At the occasion of the Symposium for the 100th birthday of Dr. Albert Hofmann, discoverer of LSD, Gaia Media Foundation, Basel, and Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy has released an Appeal calling upon the appropriate authorities responsible to do everything in their power to enable the continuation of scientific research of LSD and related psychoactive substances, as well as their medicinal and therapeutic use according to present-day methodological standards.
From 13 to 15 January 2006 the international symposium "LSD – Problem Child and Wonder Drug," was held in Basel, Switzerland with more than 2 000 participants from 37 countries. Some 100 scientists, consciousness researchers, therapists, artists, and witnesses of the times from all over the world have gathered at the largest event in history on the issues of consciousness expanding substances, and have lectured and discussed about history, risks and chances, the potential and the social consequences of this most potent of all psychoactive substances.
During the symposium, Dr. Albert Hofmann, who discovered the far-reaching psychoactive effects of LSD back in 1943 at Sandoz Laboratories, Basel, and who celebrated his 100th birthday on last 11th January, emphasized that LSD belongs, “as to its chemical structure and its pharmacological effect, to the sacred drugs which are being used by many cultures within a ritual framework for thousands of years,” but also that "the world wide general ban of all psychoactive substances is far from any insight and resulted in the deadlock of medicinal and therapeutic application and clinical research."
Gaia Media Foundation, Basel, Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy, and all undersigned speakers and experts call upon the appropriate authorities and politicians responsible in Berne, Berlin, Brussels, and Washington, to do everything in their power to enable the continuation of scientific research of psychoactive substances, as well as their promising medicinal and therapeutic use according to present-day methodological standards.
Above all it should be possible again to scrutinize the effectiveness and security of psychotherapeutic use in order to eventually gain reliable statements on the therapeutic potential of a number of substances. Apart from research into neurobiological basics and effectiveness mechanisms still to be extended, furthermore the use in chosen fields of neurobiology and psychiatry is to be examined.
Among the undersigned persons there are Dr. Albert Hofmann, psychiatrist Dr. Stanislav Grof, as well as chemist Dr. Alexander T. Shulgin, and dozens of approved experts. They put special emphasis on the fact, that "the actual state is far from any insight and the obstacles at present are the result of an outdated drug policy. They are convinced that it is time to re-establish, also in our western culture, the proper status of psychoactive substances."
regarding the support of scientific research into psychoactive substances
From 13 to 15 January 2006 an international symposium on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Albert Hofmann was held in Basel, Switzerland. Back in 1943, he discovered the far-reaching psychoactive effects of LSD within the scope of his research and work as a chemist at Sandoz Laboratories, Basel. According to its discoverer LSD belongs, "as to its chemical structure and its pharmacological effect, to the sacred drugs which are being used by many cultures within a ritual framework for thousands of years."
With that, Dr. Albert Hofmann laid the foundations for new insights into widely unexplored psychoactive substances so far, which henceforth could not exclusively be derived from nature, but also synthetically. As a result of this, a brisk research activity set in to understand the nature and effect of these extraordinary substances. In the 1950s and 1960s several thousand papers of research on these topics were published. As a reaction to the mass drug use in the western world psychoactive substances were unanimously declared drugs without any medicinal benefit and their use was generally banned worldwide. This was a measure relating to health policy, which much to our regret brought any scientific research in this field to a complete standstill.
The undersigned speakers and guests of the symposium call upon the appropriate authorities and politicians responsible to do everything in their power to enable the continuation of scientific research of psychoactive substances according to present-day methodical standards. Above all it should be possible again to scrutinize the effectiveness and security of psychotherapeutic use in order to eventually gain reliable statements on the therapeutic potential of a number of substances. Apart from research into neurobiological basics and effectiveness mechanisms still to be extended, furthermore the use in chosen fields of neurobiology and psychiatry is to be examined.
We put special emphasis on the fact that the actual state is far from any insight and the obstacles at present are the result of an outdated drug policy. We are convinced that it is time to re-establish, also in our western culture, the proper status of psychoactive substances.
