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A historical timeline of the relationship between psychedelics and humans
22nd June 2016

Updated 3rd of March 2019 with added events from the 50s-60s

This was an attempt to make a really comprehensive timeline of psychedelic/"hallucinogenic" drugs; although there are certainly known events that are still missing.

In order to give a view of the context of the times, we also added events not directly related to psychedelic drugs. These are highlighted.

Note: Because this file is large, it sometimes won't completely load the first time. To check if it has completely loaded, it must end with a list of references at the bottom of the page.

Copyright © 2012-2019

If you want to reuse, please ask us for permission.

Era Event Source
13.8 billion years ago Big Bang takes place (the Universe appears) The Universe: A Biography
~4,600 MYA Earth’s origin Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
3,800 MYA Earliest traces of life Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
3,500 MYA Earliest evidence (fossils) of cells (prokaryotic). Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
2,200 MYA Earliest evidence (fossils) of eukaryotic cells. Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
543 - 510 MYA Radiation of most modern animal phyla (the Cambrian explosion). Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
510 - 439 MYA Plants and arthropods colonize land. Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
439 - 363 MYA Fishes diversify. Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
363 - 290 MYA Origin of seed plants, vascular plants colonize forests, origin of reptiles, amphibians dominate. Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
290 - 245 MYA Reptiles radiate, mammal-like reptiles originate,most modern insects originate, Many marine and terrestrial organisms become extinct – (Permian mass extinction). Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
245 - 206 MYA Dinosaurs radiate. Cone-bearing plants dominate landscape. Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
144 - 65 MYA Cretaceous extinctions; many organisms including dinosaurs become extinct. Flowering plants appear. Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
144 - 65 MYA Mammals, birds and pollinating insects radiate. Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
35 - 23 MYA Primates, including apes, originate. Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.487
2.5 – 1.6 MYA Genus Homo (the first real humanoid apes) appears with the species Homo habilis. Biology, Campbell & Reece, p.712
200,000 - 100,000 years ago Apes transform into Homo sapiens - according to the cited source, this takes place after the introduction of psychedelics in their diets. They first appear in Africa, from where they begin migrating and gradually spreading throughout the Earth (the “Out of Africa” hypothesis). Food of the Gods
~60,000 BCE Evidence of shamanism from Iraq: in the Shanidar cave, a Neanderthal culture seems to have had specialized knowledge of medicinal plants and to have incorporated them in the burial of a shaman leader. Mushrooms, Myth and Mithras
~60,000 – 40,000 BCE Pituri chewed by Australian aborigines. Custom continues today and according to the cited source, this makes it the longest continuous use of a psychoactive. Plants of the Gods, p.182
15,000 BC According to this source, the “First Drug Revolution” (as opposed to what this source calls the “New Drug Revolution” supposed to have taken place in the 60's) took place: Cannabis and its cultivation and its recreational use, originated in Asia by shamans. After this, other psychedelic drugs were also discovered in Asia, and the information about them quickly spread west and south to Europe and Africa, and up to Siberia and down through North and South America. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.158
Bones of zebu cattle together with bones of humans from 15,000 BC were found in Non Nak Tha (Thailand) were psilocybin mushrooms grow, suggesting ancient use (p.39). Also found in same place in graves plant material that were repeatedly burned, suggesting them as chelums for hashish smoking (p.151). Food of the Gods, p.39 and p.151
12,000 BC In Tassili-n-Ajjer Plateau of this time there exists a society based on the religion of the Mother Goddess-cattle-mushroom trinity. Probably also the basis of the Eden myth. Drought caused by the Saharan sun caused the people's “casting out of Eden”. Food of the Gods
10,000 BC After Tassili, the tradition of the Great Goddess-cattle-mushroom trinity can next be traced in Palestine of this time with the Natufian culture. Food of the Gods
~ 9000 BC First agricultural revolution, taking place in Fertile Crescent (Western Asia). The theory of how it begun is: A wild barley (which was the first domesticated crop) called ariya was 100% contaminated with the ergot Claviceps purpurea. This caused euphoria to certain people who had taken it which begun to find no value in hunting/gathering and so developed new systems for surviving: land grubbing, which was the first form of agriculture. True Mutations, p.142 (date from Wikipedia)
9000 - 8000 BC As the radiocarbon laboratory of the Smithsonian Institution has “confirmed”, mescal bean (the seed of Sophora secundiflora) was already known and employed by Paleo-Indians by this time. Hallucinogens and Culture, p.9
8440 – 8120 BC The rock-shelter site called Bonfire Shelter yielded Sophora secundiflora seeds from its lowest occupational stratum known as Bone Bed II. Hallucinogens and Culture, p.9
~8000 BC First archaeological evidence of cannabis use (according to this source). They come from Taiwan and show twisted strands of hemp being used in the making of patterns on clay pots. Psychedelics Encyclopedia
7265 ± 85 BC At Frightful Cave (Mexico), artifacts of Sophora secundiflora have been found, dating back to this period. Hallucinogens and Culture, p.9
7000 BC Catal Huyuk culture, which is where the Great Goddess-cattle-mushroom trinity can next be traced after the Natufian culture, reaches its peak. Food of the Gods
7000 BC – 1000 AD At Fate Bell Shelter in the Amistad Reservoir area of Trans-Pecos Texas (a region rich in ancient shamanistic rock paintings) the seeds of S. secundiflora and U. speciosa were found in every level of this duration. Hallucinogens and Culture, p.9
6000 BC From the steppes north of the Black Sea, the Indo-Europeans begin their first extensive colonization of nearby places moving east, west and south. On Anatolian and probably Iranian plateaus they meet Great Goddess-cattle-mushroom cultures and even though they suppress Goddess worship and replace partnership with patriarchy, they get in contact with psilocybin mushrooms and are awed by them. They call this drug Soma and write about it in the Vedas. The invasion of Catal by the Indo-Europeans in combination to a series of disastrous fires that took place around 6,500 BC forced the Mother Goddess-worshippers to leave Catal, migrating to nearby places (one of them being Crete). Food of the Gods
6000 BC The opium poppy was domesticated in the west Mediterranean region. The archaic use of hallucinogens in Europe: an archaeology of altered states
5000 BC Amanita muscaria discovered and used by shamans. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.158
~4200 BC Discovery of globular grass bags from this age containing opium capsules at a multiple burial site in southern Spain highlights opium's role in indigenous ritual life. The archaic use of hallucinogens in Europe: an archaeology of altered states
~ 4045 - 3960 BC At Shumla Caves in the Lower Pecos region of southwest Texas peyote was preserved from excavations dating to this age. Lower Pecos and Coahuila peyote: new radiocarbon dates
~4000 BC Linguistic evidence suggests that Amanita muscaria's effects were known to Siberians of this time. Pharmacotheon, p.340 and p.348
~4000 BC Hemp textiles from China date back to this period. Pharmacotheon, p.386
4000 BC Alcohol use originated in Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean. The archaic use of hallucinogens in Europe: an archaeology of altered states
4000-3000 BC Original ideas of Christianity formed, according to John Allegro. The original ideas would only be written a few years later, around 1000 BC, and these writings formed the first composition of the Old Testament. (Christianity begun as a fertility cult that used fly agaric as sacrament). The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross (date calculated from the stuff the text says)
3500 BC Frescoes of mushroom-holding dancing shamans with cattle painted on rock surfaces of the Tassili plateau. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73
~3000 BC – 2500 BC According to this source, ritualistic/shamanic use of Cebíl in NW Argentina by shamans of the Wichi (Mataco Indians) dates back to this time and still continues today, making it the longest uninterrupted use of psychoactive. Plants of the Gods, p.121-122
3000 BC In China, Ephedra sinica was used as a stimulant and to improve visual acuity. It was there at birth of written language and may have influenced its development. True Mutations, p.142
3000 BC Murals by Chumash Indians dating back to this time seem to represent the ritual use of Datura spp. Pharmacotheon
Late 3000 BC Our first medical text is a Sumerian tablet from this time. It lists “remedies made from milk, snake-skin, tortoiseshell, salt, and saltpetre, and from plants and trees like cassia, myrtle, asafoetida, thyme, willow, pear, fir, fig, and date.” The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
~2700 - 2800 BC Chinese tradition holds that hemp cultivation began when the emperor Shen-Nung taught the cultivation of hemp for fibre. Food of the Gods
2737 BC: The Chinese Emperor describes cannabis in a medical book (first report in a medical book ever), but others believe this “Emperor” was imaginary. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.123
Shen Nung recommends Cannabis for malaria, beri-beri, constipation, rheumatic pains, absent-mindedness, female disorders. Plants of the Gods, p.95
~2700 “Clear mention of the psychotropic properties of cannabis”. Also, the reference attributed to this emperor and called “Pen Ts'ao Ching” was compiled in the first century. AD. Pharmacotheon, p.386
2613 – 2494 BC Fourth Dynasty of Egypt. Archaeological evidence from this era suggests plants such as Mandragora officinarum and Nymphaea nouchali were possibly used in shamanistic healing practices. Sacred Plants and the Gnostic Church
2500 BC Soma-using Aryans enter India. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73
2500 BC Alcohol use reaches the shores of the Atlantic. The archaic use of hallucinogens in Europe: an archaeology of altered states
Late 3rd millenium BCE A brazier containing charred hemp seeds found in a burial site in Romania from this period. Other such artefacts from the period have been found elsewhere in eastern Europe and the ritualistic use of cannabis continued to flourish into the Iron Age. The archaic use of hallucinogens in Europe: an archaeology of altered states
2000 BC Ephedrine extracted from Ephedra sinica for the first time. The Chinese call it Kim Iya, which is later Arabicized to Kimiya which then becomes Al-Kimiya, and finally Alchemy, which according to Paracelsus gave birth to Western pharmacology. True Mutations, p.142
2000 BC Psilocybe mushrooms discovered & used by shamans. (evidently a misestimation- McKenna reports very older use). Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.158
2000 BC The Eleusinian mysteries start taking place. According to these authors, the basis for the experience of these mysteries was the preparation of the potion called kykeon [κυκεώνας]) with ergot of the species Claviceps purpurea. The Road to Eleusis, p.2
2000 BC In the reign of emperor Shennung it was written that “hemp fruit” would result in “seeing devils”. Shennung also mentioned the use of hemp in medicine. Murder, Magic and Medicine, p.70
2000 - 1400 BC The Atharva Veda are written and include the earliest known reference to bhang. Bhang (dried leaves, seeds and stems from both male and female cannabis plants). Forces of Habit
2000-1000 BC Mushroom stones dating back to this period are found in Guatemala. They are believed to represent ritualistic psychoactive mushroom use associated with the Mayan culture. New records of mushroom stones from Guatemala;
Hallucinogens of Plant Origin
~1500 BC The Rig Vedas are written, talking about a god/plant/drug called Soma, which is used by the Arians. Apparently it is a psychedelic. Eventually the Soma cult was suppressed and the identity of the drug forgotten.
According to Gordon Wasson, John Allegro, and others, Soma was Amanita muscaria.
According to McKenna, it could be Stropharia cubensis. Others say it was ephedra (True Mutations, p.143).
Date according to The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
1500 BC The Egyptian Eber Papyrous written (probably copied from earlier manuscripts), which mentions henbane. Plants of the Gods, p.86
It also mentioned wormwood (to treat intestinal parasites and other uses) – though this is not very reliable. Murder, Magic and Medicine, p.105
~1300 BC A Chavín stone carving from a temple in northern Peru shows the principal deity holding a San Pedro cactus; almost equally ancient textiles from this region depict the cactus among jaguars and hummingbirds. Psychedelics Encyclopedia;
Plants of the Gods, p.166
1200 - 800 BC Atharva Veda estimated (Wikipedia) to have been written, mention cannabis as one of the five sacred plants. The Religious and Medicinal Uses of Cannabis in China, India and Tibet
~1100 BC – 400 BC Either ergotised rye or psilocybin mushrooms are used in the Eleusinian mysteries. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73
1000 BC The original ideas of Christianity that were formed around 4000-3000 BC, begin to be written down. These writings form the first composition of the Old Testament. The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross (date calculated from the stuff the text says)
According to Wasson, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Old Testament are one and the same (*1).
In Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, this tree is the Siberian birch, and the "fruit" is the Fly Agaric growing in symbiosis with the birch (*1).
In Persephone's Quest, the tree is not the Siberian birch but the larch tree of Nivkhi (an indigenous ethnic group in Russia) (*2); the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is again Amanita muscaria (*3).
*1: Pharmacotheon p.333
*2: Persephone's Quest, p.58,77
*3: Persephone's Quest, p.75
~1000 BC Mushroom petroglyphs of this time discovered in eastern bank of Pegtymel River (Siberia) by archaeologist N. N. Dikov. According to the sources this indicates A. muscaria use by the Chukotka people. Persephone's Quest, p.68 Pharmacotheon, p.340
1000 BC Statues dated at this time or earlier in Mexico show Psilocybae mexicana with god-like figures emerging from it, indicating religious use that was also observed in 16th century by Spaniards and still exists today. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.86
~1000 BC Oaxacan Mexican shamans begin using psilocybin mushrooms and still use it today Food of the Gods
1000 BC Peyote discovered and used by American Indian shamans. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.158, p.32
Archaeological evidence from caves in Texas shows peyote was ceremonially used by this time. Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1000-900 BC “Dionysianism”, a cult of deliriant drugs, bursts into Athens from somewhere in the east. Sex, Drugs & Magick
Dionysian worshippers including Centaurs, Satyrs and Maenads, ritually ate Amanita muscaria mushrooms, giving them “enormous muscular strength, erotic power, delirious visions, and the gift of prophecy“. The White Goddess
At the Dionysian mysteries, maenads dilated their eyes with belladonna and attacked male worshippers of Dionysus. Plants of the Gods, p.88
1000 – 700 BC Ceramics made sometime during these ages show the San Pedro cactus associated with deer. Psychedelics Encyclopedia; Plants of the Gods, p.166
900 BC The Assyrians used Cannabis as an incense. Plants of the Gods, p.94
~850 BC Homer describes magic drinks of which henbane seems to be a major ingredient. Plants of the Gods, p.86
8000 BC Bacopa monniera (used as brain or nerve tonic in Indian medicine) cited in Vedic text Athar-Ved Samhita. True Mutations, p.143
800 - 700 BC First evidence for persecution of European witches. Wikipedia
Witches used Henbane, Belladonna and Mandrake. Plants of the Gods, p.86
~800 BC In the Temple of Apollo at Delphi (Greek city) a priestess (called “Pythia”) delivers messages from god Apollo as prophecies, possibly while intoxicated with smoke from Henbane seeds. Plants of the Gods, p.86
(though recent discoveries suggest the intoxicant were fumes from the ground, containing methane, ethane and ethylene). Science Illustrated 2/2005 (Greek magazine)
Late 8th century BC Homer composes Odyssey describing magic drinks with effects indicative of Henbane. Plants of the Gods, p.86
700 BC Scythians (nomadic central Asian barbarian group) entered eastern Europe introducing cannabis use probably for the first time. Described by Herodotus. Food of the Gods, p.152
700 – 500 BC Inscriptions from Chou dynasty describe Cannabis (“Ma”) as stupefying. Plants of the Gods, p.94
600 BC Zend-Avesta (sacred texts of Zoroastrianism) mention an intoxicating resin, probably hashish Plants of the Gods, p.94
600 BC Indian surgeon Sushruta states that cannabis cures leprosy. Plants of the Gods, p.95
Sushruta advocates use of wine + cannabis for anaesthesia in his book Sushruta Samhita. Susruta of ancient India (VK Raju)
600 BC Assyrians called the spur-like growth of ergot a “noxious pustule in the ear of the grain”. Plants of the Gods, p.102
575 BC Zoroastrianism established. Zoroastrians use a drug that's most probably same as Soma, but call it Haoma. Being more aware of the connection of cattle to the mushroom and the Great Goddess, they object to the sacrifice of bulls involved in the Indo-European rites of Soma use. Food of the Gods
500 BC Cannabis recreationally used in India, a myth says it was given to mankind by Shiva, others say it is Shiva himself. From those times, Indian doctors prescribe cannabis for many medical conditions, and Shivites use it religiously. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.160
500 BC In Germany hemp seeds have been found dating to this time. Plants of the Gods, p.95
500 BC A Taoist priest wrote that Cannabis was used by “necromancers, in combination with Ginseng, to set forward time and reveal future events”. Plants of the Gods, p.94
~500 BC Herodotus wrote about Scythian horsemen inhaling the smoke from burning hemp seeds. Murder, Magic and Medicine, p.70; Pharmacotheon, p.386
500 – 300 BC Scythian tombs from this era in central Asia found smoking tools with remains of Cannabis. Scythians might be the first to use Cannabis and responsible for spreading use to the west. Plants of the Gods, p.95
500 - 300 BC

