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Chemist Who Wanted to Change World Through LSD Dies at 75

Nicholas Sand estimates he made nearly 140M doses of LSD in his lifetime
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2017 10:02 AM CDT
Chemist Who Tried to Start LSD Revolution Dies at 75
Nicholas Sand, whose LSD became a "signature" drug of the 1960s, died last month at 75.   (YouTube)

"We thought LSD was going to change the world," the Telegraph quotes Nicholas Sand as saying. The man who estimates he manufactured enough acid for nearly 140 million doses during his lifetime—and who one law-enforcement officer once called "an icon in the world of illicit drugs"—died of a heart attack April 24 in California, the New York Times reports. He was 75. Sand, the son of a chemist and Soviet Union spy who worked on the Manhattan Project, took his first acid trip in 1964—back when LSD was still legal. During that first trip, he heard a voice tell him his "job on the planet" was to "turn on the world" through psychedelics. He heeded the voice, becoming a chemist in his own right.

Sand's Orange Sunshine was one of the "signature" drugs of the 1960s, with Timothy Leary calling it the best LSD out there. It was distributed by a group known as The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and Sand became the "alchemist" of Leary's church, the League for Spiritual Discovery. Sand has said he wanted to bring "peace and love" to all people. "We thought LSD was going to change the world," the Telegraph quotes him as saying. After years on the run, Sand was imprisoned on drug and tax-evasion charges. He was released in 2001 still fully believing in the mission he was given on that first acid trip 37 years earlier. (More LSD stories.)

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