Basel, 15th January 2006
List of Signees
of the Appeal regarding the support of scientific research into psychoactive substances
Albert Hofmann, Ph.D., h.c. (CH) Chemist, Discoverer of LSD, Member of the Board of the Gaia Media Foundation
Günter Amendt, Ph.D. (GER) Social Scientist, Therapist, Publicist
Rudolf Bauer, M.D. (AT) Pharmacist, Professor for Pharmacognosy at the University Graz, President of the Society for Medicinal Plant Research
John Beresford, M.D. (CAN) Psychiatrist, Founder of the Agora Scientific Trust, the world's first research organization devoted to investigating the effects of LSD, Founder of the Committee on Unjust Sentencing
Rudolf Brenneisen, M.D. (CH) Pharmacist, Professor for Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Phytochemistry at the University of Bern
Mathias Broeckers (GER) Literary Scholar, Publicist
Bernd Brummbär (GER) Psychedelic Digital Artist
Rael Cahn (USA) M.D./Ph.D. student at UC San Diego and visiting doctoral student at the University of Zurich, currently conducting a study comparing meditation and psilocybin
Hans Cousto (CH/GER) Mathematician and Musicologist
Rick Doblin, Ph.D. (USA) Founder and President of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies)
John Dunbar (UK) Artist, Co-founder of the Indica Gallery, London, meeting place of Beats, Pop and Rock Stars of the Sixties
Bruce Eisner (USA) Psychedelic Activist, Editor with High Times and Omni, Writer, President of Island Foundation
Earth Erowid (USA) Professional Drug Geek, Co-founder and CTO of Erowid.org
Fire Erowid (USA) Psychedelic Librarian, Co-founder and Head Archivist of Erowid.org
Amanda Feilding (GB) Consciousness Researcher, Founder and Director of The Beckley Foundation
Robert Forte (USA) Independent scholar, former director of the Albert Hofmann Foundation, Editor of the 20th Anniversary Edition of "The Road To Eleusis"
Martin Frischknecht (CH) Journalist, Publisher "Spuren"
Jochen Gartz, Ph.D. (GER) Chemist, Mycologist
Michael Gasser (CH) Member of the Board of the Gaia Media Foundation, Switzerland
Peter Gasser, M.D. (CH) Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, President SAEPT (Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy)
Mark A. Geyer, Ph.D. (USA) Professor of Psychiatry & Neurosciences Department of Psychiatry University of California, San Diego
Sergius Golowin (CH) Myths Researcher, Folklorist
Alex Grey (USA) Visionary and Psychedelic Artist ("Sacred Mirrors", "Transfigurations")
Charles S. Grob, M.D. (USA) Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine
Stanislav Grof, Ph.D. (CZ/USA) Psychiatrist, Founder and President of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA), Developer of Holotropic Breathwork
Urban Gwerder (CH) Publisher of "Hotcha", the main Swiss underground paper in the 60s, Writer
Dieter. A. Hagenbach (CH) President of the Gaia Media Foundation, Switzerland
Sue Hall (GB) Trancedancer through the 60s and 90s, psychonaut Buddhist, DJ
John H. Halpern, M.D. (USA) Associate Director of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research at Harvard's McLean Hospital
Matthias Hamburger, Ph.D. (CH) Pharmacist, Professor and Head of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Basel
Jon Hanna (USA) Writer, Publicist, Publisher of the "Psychedelic Resource List"
Joanna Harcourt-Smith (USA) Correspondent, Moderator of Metahistory Quest
Ulrich Holbein (GER) Publicist, Writer
John «Hoppy» Hopkins (GB) Photographer, Promoter of the "International Times", and the UFO Club, London
Michael Horowitz (USA) Consultant, Ludlow Santo Domingo Library, owner of Flashback Books, editor of works by Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary
Thomas Kessler (CH) Former delegate for drug issues of the city of Basel, Member of the Swiss Commission for drug issues
Thomas Klett, Ph.D. (GER) CEO of the Ernst Klett AG and Associate Publisher of Klett-Cotta Verlag
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. (USA) Parapsychologist, Professor of Psychology at Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco
Wolfgang Kubelka, Ph.D. (AT) Pharmacist, Professor emeritus for Pharmacognosy at the University of Vienna
Thomas Langlitz M.D. (GER) Graduate student in the Ph. D. program in Medical Anthropology. Medical Historian
Martin A. Lee (USA) Journalist, Writer, Author of "Acid Dreams"
Roger Liggenstorfer (CH) Publisher of Nachtschatten Verlag, President "eve&rave" Switzerland