“Mushroom stones” found in highland Guatemala of this period.

Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73
300 BC The earliest European reports of peyote say that the Chicimecos and Toltecs of Mexico were acquainted with it as early as 300 BC, though the date may even be earlier. Antiquity of the Use of New World Hallucinogens
483 BC Buddha ate his Last Meal, which according to Gordon Wasson, was Soma, in other words the mushroom fly agaric. Persephone's Quest, p.139 (date is in p.117)
460-370 BC Democritus lived, and described visionary use of cannabis. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.159; Plants of the Gods, p.95
400 BC Cult mysteries that originated from Crete (from about 1100 BC according to Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide) are now widespread in Greece. Mainly these are the Eleusinian and the Dionysian mysteries. In these rites, the Great Goddess is worshipped and psilocybian mushrooms are used. Also used (Food of the Gods, p.90) are thorn apple (datura), deadly nightshade, and monkshood. Robert Graves suggests also the use of Amanita muscaria. These mysteries were finally suppressed in AD 268 by the arrival of Christianity and male dominance. Food of the Gods; Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73; The White Goddess
350 BC The sacred books of Parsees possibly refer to ergot when they talk about noxious grasses that cause miscarriage and death to pregnant women. Plants of the Gods, p.102
300 BC Theophrastus described people performing kinds of rituals before collecting mandrakes from the ground. Plants of the Gods, p.90
~300 BC First careful cataloguing of plants; written by Theophrastus it was called Enquiry into Plants. It “lists some 400 species with their forms, habits, habitats, fructification, and cultivation, and their uses.” The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
240 BC According to Sahagún's Florentine Codex peyote was used by the Aztecs since at least as early as this time. Psychedelics Encyclopedia
200 BC Miniature mushroom stones found in archaeological sites near Guatemala dating to this age (see also 1500 BC about other such findings in same area). Plants of the Gods, p.161
120 BC Roman writer Lucilius mentions use of hemp. Plants of the Gods, p.95
100 BC to AD 100 First botanically recognizable representation of peyote, found in archaeological tomb art dating to this period. Hallucinogens and Culture, p.10
100 BC to 300 - 400 AD A mushroom cult flourished in northwestern Mexico: in Colima, Jalisco, and Nayarit. Plants of the Gods, p.162
100 BC to 200 - 300 AD Ceramic bowls from Colima (Mexico) with four peyote like ornaments and a male hunchbacked figure holding a pair of peyote plants suggest incipient or temporary domestication of the cactus in prehistoric times. Antiquity of the Use of New World Hallucinogens
100 BC – 500 AD Large ceramic urnes from these times found in southern coast of Peru and depict San Pedro cactus. Plants of the Gods, p.166
1st century AD Dioscorides writes about medical and rope-making use of cannabis, but not about its psychoactivity. Food of the Gods, p.156
Josephus Flavius writes about some supernatural properties of mandrake. Plants of the Gods, p.90
Pliny the Elder talks about hemp fibres. Plants of the Gods, p.95
66 AD Roman authorities attack the original Christian cult, which was actually a fly agaric cult. Until 73 AD, the cult was thoroughly destroyed. The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
50 – 70 AD Dioscorides writes De Materia Medica. Among other plants, he writes about mandrake and recommends it for surgical anaesthesia.,, Sacred Plants and the Gnostic Church
77 AD Pliny the Elder completes his book Natural History.
23 - 79 AD Roman natural historian Pliny describes visionary use of what is probably cannabis. Food of the Gods, p.156
100 - 120 AD The apocalyptic book 2 Esdras is composed (now in Apocrypha). In this, there is a possible mention of psychedelic use: "And the next day, behold, a voice called me, saying, Esdras, open thy mouth, and drink that I give thee to drink. Then opened I my mouth, and behold, he reached me a full cup, which was full as it were with water, but the color of it was like fire. And I took it, and drank: and when I had drunk of it, my heart uttered understanding, and wisdom grew in my breast, for my spirit strengthened my memory: And my mouth was opened, and shut no more." Sacred Plants and the Gnostic Church
140 - 180 AD Hemp rope found in a Roman site in UK. Plants of the Gods, p.95
200 AD The Greek physician Galen reports widespread use of hemp. Murder, Magic and Medicine, p.70 Plants of the Gods, p.95
220 AD Physician Hoa-tho used and recommended hemp with wine for anaesthesia. Food of the Gods, p.153; Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.159
268 AD Greek cults are for the greatest part finally suppressed by Christianity and male dominance. Food of the Gods
300 AD Frescoes with mushroom designs found in central Mexico of this era, indicative of a mushroom cult. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73
387 AD St. Augustine condemns Manechaeans for mushroom use. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73
400 AD The Eleusinian mysteries get suspended. The cited authors believe that ergot of the species Claviceps purpurea was had been the basis for the experience. The Road to Eleusis p.2
400 – 1100 BC Tremendous increment of Hemp cultivation in England. Plants of the Gods, p.95
500 AD A mural from Teotihuacán, Mexico, depicts a Mother Goddes with her priests and a vine of Ololiuqui. Plants of the Gods, p.172
9th century AD Persian physician Al Razi, also known in the west as Al Rhazes, warns against the overprescription of cannabis. [of course this shows that cannabis was, at the time in Persia, used medicinally]. Hashish in Islam: 9th to 18th century
950 AD Use and abuse of hashish is widespread. Food of the Gods, p.156
960 AD – 1644 AD Several species of Datura introduced into China from India. Plants of the Gods, p.107
10th century By this time, cannabis is well known to Arabs. Sex, Drugs & Magick
10th century The Arab physician Ibn Wahshiyah writes about hashish in his book On Poisons where he claims that its odor is lethal. Marijuana - The First Twelve Thousand Years
~1000 AD European contact in China caused shamanism to decline and with it the psychoactive use of Cannabis. Though Chinese continued using it as fibre. Plants of the Gods, p.94
11th century AD A story written during this period and included in the book called Thousand and One Nights is believed to have been the first introduction of hashish to the Europeans. Marijuana - The First Twelve Thousand Years
11th century AD Arabian doctor Avicenna reported a species under the name Jouzmathal (“metel nut”), a report repeated in Dioscorides' writings. This species is “undoubtedly” Datura metel. Plants of the Gods,p.107
11th century AD By this time, the use of hashish is widespread in the Islamic society; and it is frequently mentioned in the Islamic literature. Hashish in Islam: 9th to 18th century
1070 – 1280 AD Peyote preserved from excavations at shelter CM-79 near Cuatro Cie´negas in Coahuila, Mexico dating to this age. Lower Pecos and Coahuila peyote: new radiocarbon dates
1072 AD Fresco from this age showing Psilocybe mushroom and mandrake-shaped Eden trees. “Adam and Eve with serpent-entwined Psilocybe mushroom (caduceus). Italy [Abbey of Montecassino]; circa 1072 - British Library”.
~1080 AD Hasan I Sabbah forms his Ismailian sect (Hashishins), that allegedly uses hashish- as reported by Marco Polo around 1290. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.117 and Food of the Gods, p.158
~1100 AD Alchemists discover how to produce aqua vitae (concentrated aqueous solution of ethanol). Persephone’s Quest
Early 12th century AD A traveller to Siberia reports the use of fly agaric among the Koryak (a Siberian tribe). Plants of the Gods, p.83
1155 AD Haydar, the Persian founder of a religious order of Sufis, discovers hashish and uses it until his death. Marijuana-the first twelve thousand years
1200 AD A ceramic pot from Chimú culture dated to this time depicts a herbalist/shaman holding Huachuma (San Pedro). Plants of the Gods. p.168
1221 AD Haydar (see 1155 AD) dies, but before he does he asks for cannabis to be planted around his tomb. Marijuana-the first twelve thousand years
1258 AD As Mongols invade Baghdad, many Islamists are forced to move toward Egypt and Syria as refugees. These refugees include Sufis, and their migration might account for the westward spread of hashish. Hashish in Islam 9th to 18th century
1291 AD Fresco from Plaincourault Abbey in Indre, France depicts Adam and Eve standing beside a Tree of Knowledge which bears a striking resemblance to Amanita muscaria. Erowid
13th century AD Bishop Albertus the Great reported that Henbane was employed by necromancers to invoke demons. Plants of the Gods, p.87
13th century AD By this time, the use of hashish had spread amongst the general population of the Islamic world as well as in the West area ranging from Egypt to Spain.

