I drug.

1988: December

1988: December

Federal agents raided William Pickard’s lab in Mountain View, California and seized 200,000 doses of LSD. He was found guilty of manufacturing LSD and served five years in prison.

1990

1990

Dr. Rick Strassman began five years of DEA-approved clinical research at the University of New Mexico, where he administered DMT to 60 volunteers.

 

1991

1991

Alexander and Ann Shulgin’s Pihkal was published.

1992

1992

Terence McKenna’s Food of the Gods was published.

1993

1993

David Nichols, a chemist and pharmacologist launched the Heffter Research Institute, which continues to support and fund psychedelic research.

1994: October 27th

1994: October 27th

The DEA raided Alexander Shulgin’s laboratory. They revoked his license to work with Schedule I drugs. Shulgin was fined $25,000, which was eventually paid by public donations.

1995

1995

1995: Paul Stamets published the first description of Psilocybe azurescens, the largest and most potent Psilocybe mushroom. A group of Boy Scouts first discovered the species in 1979 near Astoria, Oregon.

 

1995: June 2nd

1995: June 2nd

2C-B became a Schedule I drug.

1995: October

1995: October

The Erowid on-line psychoactive archive was founded by Earth and Fire Erowid.

1996

1996

Nick Sand was arrested in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. His lab produced assorted psychedelics and he had 43 grams of LSD, enough for 143,333 doses (300 μg each) on site. Sand was incarcerated from 1996 through late 2000.

1996: May 31st

1996: May 31st

Timothy Leary died.

1997

1997

Alexander and Ann Shulgin’s Tihkal was published.

1997: September - 1999: August

1997: September - 1999: August

William Pickard operated an LSD lab in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He produced a kilogram of LSD (10 million doses) every five weeks.

1998

1998

In the UK, Amanda Fielding created the Beckley Foundation.  Its mission is to pioneer psychedelic research and advocate for evidence-based drug policy reform.

Swiss neuroscientist Franz Vollenweider demonstrated that LSD and psilocybin affect the brain by binding with the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor.

1999

1999

Dr. Roland Griffiths initiated a research program at Johns Hopkins University investigating the effects of psilocybin. His research includes studies of psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers; psilocybin-facilitated treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients; psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation; and psilocybin effects on religious leaders.

1999: June

1999: June

In the journal Synthesis, David Nichols published an improved method for synthesizing psilocybin.

2000: April 3rd

2000: April 3rd

Terence McKenna died.

2000: October

2000: October

Gordon Skinner, an associate of William Pickard and Clyde Apperson, moved their LSD lab to his Atlas-E missile silo near Wamego, Kansas without their knowledge. Skinner was a DEA informant. He took DEA agents inside the silo and they found an LSD lab packed in storage boxes. When Pickard and Apperson learned that Skinner had transferred the lab to the silo, they began to move it.

2000: November 6th

2000: November 6th

Pickard and Apperson were moving the lab when they were stopped by the Kansas Highway Patrol. Their vehicles were searched, revealing lab equipment and ergotamine tartrate. Later, the DEA busted the lab and reportedly found 91 pounds of LSD and over 200 pounds of precursors. It is likely that these figures were exaggerated. The DEA claimed that this was the largest LSD lab seizure ever made.

2001

2001

Dr. Rick Strassman’s DMT: The Spirit Molecule was published.

2001: January 16th

2001: January 16th

Dr. Marcus Raichle, a professor at Washington University in St Louis, first described the brain’s Default Mode Network in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

2002

2002

Possession and sale of psilocybin mushrooms became legal in the U.K.

Casey Hardison moved to Brighton, England and began manufacturing LSD, 2C-B and DMT.

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Roth, Baner and Westkaemper revealed that salvinorin A is a highly selective kappa-opioid agonist.

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2003: March

2003: March

William Pickard and Clyde Apperson were found guilty of one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute more than 10 grams of LSD and one count of possession with the intent to distribute more than 10 grams of LSD. Pickard was sentenced to two life sentences without parole and Clyde Apperson was sentenced to 30 years without parole.

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2003: July

2003: July

Casey Hardison mailed packages containing MDMA to the United States. The packages were opened in a routine inspection by postal workers. The British authorities began monitoring him.

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2004

2004

The documentary Ibogaine: Rite of Passage was released.

Other Worlds, a documentary exploring ayahuasca shamanism, was released.

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2004: February

2004: February

Casey Hardison was arrested. Police raided his house and found a lab, a refrigerator full of precursors and 145,000 doses of LSD. He was charged with three counts of drug production, two counts of possession, and one of exportation.

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2005: March 18th

2005: March 18th

Casey Hardison was found guilty of three counts of producing psychedelic drugs, one count of possessing 145,000 doses of LSD, one count of possession, and one count of smuggling drugs to the USA.

2005: April 22nd

2005: April 22nd

Casey Hardison was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

2005: July 18th

2005: July 18th

Psilocybin mushrooms became illegal in the U.K.

2006

2006

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the UDV, a Christian religious group that uses ayahuasca as its sacrament, could import the drink to the United States.

