Top 10 Famous LSD Users

Lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LSD, is a drug known for its psychedelic effects. It was first synthesized in the twentieth century and was soon used in psychiatric experiments to test potential for therapeutic use. The 1960s saw LSD, or "acid," become used for recreational purposes and this eventually led to the hallucinogen being declared illegal. Regardless, there are many people who claim that using LSD had an impact on them. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 people whose lives were affected by LSD.
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Prepare to expand your mind, man. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 people whose lives were affected by LSD.

#10 – Timothy Leary


After being exposed to the mind-opening properties of certain mushrooms, Timothy Leary became interested in the comparable effects produced by LSD. The American psychologist then undertook numerous experiments with the drug to demonstrate its potential for therapeutic use. Many of his subjects spoke positively of the experiences, though researchers later disputed some results.

#9 – Dock Ellis


On June 12th, 1970, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis played an entire game against the San Diego Padres while high on acid, and threw a no-hitter to boot. He ingested LSD without realizing he was playing that night, and through his haze he managed to strike out six batters. Meanwhile, he thought the ball was changing sizes, and that Jimi Hendrix and Richard Nixon were playing with him.

#8 – Jack Nicholson


Jack Nicholson may have acid to thank for helping his Hollywood career take off. During the 1950s, the actor participated in LSD experiments conducted by Dr. Oscar Janiger. These eye-opening experiences inspired him to write the screenplay for “The Trip,” which was an LSD-themed movie that became a cult hit and paved the way for his later success.

#7 – Ken Kesey


Before writing his acclaimed novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Ken Kesey experienced the effects of LSD in both professional and private settings: he took various psychoactive drugs as a test subject in the CIA’s Project MKULTRA, and had access to hallucinogens while working at a state veterans hospital. These experiments inspired his 1962 novel and led Kesey to organize LSD-fuelled parties known as “Acid Tests.”

#6 – Hunter S. Thompson


When this American writer and journalist wrote about himself in his work, he often mixed real life with make-believe. This was the case with his most famous work: the drug-filled “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” It therefore shouldn’t be a surprise that Thompson used alcohol, LSD and other chemical substances during his lifetime.

#5 – Aldous Huxley


The man behind the dystopian novel “Brave New World” was an avid proponent of LSD and psychedelic drugs during the ‘40s and ‘50s. The British writer even documented the mind-altering effects of mescaline in his book “The Doors of Perception.” However, it was perhaps Aldous Huxley’s last request that really demonstrated the importance of these drugs in his life: while dying of cancer, he asked his wife to inject him with LSD.

#4 – The Beatles


The Beatles were certainly not the only band to experiment with drugs, but they were definitely one of the biggest and most popular to do so. The group may have gotten their first taste of LSD by accident, but that fateful moment turned several members into acid users thereafter. It was years later that Paul McCartney finally validated longstanding speculation about the tracks “Day Tripper” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by confirming they were about drugs. Other notable musicians associated with LSD included The Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix.

#3 – Kary Mullis


If it weren’t for LSD, Kary Mullis may never have won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1993. In his autobiography, the American biochemist confessed it was his drug of choice during the ‘60s and ‘70s. He further revealed that these experiences helped him develop the technology for which he won the award, which was used to amplify DNA sequences.

#2 – Steve Jobs


It may be surprising to some, but the late co-founder of one of world’s most successful companies claimed that taking LSD was one of the most important experiences of his life. Steve Jobs called his experiments with acid during the 1970s a magical and spiritual time; however, he also asserted they made him feel like an outcast. Ultimately, Jobs believed his drug-use indelibly changed the type of leader he became.

#1 – Dr. Albert Hofmann


You wouldn’t expect a straight-laced scientist to be a closet drug user, but it was actually a Swiss chemist who first experienced the psychedelic qualities of LSD. Dr. Albert Hofmann synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide in 1938 and deliberately ingested it five years later on April 19th, 1943. His faculties were so affected by this LSD trip that he had to be taken home on a bike by his lab assistant, and that date is now celebrated as Bicycle Day.
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