In 1248 Spanish botanist called Ibn Baitar, reports that on his trip to Egypt he witnessed the cultivation of Cannabis indica which is called hashish by the local population. He notes about the eating of hashish, primarily in a religious context by the Sufis, and notes that it causes intoxication, jocularity, a dream-like state, and dementia.

1253 saw the first measures in Egypt to restrict the use of hashish. They were led by the then governor of Cairo (which was still under the Ayyubid dynasty). All cannabis plants were uprooted and burned. After a short while, hashish use became widespread again.

1266 saw the next attempt to ban cannabis in Egypt, this time by the founder of the Mameluk dynasty, King al-Zahir Babar. He banned both the cultivation and consumption of cannabis, as well as the consumption of wine. His success didn't last long.

In 1324, the new governor of Cairo decided have another start another war against the use of cannabis. He sent troops to search and destroy all plants. Again, their success didn't last long.

In 1378, the governor of Cairo started another war against cannabis, but this time the farmers decided to fight back. The governor intensified his attack and burned all cannabis fields.

By 1393, cannabis was being used and marketed as usual.

In 1394, the authorities in Cairo started another war against cannabis plants. Following this, cannabis use went back to normal again, and there would be no more attempts to deminish it for the whole period spanning the 14th century to the 19th. Largely during this period hashish would be eaten openly in the streets of Cairo.
Hashish in Islam: 9th to 18th century; Marijuana - The First Twelve Thousand Years
Late 13th century AD Marco Polo travels and reports use of hashish by Persian warlord Hasan I Sabbah's sect. Murder, Magic and Medicine, p.73
1493 - 1496 AD Columbus' second voyage to the Americas. During their trip, his group notice the Natives of the island La Española "intoxicating" with a snuff. The natives called the snuff cohoba (later identified as a preparation from the seeds of Anadenanthera peregrina). Pharmacotheon, p.165;
Plants of the Gods, p.116
14th - 18th century The Christian suppression of the old animistic pagan religion culminates with the extermination of the witches by the Inquisition. Germanic Mythology and the Fate of Europe
1502 AD Psilocybin mushrooms used recreationally at Moctezuma II coronation feast. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73
1509 - 1547 AD Henry VIII who was king of England from 1509 until his death in 1547, promoted cultivation of hemp in England. Plants of the Gods, p.95
1539 First European mention of Sophora secundiflora – by Cabeza de Vaca, who reported that the Indians of Texas traded its seeds. Hallucinogens and Culture, p.9
1545 AD Hemp introduced into Spanish colonies in Chile (S. America) Plants of the Gods, p.95
1547 - 1569 AD Fray Beradino de Sahugun wrote Historia de las Cosas ed Nueva Espana (aka Florentine Codex) which talks about “nanacatl”, a different name of Teonanácatl. He says that those who eat these mushrooms “see visions, feel a faintness of heart and are provoked to lust”. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73
Bernardino de Sahagún writes in his Florentine Codex about the use of peyote by the Aztecs estimating its use from at least as early as 240 BC. Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1554 AD Hemp introduced into Spanish colonies in Peru (S. America). Plants of the Gods, p.95
1560 AD A missionary in Colombian Llanos writes that the Indians along the Rio Guaviare take Yopa (A. peregrina) and tobacco. Plants of the Gods, p.116
1570 - 1575 AD Franciso Hernández carries out investigations in Mexico and records the preparation and use of ololiuqui by Aztecs (published in his report Rerum Medicarum Novae Hispaniae Thesaurus in 1615). Murder, Magic and Medicine, p.55
1578 AD Reported that datura was used as aphrodisiac in the East Indies. Plants of the Gods, p.109
1580 AD First mention of use of Cebíl (Anadenanthera colubrina) in southern Andean region, by Spanish chronicler Cristobal de Albornoz. Plants of the Gods, p.120
1582 AD Earliest medical report of the obstetric values of ergot published by Lonicer of Frankfurt, stating that it alleviates pregnancy pains. Plants of the Gods, p.104
1589 AD A report says that in Tunja (Colombia), among the Muisca tribe, a chief was burried with his women and slaves and gold and leaves of the Borrachero, or what this source claims to be Brugmansia aurea and Brugmansia sanguinea. Plants of the Gods, p.140
1591 AD “Oldest published account on Peyote use”- Juan Cardenas talked about Peyote use in Indies (lands of South and Southeast Asia). Plants of the Gods, p.145
1591 AD About this time, Spaniards discover peyote use among Aztecs in New World, and associate it with Aztecs' bloody sacrificial rites. The Holy Office of the Inquisition enact the first drug laws in the New World. In 1620, peyote was formally denounced because it was for "purposes of detecting thefts, of divining other happenings and foretelling future events." In a Catholic text of 1760 AD, peyote was equated with cannibalism. Psychedelics Encyclopedia; Plants of the Gods, p.147
1595 AD Swiss botanist Buhin describes ergot. Plants of the Gods, p.104
1596 AD Herbalist Li Shi-chen reports medicinal uses of Man-t'o-lo (Datura) and seems to have experimented with it and knows of its psychotropic effects (though viewing them in a supernatural way). Plants of the Gods, p.107
1599 AD A chronicler writes that in Colombia they chew Hayo (Coca) and Jopa (Yopa, i.e. A. peregrina) and Tobacco. Plants of the Gods, p.117
Early 16th century AD The famous statue of Xochipilli, Aztec Prince of Flowers, discovered on slopes of volcano Mt. Popocatepetl. Glyphs on it depict many psychotropics: mushroom cap, tendril of Morning Glory, flower of Tobacco, flower of Morning Glory, bud of Sinicuiche, caps of Psilocybe aztecorum. Plants of the Gods, p.161 (p.63 for plant identities)
~1600 AD Bharaprakasha (actually “Bhava Prakasha Samhita”, considered as classic works for the Ayurveda, an Indian system of medicine) describes many medical uses of cannabis. Plants of the Gods, p.95
16th century AD Teonanácatl, peyotl and ololiuqui mentioned by the Spanish chroniclers to have been used in Mexico. Teonanácatl and Ololiuqui, two ancient magic drugs of Mexico
16th century AD German physician Johannus Weier mentions use of hashish by witches. Food of the Gods, p.160
16th century AD Aztec statue from this period of Xochipilli was unearthed on the side of a volcano near Tlalmanalco. It has carvings of psychoactive flowers including mushrooms (Psilocybe aztecorum), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), morning glory (Turbina corymbosa), sinicuichi (Heimia salicifolia), possibly cacahuaxochitl (Quararibea funebris), and one unidentified flower. Erowid
16th century AD A Spanish missionary in Mexico writes about Ololiuqui, its effects, and its use by natives. Plants of the Gods, p.170
1606 AD Hemp cultivation began in British colonies in Canada. Plants of the Gods, p.95
1611 AD Hemp cultivation began in British colonies in Virginia. Plants of the Gods, p.95
1620 AD Inquisitors of the Spanish conquerors of New World formally denounce Peyote because it was used for "purposes of detecting thefts, of divining other happenings and foretelling future events." (see also 1591 AD). Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1620, 1678, 1690 "...words expressing awareness and self-awareness first emerge in the English and German languages during the seventeenth century. In English "conscious" as meaning "inwardly sensible or aware" appears first in 1620, "consciousness or "the state of being conscious" in 1678, and "self-consciousness" or "consciousness of one's own thoughts, etc." in 1690 .... It is interesting that "con-scious" whose Latin source had meant "to know with" (to share knowledge with another), now came to mean "to know in oneself, alone." (underline added). Lancelot Law Whyte quoted in Perception-Hallucination Continuum (Fischer)
1632 AD Hemp cultivation began in British colonies in New England (USA). Plants of the Gods, p.95
1651 AD Dr Francisco Hernández reports three types of mushrooms which were worshipped by Mexican natives. He reported that their ingestion caused uncontrolled laughter, visions, etc. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.73
1651 AD Dr Francisco Hernández identifies Ololiuqui as a Morning Glory, describes it and talks about its medical uses and its value as an aphrodisiac and its ceremonial use by priests. Plants of the Gods, p.170
1656 AD A guide for missionaries argues against Indian idolatries, including mushroom ingestion, and recommends their extirpation. Plants of the Gods, p.156
1658 AD First illustration of ergot, drawn by Swiss botanist Bauhin's son. Plants of the Gods, p.104
1676 AD French botanist Dodart adds a lot of scientific knowledge regarding how to control ergotism plaques. Plants of the Gods, p.104
1696, 1698, 1706 AD Inquisition files from these years are found in the National Archives in Mexico City that mention a drug called Pipiltzintzin and hint its psychoactive effects. Some believe this is Salvia divinorum. Plants of the Gods, p.165
Late 17th – Early 18th century AD Yurimagua Indians of the Peruvian Amazon reported to be drinking a beverage made from mushrooms, probably Psilocybe yungensis. Plants of the Gods, p.162
Late 17th century First account of a peyote ritual, recorded by a Spanish missionary in Nayarit. It revolved around the Cora tribe. Plants of the Gods, p.146
17th century AD Several Spanish Jesuit (e.g. Padre Andréa Pérez de Ribas) testify that Mexican Indians used peyote medicinally and ceremonially. Plants of the Gods, p.145
17th century AD Recipes for witches' ointments from this age include diverse human and faunal ingredients and a number of psychoactive substances of plant origin: alcohol, opium, cannabis, thorn apple, sweet flag (Acorus calamus) and, most commonly, the solanaceous plants deadly nightshade, black henbane and mandrake. The archaic use of hallucinogens in Europe: an archaeology of altered states
1730 AD Swedish military officer, prisoner of war in Siberia for 12 years, reports tribes and shamanic use of fly agaric. The Koryak (Siberian tribe) also drink their intoxicated urine as the psychoactive ingredients of the mushroom pass the body unmetabolised. This was their only intoxicant they used, until Russians introduced alcohol. Plants of the Gods, p.82
1736 AD The ruler of Morocco, Muley Ali, loses his throne. There is speculation that his hashish addiction was to blame. Hashish in Islam: 9th to 18th century
1760 AD In a Catholic text of Inquisition of Spanish conquerors of New World, peyote was equated with cannibalism (see also 1591 AD). Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1797 AD The formula for Absinthe, which had been invented by some French doctor, is eventually sold to Henri-Louis Pernod. Pernod manufactures it and soon becomes greatly successful. Among its famous users are Theophile Gautier, Oscar Wilde, Gerard de Nerval, Vincent Van Gogh, and Charles Baudelaire. Absinthe: Behind the Emerald Mask
~1800 AD Napoleon tries to suppress use of cannabis in Egypt, but fails because Greek smugglers import it. Food of the Gods, p.158
1800 – 1900 AD Romanticism flourishes, use of hash and opium. Food of the Gods
1801 AD The use of the snuff called yopo was first reported, by explorer A. von Humboldt who saw it used among the Maypure Indians of Orinoco. He identified it as a preparation from the seeds of the plant we know today as Mimosa acacioides. Pharmacotheon, p.165
1819 AD An Englishman writing about Gabon mentions “Eroga” (iboga) and describes it as “favourite but violent medicine”. Plants of the Gods, p.114
1837 AD The term hallucination (from the Latin alucinari "to wander in mind") gets introduced to the psychiatric literature by Esquirol. Hallucinations and illusions
of non-psychiatric aetiologies
1841 AD First isolation of harmaline; from seeds of Peganum harmala by German chemist H. Göbel Pharmacotheon, p.204
1842 AD English physician W. B. O’ Shaughnessy first to introduce ganja (Indian hemp) to England in his Bengal Pharmacopeia. Food of the Gods, p.159
~1844 - 1849 AD Club des Hachischins was at its peak activity. This is a group of people who experiment with several psychoactives but most notably hashish. Other drugs included wine and opium. Members included Baudelaire. A classic book about this is Les paradis artificiels. Food of the Gods, p.159; Murder, Magic and Medicine, p.74
1845 AD French botanist Charles Lemaire was the first person to publish a botanical name for peyote, naming it Echinocactus williamsii. Botany of Peyote
1845 AD French psychiatrist J.J. Moreau publishes Hashish and Mental Illness (Du Hachisch et de l'aliénation mentale). Food of the Gods, p.160; Murder, Magic and Medicine, p.74