Dr. Roland Griffith’s landmark paper, “Psilocybin Can Occasion Mystical-Type Experiences Having Substantial and Sustained Personal Meaning and Spiritual Significance” was published in Psychopharmacology.

 

2006: May

2006: May

Survey results published in Neurology showed that psilocybin mushrooms and LSD may reduce the severity and frequency of cluster headaches.

2007

2007

The documentary Entheogen was released.

2008: April 29th

2008: April 29th

Albert Hofmann died.

2009

2009

At Imperial College in London, Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris founded the Psychedelic Research Group. The group’s ongoing research focuses on the action of psychedelic drugs in the brain, and the utility of using psychedelic drugs as aids to psychotherapy.

Manifesting the Mind, a documentary examining psychedelics and shamanism, was released.

The documentary Metamorphosis: The Ayahausca Ceremony of the Amazon was released.

2010

2010

Dirty Pictures, a documentary exploring the life and work of chemist Alexander Shulgin, was released.

The documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule was released.

2011

2011

Nicholas Schou’s Orange Sunshine was published.

Hamilton Morris’s Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia series premiered on television.

The documentary The Substance: Albert Hofmann’s LSD was released.

2011: January

2011: January

The results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation examining the safety and efficacy of psilocybin as a treatment for advanced-cancer anxiety were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Dr. Charles Grob led the research at Harbor- UCLA Medical Center. Twelve subjects tolerated the experimental treatment without adverse effects. A single dose of psilocybin led to sustained improvement in mood and outlook for up to six months.

2011: March 12th

2011: March 12th

Owsley Stanley died.

2011: April

2011: April

Promising results of the first randomized controlled pilot study to test the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. 

2012

2012

MAPS initiated the Zendo Project. It is a psychedelic harm reduction service that provides peer support and specialized care for people who are having challenging psychedelic experiences at international festivals and events. Volunteers de-escalate difficult situations, preventing unnecessary psychiatric hospitalizations, arrests, and trauma. Since its founding, it has assisted over 4,000 people.

2013

2013

Rhoney Gissen Stanley and Tom Davis’s Owsley and Me was published.

The documentary Aya: Awakenings was released.

The documentary Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Medicines was released.

2013: May 29th

2013: May 29th

After serving nine years of his sentence, the United Kingdom released Casey Hardison from prison and deported him to the U.S.

2014: March

2014: March

In Switzerland, Dr. Peter Gasser conducted a government-approved study of the effects of LSD (200 μg) on patients with life-threatening illnesses and anxiety disorder. The researchers found a reduction in anxiety from the LSD therapy sessions.

2014: June 2nd

2014: June 2nd

Alexander Shulgin died.

2014: October 29th

2014: October 29th

Using a scanning technique that displays the electrical activity in the brain, Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris and his team at Imperial College produced a map of the brain’s internal communications. During normal consciousness (left), the brain’s various networks communicate primarily with themselves, with little communication across networks. Under the influence of psilocybin (right), thousands of new connections form across networks, resulting in a more integrated brain.

2015

2015

The documentary A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin was released.

2016

2016

The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco became the first graduate school to provide training leading to a certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research.

The documentary of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, Orange Sunshine, was released.

Robert Greenfield’s Bear was published.

2016: April

2016: April

The first images of the human brain on LSD were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris led the Buckley/Imperial Research Programme.  The results indicated that LSD suppresses the Default Mode Network, causing a dramatic increase in communication between brain networks that are normally segregated.  Under favorable conditions, this can lead to ego dissolution.

2016: December

2016: December

The results of research on the efficacy of psilocybin as a treatment for advanced-cancer anxiety and depression were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.  Dr. Stephen Ross led the research at NYU Langone Medical Center. The study showed that one-time treatment with psilocybin quickly brought relief from anxiety and depression that lasted for more than 6 months in 80% of the 29 study subjects monitored.

 

 

2017

2017

The Sunshine Makers, a documentary about LSD chemists Tim Scully and Nick Sand was released.

2017: April 24th

2017: April 24th

Nick Sand died.

2017: August

2017: August

Research being conducted by MAPS on MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD was granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA. The FDA approved the MAPS protocol for Phase 3 clinical trials.

2018

2018

Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind was published.

2018: June

2018: June

The journal Psychological Medicine published the results of the first randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study of ayahuasca to treat depression. At Brazil’s Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, 29 patients drank either ayahuasca or a placebo. One day after treatment, significant decreases in depression and anxiety were reported by 50% of all patients. One week later, 64% of the patients who drank ayahuasca still reported a decrease in depression. Only 27% of the patients in the placebo group reported decreased depression.

2018: June 12th

2018: June 12th

The results of research led by Dr. David Olsen at the University of California, Davis were published in Cell Reports. LSD and DMT applied to the neuronal tissue of flies and rats increased the number of dendrites, the density of dendritic spines, and the number of synapses.  These structural changes suggest that psychedelics may be capable of repairing the circuits that are malfunctioning in people with mood and anxiety disorders.

Timeline created by Tom Frame, MFT tomframe1@comcast.net