Impressive Discoveries Made by People on Drugs 

Updated December 6, 2019 3.6k votes 1k voters 114.5k views 20 items

List Rules Vote for the most impressive discoveries

Did you know that many famous discoveries were made by people who were on drugs? Go to public school in America and you'll hear teachers warn against drug usage. What these teachers fail to mention is that many of the world's greatest discoveries were made thanks to drugs and people who used them. It's true: many of the world's greatest minds were, in fact, influenced by illicit drugs. So what are the things done by people on drugs?

The list of discoveries made while high is impressive. Multiple Nobel Prize winners used LSD during their research. Thomas Edison's many inventions were made while on drugs. And one famous astronomer and scientist thought of some of his best ideas while high. That's the crazy part of all this: many of these discoveries were made by household names. Sigmund Freud was an avid cocaine user and even Moses was probably high on drugs when he received the ten commandments. Ever had a Coca-Cola? Thank cocaine. Know what DNA is? Thank cocaine. Do you like reggae music? Thank marijuana. (Though maybe that last one isn't so surprising.)

Vote up the discoveries made on drugs you think are the most impressive. And then DO NOT DO DRUGS. Just because these great minds did them doesn't mean drug use should be condoned. The list of people who died because of drugs is infinitely longer.
Without LSD, DNA May Have Never Been Discovered
Without LSD, DNA May Hav... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Impressive Discoveries Made by People on Drugs
Photo: Marc Lieberman/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.5
Francis Crick, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, used LSD during his research. As early as the 1960s Crick was a strong advocate for the legalization of cannabis. Crick was turned onto LSD after reading about Aldous Huxley's experiences with the drug.
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Thank LSD For the Discovery of PCR
Thank LSD For the Discov... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Impressive Discoveries Made by People on Drugs
Photo: Dona Mapston/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
PCR is a means by which DNA is more easily isolated to allow for advanced testing. The founder of this technique was Dr. Kary Banks Mullis, who was under the influence of LSD at the time. Mullis said, "Would I have invented PCR if I hadn’t taken LSD? I seriously doubt it. I could sit on a DNA molecule and watch the polymers go by. I learnt that partly on psychedelic drugs."
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Brain Mapping Can Be Attributed to LSD Usage
Brain Mapping Can Be Att... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Impressive Discoveries Made by People on Drugs
Photo: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Neurocientist John C. Lilly is best known for being the first person to map pain and pleasure pathways in the brain. Lilly discovered this while experimenting on a personal level with LSD. Lilly's findings on brain mapping and the effects of LSD often overlapped, which means LSD helped this discovery on two levels.
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Steve Jobs Credited His Success to LSD
Steve Jobs Credited His ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Impressive Discoveries Made by People on Drugs
Photo: Matt Yohe/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0
Steve Jobs felt that using LSD was "one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life." Jobs even said that Bill Gates was unimaginative because he never used psychedelics. The irony is that Gates actually did use LSD.
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