1847 AD First isolation of harmine; from seeds of Peganum harmala by German chemist J. Fritzsche. Pharmacotheon, p.204
1848 AD Students carry banners demanding free availability of hash and ether. Food of the Gods, p.159
1851 AD Richard Spruce travels to the Amazon rainforest, where he notices the use of a potion called caapi amond the Tukanoan tribes in Río Vaupís of Brazil. He names the plant Banisteria caapi and sends specimens to the UK for analysis. Food of the Gods;
Plants of the Gods, p.132;
Pharmacotheon, p.199
1854 AD First exploratory journey of cannabis effects by American traveller Bayard Taylor, published in Atlantic Monthly. Food of the Gods, p.160
1855 AD Fitz Hugh Ludlow, American explorer, reports self-experimentation on hashish in scientific style. Food of the Gods, p.163
1855 AD Ernst Freiherr von Bibra publishes Die narkotischen Genussmittel und der Mensch, in which he describes several psychoactive plants. Plants of the Gods, p.196
1859 AD Porta writes about the psychoactive effects of solanaceous plants. Plants of the Gods, p.89
1860 AD Ernst Freiherr von Bibra publishes his only popular and non-technical work, The Seven Sisters of Sleep, in which he describes several psychoactive plants. Plants of the Gods, p.196
1864 AD A report insists that iboga is not toxic except in high doses and that it can be used as a stimulant. Plants of the Gods, p.114
1865 AD Alice's Adventures in Wonderland published by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. Many claim that he was somehow inspired by the effects of some psychedelic, but this is doubtful. According to Jonathan Ott, he might have been inspired by reading the book The Seven Sisters of Sleep, written which includes a chapter Siberian fly agaric mushroom cult. Pharmacotheon, p.329
1867 AD Iboga gets promoted to the public at the Paris Exposition. Following this, tonics based on the whole plant extract became extremely popular in France and Belgium. Food of the Gods
1886 Theodore Rumpler removes peyote from the genus Echinocactus and places it in Anhalonium, causing the plant to be renamed to Anhalonium williamsii. This name would catch on throughout Europe and the U.S. Botany of Peyote
1887 AD German pharmacologist Dr. Louis Lewin returns to Berlin from a tour of the U.S., from which he obtained some dried peyote buttons. He does some botanical and chemical characterisation and then sends a sample to the German botanist, Paul E. Hennings, who mistakenly thought it was an unnamed species of Anhaloniumand called it Anhalonium lewinii. Food of the Gods; Botany of Peyote
1888 Kalamba Moukenge conquers Congo and defeats most tribes. To unite all of these tribes together he decides to make up “one God” to hold all of them together; the God he chooses is the cannabis plant. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.160
1892 AD Explorer Carl Lumhotz describes ceremonial peyote use among the Indians of Sierra Adre Occidental, primarily Huichol and Tarahumara. Plants of the Gods, p.147
1894 J. M. Coulter revises the genus Anhalonium and erects the new genus Lophophora, causing peyote to be renamed once again, this time to Lophophora williamsii. var. lewinii. Plants of the Gods, p.147
1895 AD John Uri Lloyd publishes his fictional novel Etidorpha which show that he and his mycologist brother Curtis Gates Lloyd are aware of psychedelic mushrooms other than Amanita muscaria. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.74
1896 AD First reported self-experimentation with peyote, by S. Weir Mitchell in England. Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1897 Arthur Heffter becomes the first human being to isolate and ingest pure mescaline. He is thus sometimes called the father of modern psychopharmacology. Food of the Gods; The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1897, 1898 British physician Henry Havelock Ellis publishes "The Phenomena of Mescal Intoxication" (1897) and "Mescal: A New Artificial Paradise" (1898). The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1898 Iboga root's stimulating effects are reported. Plants of the Gods, p.114
1898-1910 Heroin promoted by doctors as a cure for morphine addiction. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.261
1901 Ibogaine (psychoactive ingredient of iboga) isolated from iboga Food of the Gods
1902 Anthropologist Carl Lumholts observes that some Indians in NW Mexico were using peyote in religious rites, and cannabis whenever peyote was unavailable Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.161
1902 William James, an American psychologist publishes his The Varieties of Religious Experience in which he describes his experiences with nitrous oxide and consciousness alterations. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1903 Earliest reports about iboga's “hallucinogenic” effects Plants of the Gods, p.114
1906 Stropharia cubensis described by Earle in a Cuban agronomy journal. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.74
1908 Botanist Richard Spruce publishes the first detailed report of the use of yopo by the Guahibo Indians of the Orinoco basin. Pharmacotheon
1909 German anthropologist T. Koch-Grunberg reports about the use of a snuff amongst the Yekwana Indians of the Orinoco basin. These are later (see 1054) found to be based on the resinous exudate of the inner bark of 5-MeO-DMT and DMT-containing Virola species and the commonest names for these snuffs are epéna and nyakwana. Pharmacotheon, p.169
1910-1920 Mariajuana (Mary Jane) celebrated in a famous marching song of Pancho Villa's rebels during Mexican Revolution: La cucaracha, la cucaracha, Ya no puede caminar, Porque no tiene, porque no tiene, Marijuana que fumar Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.161
1911 Carl Hartwich publishes his work Die menschlichen Genussmittel, talks about several psychoactive plants. Plants of the Gods, p.196
1912 Anton Köllisch of the German pharmaceutical company Merck synthesises and patents MDMA while in fact searching for drugs that could inhibited bleeding. The psychoactive potential of the drug would remain unknown for years. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1914 A.E. Merrill publishes a paper in Science describing the psychedelic effects of Panaeolus papilionaceus. The identification seems incorrect, the effects probably coming from a psilocybian mushroom. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.74
1915-1916 William E. Safford attempts to identify the Teonanácatl of the Aztecs. He erroneously claims that it is actually dried peyote buttons, and that sacred mushrooms never existed. For the next three decades his theory was accepted in the scientific community. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.74
Plants of the Gods, p.157
1919 Dr Blas P. Reko who carried out extensive anthropological and botanical work in Mexico for over 25 years, publishes an article stating that the drug neonacatl (Teonanácatl) taken by Mixtec and Mazatecan shamans is a psychedelic mushroom and not peyote as it had previously been thought. Although he was right, his reports were discounted. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.74; Food of the Gods
1919 Austrian chemist Ernst Späth first synthesises mescaline. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1920 First isolation of bufotenine; by H. Handovsky, from the venom of Bufo vulgaris. Pharmacotheon, p.166
1922 AD Native American Church numbers 13,300 members. Plants of the Gods, p.152
1922 AD Dr. Robert E. House tests scopolamine as an interrogation agent (aka "truth serum") and reports positive results. The Use Of Scopolamine In Criminology
1924 Louis Lewin publishes Phantastica; one of the earliest extensive works of psychopharmacology. Phantastica, p.ix
1927 Chemists E. Perrot and M. Raymond-Hamet isolate the active agent from Banisteriopsis caapi and name it telepathine due to accounts about it inducing telepathy amongst Amazonian tribes. (In 1957 telepathine was found to be the same as the previously called harmine, so the name harmine stayed). Food of the Gods
1927 The German chemist Kurt Beringer, who was experimenting with mescaline, proposes one of the earliest theories of a link between the psychedelic experience and psychosis. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1927 French pharmacologist Alexandre Rouhier gives an extraction of a peyote cactus to several students and reports on its effects. Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1929 Louis Lewin publishes Banisteria caapi. Food of the Gods
1930s A cult that flourished in Chicago in these times uses cannabis and just meditates. All members were musicians, white or black. Members had holy names from Hinduism. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.162
1930s Walter Frederking studies the potential of mescaline as a tool in psychotherapy. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1931 Writings of Washington published. They document that George Washington was one of the first people to import marijuana to America from Eurasia and that he was using it, probably recreationally. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.157
1931 DMT synthesised for the first time, by German chemist Richard H. F. Manske. Its effects will remain unknown until a few years later. A synthesis of the methyltryptamines and some derivatives
1936 Roberto J. Weitlaner obtained some Teonanácatl in Oaxaca. He was the first white man to have obtained this mushroom (though apparently he didn't try taking it). He sent the specimens to Blas P. Reko, who sent them to Harvard, where they arrived in a decomposed state and thus escaped identification. However, he was still responsible for bringing the attention of white people to this mushroom. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.74
1936 Up to this year, cannabis is mainly not considered as a problem by US authorities. In January 1936 a Reorganization Act was introduced that was threatening to the actual usefulness of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, since fighting against the use of opiates and cocaine would not be enough to keep the Bureau alive. Suddenly, the Bureau's Commissioner, Harry Anslinger, began to “fabricate horror stories connecting drug use to violent crime”. He was associated with the creation and/or exploitation of many educational films and articles about marijuana such as Assassin of Youth, Marihuana, the Weed with Roots in Hell, and Tell Your Children (later named Reefer Madness). He also took a story of a young guy who suffered chronic psychiatric problems and who killed his family with an axe, and falsely claimed that his behaviour came about by his using marijuana. The term "killer weed" derives from his propaganda. Anslinger's anti-marijuana campaign led to marijuana suddenly being considered a dangerous drug, and also led to the first federal marijuana legislation, The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. According to Terence McKenna, Anslinger's campaign might also be due to American chemical and petrochemical companies trying to eliminate hemp as a competitor in areas of lubricants, food, plastics and fibre. Reefer Madness to Marijuana Legalization; Food of the Gods, p.165
1937 Reko sends Henry Wassen, an anthropologist and ethnographer, a package containing specimens of a plant and a mushroom that he had found particularly interesting: seeds of the plant Ipomoea violacea (which contain LSA) and a fragment of Teonanácatl, the first specimen of a psilocybin-containing mushroom to be brought to scientific attention. Food of the Gods
1938 Roberto J. Weitlaner's daughter, Irmgard, along with anthropologist Jean Basset Johnson and two others attended a mushroom rite in Huatla, Oaxaca. They were the first whites to attend a mushroom ceremony. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.75
1938 Harvard botanist Richard E. Schultes travelled to Oaxaca and obtained from native informants two specimens of two different genera: Panaeolus campanulatus var. sphinctrinus, and Stropharia cubensis. In his field notes, he also described a third specimen: Psilocybe caerulescens var. mazatecorum. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.75
1938 Albert Hofmann, working at Sandoz laboratories, synthesises LSD-25 (25th substance in the series of LSD derivatives that he produced). In his own words: “I had planned the synthesis of this compound with the intention of obtaining a circulatory and respiratory stimulant (an analeptic)”. Colleagues show no special interest in it so testing is discontinued. See 1943 for continuation. LSD My Problem Child
1938, 1939 A plant of the genus Virola becomes associated with the epená snuff. Plants of the Gods, p.176
1940 Disney releases Fantasia; an animated film that many had reported to resemble a psychedelic trip. IMBD
1942, Spring General William Donovan (chief of the Office of Strategic Services), recruits American scientists to take part in a top-secret research program with the aim of developing a speech-inducing drug for interrogations.

