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Q: I often hear accounts or information about notable dignitaries, scholars, intellectuals, Nobel Prize physicists, etc. who use (or have used) entheogens. Some can be verified (Kary Mullis, for example) while others are likely apocryphal. Do you know of any published resource where someone has done research into this small corner of urban legendry? A Hall of Fame for potheads, as it were?

A: As of yet, we know of no published source rounding up and documenting the use of entheogens -- including cannabis -- by well-known figures; only mentions throughout various articles and books.

Notwithstanding exceptions like Mullis, it is far easier to document a person's use of entheogens once they've passed away. For example, after Carl Sagan's death in 1996 it came out that the personal account by "Mr. X" in Lester Grinspoon's book, Marihuana Reconsidered (1971), was actually written by Sagan. He wrote the account in 1969 when he was in his mid-30s. He continued to use cannabis for the rest of his life.

Other people's use can often be confirmed but it's an imprecise science. The Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library and the Schaffer Psychedelic Library are two places to look for mentions of historial figures. Otherwise we're keeping our ears to the ground on this question.

There are a few compiled lists around such as the one below :

Famous Drug Users

I think I might have been stupid, in some respects, if it weren't for my psychedelic experiences.

- Kary Mullis, Ph.D., Nobel Prize Laureate, Chemistry, 1993

Asked By : Schimmel
Answered By : Sophie
Published Date : 8 / 9 / 2001
Last Edited Date : 2 / 29 / 2004
Question ID : 2774

Categories: [ General ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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