Mark McCloud (ARG/USA) Art Historian, Collector of Blotter and other Psychedelic Art
Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. (USA) Consciousness Researcher and Psychotherapist, Pioneer of Psychedelic Research at Harvard, Co-author (with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert) of "The Psychedelic Experience"
Barry Miles (GB) Journalist, Writer, Co-founder of the "International Times", Co-founder of the Indica Gallery
Michael Mithoefer, M.D. (USA) Psychiatrist, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina
Valerie Mojeiko (USA) Program Director and Clinical Research Associate at MAPS
Claudia Müller-Ebeling, Ph.D. (GER) Art Historian, Anthropologist
Jeremy Narby, Ph.D. (CAN/CH) Anthropologist, Author of "The Cosmic Serpent", "Shamans Through Time" (with Francis Huxley), and "Intelligence in Nature"
Reynold Nicole (CH) Astrologist
Jonathan Ott (USA) Ethnobotanist, Writer, Translator of "LSD - My Problem Child"
Dale Pendell (USA) Poet, Software Engineer, Ethnobotanist, Author of "Pharmako/Gnosis"
Werner Pieper (GER) Publisher of The Grüne Kraft
Christian Rätsch, Ph.D. (GER) Anthropologist, Ethnopharmacologist, Author of "Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants"
Micky Remann (GER) Media Artist, Inventor of "Liquid Sound", Writer
Béatrice Rubli (CH) Medium, Psychic Healer
Carl P. Ruck, Ph.D. (USA) Mythologist, Co-author (with A. Hofmann, R. G. Wasson) of "Road to Eleusis"
Hans Saner, Ph.D. (CH) Philosopher
Luc Saner, Ph.D. (CH) Lawyer, Politician
Manuel Schoch (CH) Therapist, Founder of "Time Therapy"
Barnim Schultze (GER) Composer, Musician
Andrew Sewell, M.D. (USA) Research Fellow in Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, studies for treating cluster headache patients with LSD
Alexander T. Shulgin, Ph.D. (USA) Pharmacologist, Chemist
Ann Shulgin (USA) Psychedelic Researcher, Therapist
Ronald Steckel (GER) Director, Writer, Media Artist
Wolfgang Sterneck (GER) Cultural Activist, Sociologist, Director of the Alice-Project, Writer
Myron J. Stolaroff (USA) Founder of the International Foundation for Advanced Study, Director of The Albert Hofmann Foundation
Wolf-Dieter Storl, Ph.D. (GER) Ethnobotanist und Cultural Anthropologist
Juraj Styk, M.D. (CH) Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist
Martin Suter (CH) Author
Rolf Verres, M.D. (GER) Specialist for Psychotherapeutical Medicine, Director of the Institute of Medical Psychology at the Centre for Psychosocial Medicine at the University Clinic Heidelberg
Simon Vinkenoog (NL) Chronicler, Writer
Peter Webster (USA) Chemist, Consciousness Researcher
Fred Weidmann, Ph.D. (GER) Visionary Artist
Lucius Werthmüller (CH) Member of the Board of the Gaia Media Foundation, Switzerland
Carlo Zumstein, Ph.D. (CH) Shaman, Psychotherapist, Founder and Director of the Foundation for Living Shamanism and Spirituality (FLSS)
Jens Zygar (GER) Composer, Musician
Basel, 15th January 2006
The English language version of the Appeal has been sent to the following persons and institutions:
- Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., Director, National Institutes of Health, USA
- Thomas R. Insel, M.D., Director, National Institute of Mental Health, USA
- Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, USA
- John Walters, Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, USA
- Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., Acting Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, USA
- Russell Katz, M.D., Director, FDA Division of Neuropharmacological Drug Products, USA
- Karen P. Tandy, Drug Enforcement Administration, USA
- Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D, CE0, Amerian Association for the Advancement of Science, USA
- Carel Edwards, European Commission, Coordination of anti-drugs policy, Bruxelles
- Wolfgang Götz, Ph.D., European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Lisbon
The German language version of the Appeal has been sent to the following persons and institutions:
- Moritz Leuenberger, Federal President of Switzerland
- Pascal Couchepin, Federal Council of the Department of Home Affairs of Switzerland
- Thomas Zeltner, M.D., Swiss Federal Office of Public Health
- Swiss Academy for Medical Sciences (SAMS)
- Ulla Schmidt, Federal Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Germany
- Sabine Bätzing, National Drugs Coordinator, Federal Republic of Germany