Members included: Dr. Windfred Overhulser, (then superintendent of Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC), Dr. Edward Strecker (then president of the American Psychiatric Association), and Harry J. Anslinger (head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics).

As part of the project they tested on themselves, on associates, and on US military personnel numerous drugs that included alcohol, barbiturates, caffeine, peyote, scopolamine and marijuana.

Eventually, marijuana was chosen as the most likely candidate for an interrogation drug - although the results were mixed, sometimes giving the subject a surge to discuss psychologically-charged topics (including whatever information the interrogators wanted to hear), while other times the subject would have a “bummer” and preclude any chance to give valuable information.
Acid Dreams
1943 See 1938. Albert Hofmann, driven by “the feeling that this substance could possess properties other than those established in the first investigations”, reproduces LSD-25 for which tests discontinued in 1938. He unintentionally ingests the drug somehow (probably by skin absorption through his fingers) and experiences its effects. A few days after he self-administers it, and his lifelong occupation with it begins. LSD My Problem Child
1946 Brazilian microbiologist-ethnobotanist-chemist Oswaldo Gonçalves de Lima reports about the shamanic use of ajucá (also called vinho da jurema) among the Pancarurú Indians of Brejo dos Padres. They made it using the root bark of Mimosa hostilis, known today to contain DMT. Oswaldo also isolated an alkaloid which he named nigerine. Later, it was found that this was almost certainly DMT in an impure form, which designates the event as the first isolation of DMT. Pharmahuasca, Anahuasca and Vinho da Jurema
1947 After Albert Hofmann reports to his superior Arthur Stoll about LSD and its effects, Arthur's son, called Werner Stoll, gets to test it on 22 volunteers at the University of Zurich. On 1947 Werner reports the effects.

The United States Navy initiates Project CHATTER with the aim of finding means to obtain information from subjects without using any physical force.
At some point they find out about mind control experiments that had been carried out by Nazi doctors at the Dachau concentration camp, during WWII, that involved mescaline. Thus they decide to assess mescaline themselves.

Dr. Charles Savage conducted experiments on animals and humans at the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, but the results showed that mescaline is unreliable as an interrogation drug.
Acid Dreams; Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1948, Autumn First experiments on the effects of LSD on spiders and their web-building ability. Drugs Alter Web-Building of Spiders
1949 Werner Stoll (the son of Arthur Stoll who was at the time superior to Albert Hofmann at Sandoz) gives LSD to psychiatrist Nicholas Bercel to try (now said to be the first American to have ingested LSD). Bercel takes it to Los Angeles where he conducts studies, publishes about its effects and introduces it to other scientists.

Dr. Max Rinkel who had visited Dr. Hofmann the same year, is also given LSD, and he takes it to Boston, Massachusetts. He conducts studies at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital (now the Massachusetts Mental Health Center) where he gives LSD to over 100 patients, students, and psychiatrists. One of his subjects was Dr. Robert W. Hyde, who was reported to have had a bad trip as he was trying to resist the effects of the drug; he would not admit that the drug had any effect on him and he would pretent to go about his everyday work while his collegues could tell that there was something strange with him. Not surprisingly, Hyde would become one of the proponents of the theory that LSD is psychotomimetic.

In 1950, Rinkel and Hyde published the results of those studies.
Psychedelics Encyclopedia; The History of Psychedelics in Medicine; Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.x; Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, p.62
1949 The Swiss psychiatrist Gion Condrau obtains LSD from Sandoz and studies it as a therapeutic tool for schizophrenia. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
Late 1940s The CIA launches intensive research toward developing "special" interrogation techniques. Two methods were of most interest: "Narcohypnosis" (trance state induced with the help of a mild sedative) and the administration of a combination of two drugs with contradictory effects (barbiturates and then a stimulant, usually an amphetamine) to bring the subject to a state they called "the twilight zone", which was considered the most optimal state for interrogation. Acid Dreams
1950 Dr Ronald Sandison visits a study group in Basel, Switzerland, who were studying the effects of LSD on spider web-building. There he met Albert Hoffman and told him he "might like to work with it" although he wasn't quite sure about it. Sandoz handed him about 100 doses to experiment with. Interview with Dr Ronald Sandison
1950 Chlorpromazine first synthesised (which has since been in use as an "antipsychotic") The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1950, August Psychiatrists A.K. Busch and W.C. Johnson in the USA request LSD from Sandoz with the plan to "shake things up" in their psychotherapy. Their published results are rather confusing, and other psychiatrists critisised their work as sloppy. Psychedelics Encyclopedia; Interview with Dr Ronald Sandison
1950, 1952, 1954 In 1950, at St. Georges Hospital in London, neuropsychiatrist John R. Smythies notes the similarity between mescaline and the catecholamine neurotransmitters based on the supposedly psychotomimetic effect of mescaline, he makes a link between those neurotransmitters and schizophrenia.

In 1952, Smythies in collaboration with chemist John Harley-Mason and British psychiatrist, Dr. Humphrey Osmond develop the "Transmethylation Hypothesis for schizophrenia".

