The Swiss chemist discovered the drug by accident in 1938 and raved about its power to generate " wonderful visions, " which he defended after LSD was widely banned for safety reasons in the 1960s. Hofmann died last week at his home in Basel, Switzerland. John Perry Barlow, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, met Hofmann on a 1990 " pilgrimage " to his home, and he shared these memories with NEWSWEEK's Jessica Bennett:
Albert Hofmann was an accidental prophet. But his casual revelation likely introduced more people to the spiritual dimension than any other discovery of the last 500 years. Around 1966, enough of my generation had taken LSD to just cut loose. We had a sudden feeling of permission: we felt it was OK to look critically at the world, to ask serious questions about the war, about how this country was governed and what to do with our lives. LSD did that. It made authority look funny. There were many things conspiring to make that moment in history a little crazy, but our reaction would have been very different without LSD. It set us free in a way we'd never been before—maybe in a way that nobody had been. Hofmann was, and is, our patron saint.