Hoffman's Potion

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Hoffman's PotionHofmann's Potion traces D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) from its initial discovery in 1943 by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann, through its heyday in the 1960s counterculture, to its present status as a banned or controlled substance in many Western countries. The film offers a sensitive and sympathetic portrayal of the chemists, biochemists, psychiatrists, and psychologists in the 1940s and '50s who privileged the model of mental illness based on brain chemistry over and above the psychoanalytic model in vogue at that time.

Stationed in Canada, the United States, England, and Czechoslovakia, these pioneers made unprecedented advancements in treating various mental illnesses with LSD. Yet despite the rigorous standards the researchers adhered to, their groundbreaking work was choked out by the negative publicity that cropped up around amateurish thrill-seekers on LSD in the 1960s. (Excerpt from umanitoba.ca)

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Comments and User Reviews

  • jason

    makes me want to take some LSD... again. i just watched the documentary "Making a Killing..", now seeing this one it really brings me back to how better off we would all be if we could look into ourselves for healing. that is what the LSD advocates were saying, any drug can be abused, but the abuse comes from ignorance of the user. i liked the plug for the native american's at the end, they had it right, too bad american's are too stupid to realize what we did to them. anyway, watch this movie.

  • SoloPocono

    Jason, I SO agree. With all of the violence, political craziness, and what seems to be an ever-increasing move towards an almost solely religious based fascism...can you imagine, a world in which humans, at a deep level, based their lives on love, Open-minds, peace, and unity? These days, those types of ideas, however, are rejected. Seen as a sign of weakness, or even disingenuous. Empathy? A four-letter word. I'm beginning to think the reasons certain people fight so hard against the use of even medical marijuana-is they inherently realize, and are scared to death of people becoming thoughtful, non-violent, honest, compassionate souls. In this world of greed, anger, hate, dishonesty, racism, fanatical, and closed-minded religious though; advocating something which could open peoples minds, hearts, and souls; has become "Evil".
    God help us all, (pun intended)

  • http://curious... mercury

    I have been benifited a great deal by taking LSD. I sometimes wonder what kind of mammon-worshiping jerk I would have become if was not forced to face my own mind, and the minds of others with total honesty and vunrability, as the drug demands of you, several times in my life. Thank's LSD! Strange...its the ONLY drug you really can't find anymore. It seems the war on some drugs is winable. by the way, odd, the only two docs that wont play all the way are this one, and ecstacy rising. Anyone got any tips?

  • Ren

    I remember that I couldn't have a bad trip if I tried. I'd always heard about them, but even when sh^t hit the fan I felt nothing but peaceful, happy, and content. That was the main feeling. Content. Wherever I was I was so happy to be there.

    Not something I'd do often. I think all things are best in moderation. But all the horror stories just never happened to me. And I wouldn't take back a single hit or any of the experiences I had.

  • nameless

    Beautiful documentry

    Hofmann r.i.p

  • Tom

    It's so good to see some of the old trippers again, and to hear their positive tales of introspection and awakening.

    Unfortuanately, the authors of the documentary seemed to place the blame of LSD's inclusion in the long list of illegal substances upon the American public. Please consider that LSD has been made illegal by governments intent on depriving populations of mind expanding experiences, for such experiences may prove their downfall.

    Thanks for posting this one. It has reminded me of the infinite beauty which we all share.

  • BJ

    In my country, it is pretty easy to get lsd, mescaline and shrooms. In fact, one of the most potent psylocybinmushrooms is roaming the countryside freely (in danish, it is called spids noegenhat which translates, more or less, to pointy nakedhat). This doc made me want to trip lsd again, since it has been a while, and all the tensions and neurotic behaviours have been building up. I need what I experienced the very first time I tripped: a kafkaesque trial in, and of, my innermost self, where all my shortcomings, mistakes and rationalizations, but also the good stuff, are illuminated. I need emancipation from 'I'.

  • billy

    these gentlemen are pioneers but there is a fine line once crossed that is difficult (not impossible) to come back. My personal opinion is that these drugs can speed the process of self realization .

  • psynapsurfa

    the use of lsd, or other psychedelics can be a very profound and often revealing experience..
    it seems we are mostly in agreement...
    and sometimes it can get heavy, or scary... agreed..

    however, tripping is also good fun.

    i have had plenty of deep and wondrous experiences on lsd, and learnt a lot about reality, thought, consciousness, had psychic communication and telepathy...and learnta lot about myself...

    but, i also had plenty of fun.... i love music on lsd, and art and trees and sex and laughing, and just the absurd things that one can do and think...

    just thought i would add that...

    you know, its not all serious mysticism...

    laughter is the souls medicine afterall...

  • toddy

    after seeing this i wish i had some LSDS or shrooms. I can say this that phsychoactive substances have had a more profound and benefical effect on me than anything else has. If you want to see the world in a truly new light and way these things will do it. Whether it's for the better or worse who knows.
    It was a pleasure to hear from Hoffman himself and the other pioneers concerning the original aspects of the substance. To hear them not necessarily praise and definitely not demonize it was a good thing. Did others see this , but when they were reflecting back on their prior experience with LSD they were smiling, can't be bad thing if your smiling over a memory.

  • Chris

    Looks interesting. Wanna see the rest. But the video stopped streaming at about 6 1/2 minutes and waiting/tweaking couldn't get it started again. Any help appreciated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732228011 Zach Fraser

    i have tryed lsd a couple of times is scared me alot i supose i just wasnt ready for it i had such a small amount i thought id be able to handle it and realy take something out of it but the head space was to unreal for me i just tryed to shut everything down and ride it out i dont think i will ever go back to trying such things again as it was pysicaly and mentaly draining but i could still understand how people with the right mind frame would be able to take very much from such experiances for me it left me curled up in a corner in the fetal position for a good 7 hours.

  • LIVEFROMLIMBO

    the last trip i had was the best and i think it was because of the frame of mind i was in. I'm not religious but before droppin the tab i had a reflection/prayer of sorts. I thanked the universe for abundance and mentioned loved ones. and then sat in silence for a few minutes and then i had the best trip ever!!
    i've had a couple bad trips before (on other substances) and i realized that all were from being somewhere i didnt wanna be or around ppl i didnt wanna be around- and possibly what i ate/drank those days ( i like to think i'm more health conscious these days).
    so if ur gonna do LSD, i would recommend a good safe setting (good people too but alone is just fine) and something to do (hobbies are great) and maybe something to watch as well if ya jus wanna sit down. BUT i doubt u'll wanna stare at a blinking screen (unless its something really cool) and you'd probably wanna go outside or something anyway- walks are great.
    and do not drive- i'm sure i could do it IF I HAD TO- but that can usually be avoided by preparing for your trip a little- including diet.
    just respect what you are doing.

    oh and don't forget the weed and smokes :p

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KKFE2AJDL53TJUYICKODXCNDIY J

    using lsd is a little like having good sex and bad, it should never put you off if its bad, and you will always have more good than bad, 20 years, 4 negative experiences tells me thats a fair trade, if you get off the track just remain calm and imagine standing with your eyes closed in warm sunshine, failing that, get some sleeping tablets down you.......

  • http://www.facebook.com/allison.s.hendry Allison Seamark Hendry

    Leary is the villian in this story. His massive ego and self indulgence destroyed any hope that LSD could be used in a useful and proper way. Dosing your teenagers with it (as Leary did) is massively dangerous. He was a proponent of passing it out to everybody like candy. Shame on him for depriving science and mental health research of a such a valuable tool.