Then, Smythies and Osmond move to Saskatchewan, Canada, to work with psychiatrist Dr. Abram Hoffer. Together, they develop the "Adrenochrome Hypothesis”. This was a hypothesis that methylated derivatives of adrenalin might act as endogenous "schizophrenogens".
Soon, such hypotheses would be revealed as irrelevant.
The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1950 LSD research begins in Poland; conducted on epileptic patients. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
Early 1950s The CIA are experimenting with cocaine and its derivates for use as a "truth serum". Acid Dreams
1951 Captain Alfred M. Hubbard is introduced to LSD by the English Dr. Ronald Sandison. At his first trip he claimed to have witnessed his own conception. Realising this substance's potential he spent the most of the rest of his life introducing it to key figures. One of the first to which he had introduced it was Dr. Humphry Osmond, a charismatic psychiatrist. Acid Dreams
1951 Pentagon hears about LSD. The first CIA experiments with LSD begin. Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.x
1951 Sometime this year the CIA's project BLUEBIRD was initiated. The CIA hired specialists in fields of their interest (hypnotism, psychiatry, medicine, etc.) with the goal of developing methods for inducing "exploitable alteration of personality" to subjects - who included "potential agents, defectors, refugees, POWs". The project was authorised by then CIA's director Roscoe Hillenkoetter. Acid Dreams
August, 1951 CIA's Operation BLUEBIRD (see above) is renamed to Operation ARTICHOKE. Agents are sent on all places of the earth in search of any kind of psychoactive botanical. One of the goals of ARTICHOKE was to have a hypnotized subject carry out an assasination while in a state of trance. Acid Dreams
November 26, 1951 A CIA document announces that they can now "maintain a subject in a controlled state for a much longer period of time than we heretofore had believed possible" and that they were now able to "produce relevant information" in a high percentage of cases. Acid Dreams
15 August 1951 The Pont-Saint-Esprit mass poisoning, also known as Le Pain Maudit, occured in the small French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit. More than 250 people were involved and five of them died. The causes are still unknown, but it most probably involved a bread that the victims had eaten [theories include ergotism, mercury poisoning, CIA experiments, etc]. Ergot Poisoning at Pont St. Esprit
1951 Walter Frederking experiments with LSD on 60 patients. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
February 7, 1952 A CIA memo dated to this day notes how during their brainwashing experimentations on unwitting citizens they would use electroshock to induce anaesthesia before performing the so-called "icepick" lobotomy. This consisted of using a fine surgical icepick to pierce the skull just above the eye in order to destory the brain tissue and cause the subject to forget whatever it was they did to him/her. This was only one way of dealing with the so-called "disposal problem". Another method was to render the subject "incoherent through psychological and/or pharmacological attacks and then placed in a mental institution by force", and yet another was the so-called "termination with extreme prejudice", which was another way to say "assassination". Other methods that the CIA was trying to develop included brain surgery via UHF sound waves and a microwave "amnesia beam" that could destroy memory neurons. Acid Dreams
1952-53 R. Gordon Wasson and his wife Valentina become aware of the existence of a mushroom cult in central Mexico. They set out to prove their theory that religion originates from the use of hallucinogenic plants. They travel to Mexico guided by Roberto J. Weitlaner to Oaxaca. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.75
1953 Dr. Ronald Sandison was one of the first psychiatrists to use LSD in a careful and scientific way on psychiatric patients. This was at Powick Hospital (near Worcester), England. Patients were treated with "psycholytic" doses (i.e. doses just high enough to "loosen the mind";). In 1955 he establishes the first dedicated facility for LSD therapy. He also experiments with psilocybin but finds LSD more useful. He had treated thousands of patients with the majority of cases showing positive results. Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, p.62; Acid Dreams; Interview with Dr Ronald Sandison; The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1953 D. Johnson designates psychedelics as "hallucinogens" Pharmacotheon
1953 Pentagon receives LSD from Sandoz. CIA begins its army projects with LSD. Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.x
1953 The US Navy's Project CHATTER (see 1947) terminates. Acid Dreams
1953 William Burroughs visits the Amazon rainforest in search of yage, finally finds and tries it. In the same year, he also publishes Junky; his autobiography of opiate addiction. Yage Letters, Junky
1953, May Humphrey Osmond administers mescaline to Aldous Huxley. Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, p.62
1953, 8 January The death of Harold Blauer, a tennis professional, who after visiting the New York State Psychiatric Institute asking for help following a divorce, he unwittingly became the subject of a drug study conducted by a group of doctors. After they gave him an injection of MDA (methylenedioxyamphetamine; code name EA-1298) supplied by the U. S. Army Chemical Corps at the Edgewood Arsenal facility, Blauer died.
The "scientist" who directly oversaw this research was Dr. Paul Hoch, an early advocate of the theory that hallucinogens are psychotomimetic and one who performed some of the most unethical and nonsensical experiments ever performed on unwitting humans.
Acid Dreams
1953, 1955, 1956 Stephen Szára begins research on the molecular basis of mental illness. Inspired by Huxley's book, in 1955 he tries mescaline. In the same year he asks Sandoz for LSD but gets rejected. He finds out of a snuff powder called cohoba used by native Indians. It contained bufotenin and DMT; the known psychoactive ingredient was bufotenin, but it wasn't sure whether DMT was psychoactive. He decided to test it himself, and synthesised it. He tested it on 30 volunteers; in 1956 he published his results. DMT at Fifty
1954 R. E. Schultes finds that the snuffs used by Colombian Indians are based on the barks of Virola calophylla, Virola calophylloidea, and Virola elongata [plants that are known today to contain DMT and similar tryptamines]. He tests the snuff on himself to confirm their psychoactivity. Plants of the Gods, p.176; Pharmacotheon
1954 LSD experiments begin in Baghdad, Iraq. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1954 V. L. Stromberg isolates 5-OH-DMT from the seeds of Anadenanthera peregrina Pharmacotheon
1954 S. Ferckel and W-E Peuckert conduct self-bioassays with “flying ointments” prepared from old witch recipes. They report the experience of “flying”. Pharmacotheon
1954 Gustav Schenk conducts self-bioassays with henbane seeds. Pharmacotheon
1954 Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception gets published (in it he discusses his experience with mescaline). The Doors of Perception
Mid-1954 Upon requests by the CIA to find how to synthesise LSD -so that they wouldn't depend on the overseas company Sandoz anymore- the Eli Lilly Company finds how to synthesise it. Acid Dreams
1955 First isolation of pure DMT; from seeds and pods of Anadenanthera peregrina, by Fish M. S., Johnson N. M. and Horning E. C. Technically the first isolation of DMT (albeit impure) was probably in 1946 by Oswaldo Gonçalves de Lima. Pharmahuasca, Anahuasca and Vinho da Jurema; Piptadenia Alkaloids. Indole Bases of P. peregrina (L.) Benth. and Related Species;
1955 Dr. Oscar Janiger receives LSD from Sandoz and starts studying it on several subjects. One of his subjects was an artist who was so impressed that he urged Janiger to give it to other artists as well. By 1962 Janiger had given LSD to 875 subjects, about 100 of the artists. His subjects also included key figures such as Aldous Huxley and Cary Grant. In 1962, due to heavy surveillance by the US agencies, he decides to quit his research. Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1955 First tests for the psychoactivity of bufotenin (5-OH-DMT) were performed by Fabing and Hawkins. The unethical, life-threatening experiments took place on prisoners of the Ohio State Penitentiary. In addition to the visual effects, the prisoners reacted with ill physiological side effects. Pharmacotheon, p.166;
Intravenous Bufotenine Injection in the Human Being
1955 While writing Heaven and Hell (the sequel to The Doors of Perception), Aldous Huxley has his second mescaline experience, this time in the company of Captain Al Hubbard.
Later on, that same year, and with Hubbard as his guide again, Huxley takes his first dose of LSD.
Acid Dreams
1955, 6th June R. Gordon Wasson and his photographer Allan Richardson become the first two Americans to participate in a shamanic psilocybian mushroom (specifically they were Psilocybe caerulescens) ritual and ingest the mushrooms themselves. They do so under the supervision of Maria Sabina. This was a life-changing experience for Wasson, in which he realises the connection between the mushroom and religion; which would influence all his subsequent work. The mushroom ritual becomes popularised by Wassons' reports and book Mushrooms, Russia and History and also attracts the attention of the CIA. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.75, Pharmacotheon
1955, 12 October Sidney Cohen, Professor of Medicine at UCLA and editor of the Journal of Psychopharmacology, first tries LSD. Following his experience he begins studying it on patients as a therapeutic tool for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, alcohol dependency and other things. LSD before Leary; The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1955-1960 German psychiatrist Hanscarl Leuner conducts 1,300 psychedelic sessions with LSD, mescaline and psilocybin on both psychiatric patients and healthy volunteers. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1956 The largest and longest ever LSD therapy study was conducted by the Czech physician Milan Hausner near Prague. Over 700 patients were treated and over 6000 sessions were run. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1956 Neuroscientist George Roubicek directs a study at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, using high doses of LSD in combination with a stroboscope to synchronise the brain’s electrical activity. Psychiatrist Dr. Stanislav Grof volunteers as a subject and in his own words:

"[...] The next thing that I knew was that my consciousness was leaving my body. Then I lost the clinic. Then I lost Prague. Then I lost the planet."

He went along taking part in the study by administering it to psychiatric patients at that Institute in Prague and later, at Spring Grove Mental Hospital. He observed more than 3500 sessions and was a supporter of LSD's immense healing potential.
Psychedelics Encyclopedia; The History of Psychedelics in Medicine; LSD Psychotherapy, p.13
1956 French writer Henri Michaux publishes about his self–experimentations with mescaline. Pharmacotheon
1956 R. Gordon Wasson invites French mycologist Roger Heim to Oaxaca to research the use of sacred mushrooms. Heim identifies 14 species and several subspecies belonging to three genera, Psilocybe, Stropharia, and Conocybe. Many of these were new to mycology. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.75
1656, 1957, 1959 Three key works are published that will define the Beat Generation: Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956), Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957) and William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1959). Gradually, the Beat Generation would grow bigger and in the 1960s it would evolve in the hippies generation. -
1957 Due to some kind of "leak" at Sandoz, large amounts of LSD and synthetic psilocybin go in the hands of beatnicks (beatnicks were the mediate stage between the Beat Generation and the hippies). Psychedelics Encyclopedia, p.42
1957 Mycologist Dr. Rolf Singer and two young Mexican botanists, M.A. Palacios and Gastón Guzmán, arrive at Oaxaca to do taxonomic work on the psilocybin mushrooms. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.75
1957, 13th May Life magazine publishes a story on Psilocybe mexicana written by R. Gordon and Valentina Wasson in which they discuss their taking the mushroom with shamans. The article gets titled "Seeking the Magic Mushroom" - an idea of the then-chairman of Life. Wasson unsuccessfullly objected to the title. The popular name “magic mushrooms” given to this species originates from there. According to the book Brotherhood of Eternal Love, this was one of first major “boosts” of popularisation of psychedelics in America.

During the same year, the Wassons would make more publications about these mushrooms (see for example 20th May). On of them consisted of a phonograph recording of a mushroom ceremony led by the now popular shaman Maria Sabína. Their publications popularise mushrooms and outsiders begin to travel to Huautla de Jimenez to try them. "Fake" shamans appear and veladas begin to be staged for tourism attraction. María Sabina herself reports that the popularisation of the mushrooms caused them to “no longer work” for her.
Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, p.62 Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.24 Pharmacotheon
1957, 20th May Valentina Wasson publishes an article titled "I Ate the Sacred Mushroom" in This Week magazine, whereby she talks about her experience with Psilocybe mexicana with shamans. Pharmacotheon
1957 Osmond coins the word "psychedelic"; before this they were more commonly referred to as "psychotomimetics" or "hallucinogens". Osmond argued that these drugs do "much more" than "mimic psychosis". Psychedelics, p.9 Acid Dreams
1957, December 8 One of the many people to which Captain Alfred M. Hubbard would hand LSD was Reverend J. E. Brown; a Catholic priest at the Cathedral of the Holy Rosary in Vancouver. The priest would later write in an open letter: "We humbly ask Our Heavenly Mother the Virgin Mary, help of all who call upon Her to aid us to know and understand the true qualities of these psychedelics, the full capacities of man's noblest faculties and according to God's laws to use them for the benefit of mankind here and in eternity." Acid Dreams
1958 Timothy Leary has his first psychedelic ("death-rebirth", as he called it) experience, seemingly caused as a result of a nervous breakdown. Timothy Leary's Trip Thru Time
1958 Dr. Albert Hofmann isolates and determines the structure of two active agents and names them psilocybin and psilocin after the genus Psilocybe. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.75; Food of the Gods
1958 The anaesthetic effect of phencyclidine (PCP) observed in animals. PCP becomes available by Parke Davis and Co. under the name Sernyl (CI-395) for clinical investigation in man. Illicit Synthesis of Phencyclidine (PCP) and Several of Its Analogs
1958 Alan Watts takes LSD for the first time (100 µg) as a volunteer in a study that examined the possibility of LSD reproducing a mystical experience. The study took place in San Francisco and was directed by Sterling Bunnell and Michael Argon. The New Alchemy; The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1959 Ken Kesey, at the age of 25, takes LSD, peyote, phencyclidine, and other drugs as an experimental volunteer at Menlo Park Veteran's Hospital in California. His experiences inspire his book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (published in 1962). Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, p.62, Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.41
1959 Dr. Albert Hofmann isolates lysergic acid amides (LSA) from ololiuqui seeds. Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, p.62
1959 Allen Ginsberg takes LSD for the first time as an experimental volunteer at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California. Acid Dreams
1959 Publishing of the study run by Humphrey Osmond and Abram Hoffer on the use of LSD to treat alcoholism. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1959 Turner and Medis perform unethical and life-threatening experiments with bufotenin (i.v.) on patients with mental disabilities at New York mental institution. The patients were injected while they were coming out of insulin coma, following Electroshock Therapy, or pretreatment with reserpine and c1orpromazine. The patients were traumatised both physically and mentally and several almost died. Pharmacotheon, p.167
1959 - 1975 The Chemical Corps begin clinical studies on EA-2277 (the code number for BZ, or 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate) at Edgewood Arsenal. The studies lasted until 1975. Around 2800 soldiers are estimated to have been exposed to this drug during those studies. Acid Dreams
Early 1960s Club 47 (in Harvard Square, Cambridge) has LSD sugar cubes circulating. Pharmacotheon
1960 Dr. Leary eats psilocybin mushrooms in Cuernavaca, Mexico. During the same year he tries synthetic psilocybin and also obtains some from Sandoz in order to make his experiment on prisoners in Concord State Prison, Massachusetts. Dr Richard Albert assists him. “I was first drugged out of my mind in Cuernavaca, August 1960. I ate seven of the Sacred Mushrooms of Mexico and discovered that beauty, revelation, sensuality, the cellular history of the past, God, the Devil all lie inside my body, outside my mind.” Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.75-76 High Priest, p.13
1960 Aldous Huxley ingests 10mg of synthetic psilocybin in a group under Tim Leary's supervision. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.76
1960, April Alexander Shulgin tries mescaline sulfate (400 mg of it) for the first time, with a friend as a sitter, and the experience “unquestionably confirmed the entire direction of [his] life”. PiHKAL, p.16
1960, 1961 While in New York, Michael Hollingshead orders LSD from Sandoz pretending he needed it for "a series of bone-marrow experiments". He paid 285 USD for one gram, which accounted for 5000 doses. He mixes it in "a stiff paste made from icing sugar" and puts it in a mayonnaise jar. For a while he would take LSD weekly, but he had no way of handling the strong energies released by the drug and he soon got into depression. Following Aldous Huxley's advice he went and met Timothy Leary in 1961 hoping for help. During a few days Leary would hand Hollingshead with synthetic psilocybin while, in October 1961, Hollingshead would eventually convince Leary to try LSD. The Man Who Turned On the World; Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.x; Timothy Leary's Trip Thru Time
1961 William S. Burroughs begins experimenting with DMT (in doses of around 65 mg). While he reported to find these experiments “always interesting”, at one point he accidentally “overdoses” with it and has a “horrible experience” which causes him to publicly “sound a word of urgent warning”. Pharmacotheon, p.164
1961 Robert Anton Wilson took peyote with a Sioux Indian friend and “experienced the explosion (or implosion) of my previous universe and the creation of a new universe”. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.32
1960s Anthropologists and a Mexican writer permitted by Huichols to participate in a Peyote pilgrimage; i.e. a sacred trip to find hikuri (aka peyote). Plants of the Gods, p.148
1960s Hippie movement probably originating from USA before spreading around the world. Psychedelic rock becomes widespread and so does the promotion of egalitarianism, the sexual revolution, and the use of psychedelic drugs.

