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Steve Jobs snubs LSD daddy

What a long, cheap trip it's been

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In February of 2007, Albert Hofmann - the discoverer of LSD who died last year at an alert 102 - sent a letter to Steve Jobs, asking for the Apple CEO's help in funding research into psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

This revelation comes from a book excerpt published today by The Huffington Post, which also includes a facsimile of the letter itself.

Oh, and that donation that Hoffman requested? He didn't get it, according to the excerpt, which is from This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America.

Not that Jobs has anything against LSD - more properly known as lysergic acid diethylamide and more commonly simply dubbed acid. In fact, in What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry, Jobs is quoted by author John Markoff as telling him that tripping on acid was "one of the two or three most important things he has done in his life."

He is also widely reported to have once said about Bill Gates, "He'd be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger."

Jobs has - or, at minimum, had - no problem with psychedelic drugs. What he does have is a problem with giving away money.

As we discovered in an investigation last November, neither Jobs nor his company are known for their eleemosynary generosity. Wired's Leander Kahney made the same observation in a 2006 article comparing the philanthropic activities of Jobs and Bill Gates. (Summary: Gates is better.)

So it's no surprise that Albert Hofmann felt perfectly comfortable asking Steve Jobs for a contribution to help probe the therapeutic properties of LSD. And it's equally no surprise that he was rebuffed. ®

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