This is also the period when cannabis use becomes widespread, due to the hippies' movement.
1960-1963 During this period more than 200 psychedelic drug sessions were guided by the Harvard Psychedelic Research Project. High Priest, p.xxv
Early 60s John C. Lilly first tries LSD. The Centre of the Cyclone, p.7
1961 A symposium is held in London organised by the British Royal Medico-Psychological Association. It is called "Hallucinogenic Drugs and Their Psychotherapeutic Use". The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1962,63 1962: Tim Leary and Richard Albert conduct experiments with LSD and other psychotropics and psychedelics in Harvard: the 400 subjects include writers, artists, priests, and students. Harvard becomes anxious and say Leary's and Albert's contracts will not be renewed when they expire in 1963. Leary, Albert, and other followers rent a hotel in Mexico to conduct their own experiments on themselves. They return to Harvard to work and they also create a “colony”- a “multi-family” center in a house near Boston based on Huxley's Island.

1963: They launch IFIF. Leary and Albert launch a second colony in Mexico. Leary and Albert get fired from Harvard because of “giving drugs to students”.
Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.30-33,142-143 (photos) Politics of Ecstasy, p.15
1962 R. Gordon Wasson organises an expedition to South Mexico together with Albert Hofmann and Anita Hofmann (Albert's wife).
On the 9th of October, Wasson and Anita ingest the juice of Salvia divinorum leaves during a healing ceremony.
Two days later, Albert Hofmann tries the juice too. On the same day (11th of October), Albert also hands Maria Sabina pills of pcilocybin that he had synthesised himself at Sandoz (under the brand name Indocybin). After Maria tried them she said she was satisfied and glad that she could now she could have the effects even when the mushrooms were not available.
Albert also takes samples of S. divinorum back to Switzerland for finding its psychoactive principle but the attempt fails as the specimen disintegrates.
Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1962 Sandoz restricts LSD sales. Underground chemists start producing LSD. Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.x
1962 The first ever recorded clandestine LSD laboratory was set up by Bernard Roseman. LSD Purity: Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
1962 Ken Kesey publishes his book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The writing of the book was inspired by his experiments with psychedelics (see 1959). Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.x
1962 Parapsychologist Thelma Moss gets cured of frigidity with the help of LSD. She reports her adventures in a book titled Myself and I, and under the pseudonym Constance Newland. The book becomes quite successful. PiHKAL, Pharmacotheon, p.92
1962, 1963 Reports published about LSD research at the Marlborough Day Hospital in London. Here, LSD is combined with Ritalin and psychoanalysis to treat a variety of conditions including "migraine, writer’s block, frigidity, sexual perversion, pathological gambling, immaturity, character disorder and psoriasis", and even homosexuality. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1963 Dr. Alexander Shulgin synthesises 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM) which gets known in the streets as STP. According to Jonathan Ott, because it was distributed in very high doses (20mg in contrast to the active 3-10mg dose), it led to "long-lasting effects, many leading to panic reactions". PiHKAL, Pharmacotheon, p.92
Nov 22, 1963 Aldous Huxley is about to die and asks Tim Leary to read him the Tibetan Book of the Dead during his dying. Leay suggests it's better if his wife does this. Upon dying Huxley asks for a dose of LSD, which was provided by Sidney Cohen and injected by his wife (200 micrograms). The History of Psychedelics in Medicine; Timothy Leary's Trip Through Time
1963-1966 Laws against the sale, manufacture, and possession of LSD, mescaline and psilocybin are passed by legislatures in USA. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.76, Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.35
1963-1966 Timothy Leary and friends form the Castalia Fundation. The same year, he orders from Sandoz 100g of LSD and 25kg of psilocybin. Politics of Ecstasy, p.15
1964 Timothy Leary and friends rent a big house in Millbrook where they form a colony. Ken Kesey buys a bus for $1500 and with a group of Californians called Acid Merry Pranksters set of to travel in America. They name the bus “FURTHER”. Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.x, p.34-40
1964 The psychotropic principles of fly agaric (soon to be named ibotenic acid and muscimol) are finally isolated in three different labs almost simultaneously: in Japan, in England, and in Switzerland Pharmacotheon, p.327
1964 Publication of the first isolation of THC from cannabis. Isolation, Structure, and Partial Synthesis of an Active Constituent of Hashish
1964 Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner publish The Psychedelic Experience, one of the most influential books on the subject. The Psychedelic Experience
February 1965 Clandestine chemist Owsley Stanley's first batch of high-quality LSD hits the streets. Acid Dreams, p.167
June 1965 A research team from Germany discover the presence of DMT and related compounds in human blood and urine. Tryptamine, N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, N,N-Dimethyl-5-hydroxytryptamine and 5-Methoxytryptamine in Human Blood and Urine
1965 Psychiatrist R. D. Laing runs an experiment at Kingsley Hall in East London. In the experiment, patients live near to their doctors as in a community. LSD and other psychedelics are used. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1965, August Ken Kesey invites the Hell's Angels to La Honda. They were a motorbike gang based in Oakland known for “their violence, their machismo and outlaw attitudes”. They meet the Merry Pranksters at La Honda and party for two days in peace even though they usually fight with people. The Hell's Angels tried LSD and liked it.

The same year, Ken Kesey would come up with and initiate the “Acid Test” project as an attempt to popularise LSD.
Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.42
1965, August 23 Sandoz voluntarily ceases the distribution of Delysid, Indocybin, and psilocine due to the “unfavourable publicity”.
The same year, psilocybine becomes a controlled substance in the USA and Sandoz New Jersey surrenders all its Indocybin (psilocybine), psilocine, CZ-74, and CY-19 to the government.
1966 Leary and friends form The League for Spiritual Discovery. Politics of Ecstasy, p.15
1966, Fall Leary gets convicted of a violation of the Marihuana Tax Act and possession of marijuana after being found with marijuana in December 22, 1965 at Laredo, Texas. He and his representatives manage to overturn that law on the basis that it violated the Fifth Amendment. However he still receives a 10 year sentence for possession. Timothy Leary's Trip Thru Time
1966, April LSD gets declared illegal in New York State. Other States would follow the illegalisation, and by 1968 it would become illegal by the federal government. Under pressure by the United States, most other nations would illegalise it too. The same year (1968), almost all LSD research would come to an end. Trip Thru Time
1966 G. Gordon Liddy raids the Millbrook colony that Tim Leary and Richard Albert had founded. Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.xi, 142-143 (photos)
1966 Bernard Roseman publishes a hand-written manual for the synthesis of LSD. Pharmacotheon
1966-1967 John Lilly writes Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer (which started circulating in 1967 but got revised and published in 1972). Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer
1967, January 14 Underground newspaper San Francisco Oracle organise a gathering famously called The "Human Be-In" in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park Polo Field. This event would be key to the popularisation of the "hippies movement" that would soon lead to the "invasion" of San Fransisco's Haight-Ashbury and the "Summer of Love". The Human Be-In would be a gathering for the new psychedelic counterculture and key figures had been invited to talk as well as musicians to play live. Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and Allen Ginsberg would be among the speakers, while bands included the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. Clandestine chemist Owsley Stanley would pass out his high-quality LSD and most of the ~20,000 would take it. There was generally a blissful and ecstatic vibe that would be broadcasted all over America, leading to all youth to want to follow the new revolution. This event would also be the the first time Leary would use his catchphrase "Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out"; which would soon become popular and set the tone for the upcoming revolution, while gradually, of course, would also be taken out of context and used against him. Trip Thru Time
1967 First report published regarding “chromosomal damage caused by LSD”: Chromosomal damage in human leukocytes induced by lysergic acid diethylamide, by Cohen, M., et al. Chromosomal damage in human leukocytes induced by lysergic acid diethylamide
1967 Terence McKenna, then still in college, gets involved with shamanism after being led there by studying Tibetan religions. During this year, which was what he characterised as his "opium and kabbala phase", he also travelled to Jerusalem. True Hallucinations;
Hight Times interview of Terence McKenna, April 1992
1967 Stephen Szára studies N,N-diethyltryptamine (DET) for the treatment of chronic alcoholic patients. DMT at Fifty, p.203
1967 First published proposal of the idea that while DMT is orally inactive, the DMT-containing snuffs used by shamans might owe their psychoactivity due to the combined presence β-carbonlines from plants in the mixture that can inhibit our bodies' MAO enzymes from rapidly breaking down DMT. Pharmacotheon, p.226
1967 According to this source, the “news” about chromosomal damage “caused by LSD” caused many experimenters to want to replace LSD with “organic” drugs like psilocybin and mescaline. This caused the prices of these drugs to rise, and dealers to try to fake such drugs with other ones. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.76
Mid-1967 Charles Manson begins forming his "Manson Family" in California by recruiting young hippies, mostly female. -
1968 After circulation of John C. Lilly's Programming and Metaprogramming in The Human Biocomputer (1967), a Government agency withdraws funding of his dolphin research (where he worked for the National Institute of Mental Health). Lilly hears many negative stories regarding how LSD harmed his mind and brain. He leaves the Institute and goes to the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center to resume his LSD research. Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer
1968 Carlos Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge gets published. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui way of Knowledge
1968 R. Gordon Wasson publishes Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. Pharmacotheon, p.331
1968 Tim Leary publishes High Priest. First edition of The Politics of Ecstasy released. High Priest; The Politics of Ecstasy p.9
1968 Tim Leary's work giving psilocybin to prisoners, published as an article titled "The Effects of Consciousness-Expanding Drugs on Prisoner Rehabilitation" in the Psychedelic Review (#10). The Effects of Consciousness-Expanding Drugs on Prisoner Rehabilitation
1968, February Due to continuous harassment by the police at the Millbrook estate, the owners (the Hitchcock brother and daughter) decide to ask everyone to leave. Timothy Leary's Trip Thru Time
1968 Two new psychedelic principles are isolated, both psilocybine analogues: baeocystine and norbaeocystine. The were found in at least 36 mushroom species. Pharmacotheon
1969 Robert Fischer published what seems to be his first work on psilocybin's effects on visual perception. The article is called “Effects of the Psychodysleptic Drug Psilocybin on Visual Perception. Changes in Brightness Preference”. Effects of the Psychodysleptic Drug Psilocybin on Visual Perception. Changes in Brightness Preference
1969 R. E. Mogar and R. W. Aldrich give LSD to autistic children between 6 and 10 years old with very positive results. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1969 Orange Sunshine appears in the market and is soon a widely-sold drug. While Jonathan Ott reported that this drug was actually ALD-52 (or 1-Acetyl-LSD) and not LSD, he was wrong - it was LSD (see Erowid for more) Pharmacotheon, p.153
July - August 1969 Charle's Manson's Mandon Family complete 9 murders after being brainwashed by Charles with the help of LSD (according to Robert Anton Wilson, Manson also used the drugs belladonna and jimson weed, and sex). According to Jonathan Ott, the murders were enough for the media to concrete the link between LSD and madness. Sex, Drugs & Magick, Pharmacotheon
1969 The caapi specimen that Richard Spruce had sent to the UK from Brazil for examination (see 1851 AD) finally gets chemically analysed. Plants of the Gods, p.132
1970 Some use of fly agaric mushrooms appears in USA and the UK. Pharmacotheon
1970 First bioassays for the psychoactivity of 5-Meo-DMT, by Alexander Shulgin on himself. self-experiment with and reports psychedelic effects by inhaling its free-base vapor (6-10mg). Pharmacotheon, p.169
1970 A cult of American G.I.s in Vitenam, use a shotgun to inhale weed. Squad leader ejected shells from gun, inserted weed and blew the smoke in mens' mouth. Sex, Drugs & Magick, p.163
1970 NORML gets founded; a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC whose aim is the legalization of non-medical marijuana in the United States. Wikipedia
1970 5-Meo-DMT first tested by Dr. Alexander Shulgin and found to be psychoactive. Pharmacotheon
1970 A key to the North American Psilocybin Mushroom” published by Leonard Eros in California, instructing laypersons when and how to obtain psilocybian mushrooms in nature. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.76
1970 Mescaline and peyote scheduled as part of a Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act which establishes penalties for possession, manufacture, or distribution. Psychedelics Encyclopedia
1970 The term "psychonaut" is coined by Ernst Jünger in Annäherungen: Drogen und Rausch Vapours and visions: Religious dimensions of DMT use
1970 The last issue of The Psychedelic Review gets published (dated Winter 1970/1971) Pharmacotheon, p.187
1971 Dr. Alexander Shulgin first tries 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine (DOB) which he had previously synthesised. Pharmacotheon, p.92
1971 Due to popular demand for organic drugs, dealers begin lacing commercial mushrooms with LSD and selling them as psilocybian mushrooms. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.76
1971 22nd Feb: Terence McKenna first tries psilocybin mushrooms, in La Chorrera, a little more than 24 hours after their arrival there. They arrived at the Amazon rainforest on the 7th of the same month, originally in search of oo-koo-he, after they got inspired by reading Richard Evans Schultes' article "Virola as an Orally Administered Hallucinogen". True Hallucinations
1971 Carlos Castaneda publishes A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan. A Separate Reality
1972 Lilly publishes both Programming and Metaprogramming in The Human Biocomputer and The Center of the Cyclone. Programming and Metaprogramming in The Human Biocomputer
1972 Several members of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love get arrested. Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.x, p.142-143 (photos)
1972 Nobel prize-winning scientist Julius Axelrod of the U.S. National Institute of Health reports finding DMT in the human brain tissue. N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), an Endogenous Hallucinogen: Past, Present, and Future Research to Determine Its Role and Function
1973 Nick Sand's (one of the earliest underground LSD chemists) laboratory at St. Louis gets discovered by the police; Sand gets arrested. Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.142-143 (photos)
1973 ClA's scientist Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, who ran the MK-ULTRA program, leaves the agency. Acid Dreams
1974 High Times gets founded by Tom Forcade; this is a popular New York-based monthly magazine devoted to the legalization of cannabis.
1975 Ron Stark (international LSD enterpreneur and partner of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love) arrested in Italy. Brotherhood of Eternal Love, p.vii, p.xi, p.142-143 (photos)
1975 Scott Chilton publishes the effects of ibotenic acid which he had isolated with Jonathan Ott from Amanita pantherina Pharmacotheon
1975 The first living cultures of Stropharia cubensis appear on the underground market in USA. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.76
1975 Terence and Dennis McKenna write The Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, under the pseudonyms Oss and Oeric, and suggest the extraterrestrial origin of Stropharia cubensis. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.76
1976 Stanislav Grof and his wife Christina develop the egolytic technique they call Holotropic Breathwork. The History of Psychedelics in Medicine
1976, April 26 "Leary emerged from prison in 1976 as one of the advocates for advances in the human condition that would soon be called transhumanism." Quote from R. U. Sirius' Timothy Leary's Trip Thru Time, p.88
1977, August 3 A Senate hearing takes place on Capitol Hill, with the aim of revealing the details of MK-ULTRA. At the hearings, Ted Kennedy (chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research) questioned former CIA employees including psychologist David Rhodes, chemical warfare specialist Phillip Goldman, and the scientist that ran the MK-ULTRA project, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. According to the authors the whole thing was a staged attempt to make the efforts of the CIA seem all clumsy and unsuccessful and to deflect the scrutiny of the CIA's illegal and unethical brainwashing experiments. The prevailing excuse was that the Russians and the Chinese had already been using these psychoactives against the USA (note that there is no proof yet of such a thing).

At the end of the hearings, the authors of the cited work begun collecting the data that would comprise their work.
Acid Dreams, p.8;
1977, October A historical conference takes place at the University of California in Santa Cruzen. the conference is entitled "LSD: A Generation Later". Participants included journalists, scientists, poets, and other celebrities who had played parts in the history of LSD. Acid Dreams, p.5
1978, 11th August The American Indian Religious Freedom Act enacted as a US federal law. It is based on the First Amendment and protects Native American Indians, as well as Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, from governmental interference over their ceremonial practices. These practices include the use of the otherwise illegal plants such as peyote.
1978 J. Bigwood ingests a dose of harmaline hydrochloride to find it inactive. He then tries it together with DMT and notices the psychedelic effects. Pharmacotheon
1979 Carl A. P. Ruck, Jeremy Bigwood, Danny Staples, R. Gordon Wasson, and Johnathan Ott propose the term “entheogenic” in hope of replacing the term psychedelic and thus circumventing its negative cultural connotations (and what they feel to be its etymological inaccuracy). Many follow their new terminology. Pharmacotheon
1980s "Shamanism" becomes fashionable, and peyotl tours become popular, with Mexicans taking the interested to participate in shamanic rituals to the land of the Huichol; a phenomenon that had been called "Nature tourism" and "ecotourism". Pharmacotheon, p.99
1982 The psychoactive ingredient of Salvia divinorum first gets described and named salvinorin (later renamed salvinorin A) by Ortega et al, in Mexico. Plants of the Gods, p.165; Pharmacotheon
1982 Life Extension, A Practical Scientific Approach becomes an international best-seller, and demands raise in "health food" and vitamin stores for compounds such as vitamins C and E and amino acid supplements. Reinventing Foods: The New Alchemy
1983 Timothy Leary publishes his autobiography Flashbacks Timothy Leary's Trip Thru Time
1984 Dennis McKenna examines two Perouvian ayahuasca samples for MAO-inhibition in the rat liver. He reports “extremely effective” inhibition. Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide, p.77
1984 Valdes et al isolate from Salvia divinorum two diterpenes which they name divinorin A and B. It was later found that divinorin A was the previously-named salvinorin, so the two diterpenes are renamed to salvinorin A and B. Plants of the Gods, p.165 Pharmacotheon
1986 R. Gordon Wasson's book Persephone's Quest gets published (posthumously). In it he supposes that the earliest religion in the world is the Soma cult.
When human first encountered it, "at that point Religion was born, Religion pure and simple, free of Theology, free of Dogmatics, expressing itself in awe and reverence and in lowered voices, mostly at night, when people would gather together to consume the Sacred Element."
Persephone's Quest, p.78
1985 Dennis McKenna and G.H.N. Towers publish a paper speculating that the psychedelic activity of ayahuasca is probably due to DMT, which becomes orally-active due to the MAO-inhibiting activity of β-carbolines. They were not the first to consider this hypothesis. On the comparative ethnopharmacology of malpighiaceous and myristicaceous hallucinogens.
1986 The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) gets founded by Rick Doblin; an organization devoted to the scientific study of psychedelic substances. It is based in Santa Cruz, California.
1991 After persuasion by Luis Eduardo Luna, the shaman/psychedelic artist Pablo Amaringo publishes his artistic work, for the first time. The book is titled Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman. Eventually his art becomes famous. Pharmacotheon
1991 PiHKAL first published. PiHKAL
1992 Plants of the Godsfirst published. Plants of the Gods
1992 Food of the Gods first published. Food of the Gods
1992 On a tour in UK (that would be recorded in Revelations) Bill Hicks states his belief that certain drugs were meant to grow naturally upon our planet to help speed up and facilitate our evolution. Talking about psilocybin mushrooms he says: “Do you think magic mushrooms growing on the top of cows' shit was an accident? Where do you think the phrase 'that's good shit' came from? Why do you think Hindus think cows are holy? 'Holy shit...' Why do I think McDonald's is the Antichrist? That[the mushroom]'s God's little accelerator pad for our evolution.” He then does a representation of how he believes humans evolved from apes: being "probably too stupid to catch a cow", our ancestor apes ate a mushroom that was growing in cow's dung, then started laughing and (implying they were enlightened) said "I think we can go to the moon..." Revelations video, date from
1993 The Heffter Research Institute is incorporated. It is a non-profit organization that promotes the scientific research of psychedelics.
1993 Native American Church numbers at least 300,000 members. Plants of the Gods, p.152
1994, August - September The American Indian Religious Freedom Act (see 1978) got amended to provide further protection to the Native American Indians' traditional use of peyote.
1994, 27th October The DEA raid Alexander Shulgin's laboratory. They take away his license for working with Schedule I drugs. Shulgin is also fined $25,000 which is eventually paid by public donations. Erowid
mid-1990s Psychedelic trance music becomes popular worldwide. According to this author, it "is connected foremost with an occultural milieu that has its roots in the late 1960s when Western psychedelic travellers converged seasonally on the beaches of Anjuna, India. The social experiments of traveller expatriates in Anjuna and the surrounding beaches of Goa, India, from the late 1960s laid the foundations for the dance music movement that came to be called Goa trance, a phenomenon that evolved into psychedelic trance and expanded to Europe, Israel, Japan, North America, Australia and South Africa by the late 1990s, and subsequently to Central and South America. Chai, Charas & Changa - Psychedelic Gnosis in Psytrance Gatherings
1995 Clark Heinrich hypothesises that the legendary Philosopher's Stone was actually the mushroom fly agaric. Pharmacotheon
1997 TIHKAL first published. TiHKAL
1998 The Beckley Foundation gets founded by Amanda Feilding; an NGO dedicated to the research of psychoactive substances and the promotion of a global drug policy reform. It is based at Beckley Park near Oxford, UK.


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