Legendary chemists and psychonauts Nicholas Sand and Nick Scully created the legendary version of LSD known as “Orange Sunshine” that was so widely used in San Francisco in 1967. Sand died on April 24 at his home in the Northern California community of Lagunitas. He was 75.
Nicholas Sand is also known as the first rogue chemist on record to have synthesized the psychedelic drug DMT.
“Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann may have invented LSD, and Timothy Leary was clearly its most prominent frontman,” The Los Angeles Times obituary reads.
“But it was a self-taught chemist and obscure-by-choice figure named Nicholas Sand who was the true wizard behind the curtain, the man who launched tens of millions of acid trips across generations by producing the best, most pure, highest-quality acid ever consumed across generations.”
Far out, man.
Two years before, when LSD was still legal, the longtime devotee of yoga had sat naked in the lotus position in front of a roaring fire at a farmhouse in upstate New York and taken his first hit.
“I was floating in this immense black space,” he recalled years later. “I said, ‘What am I doing here?’ And suddenly a voice came through my body, and it said, ‘Your job on this planet is to make psychedelics and turn on the world.’
“If we could turn on everyone in the world,” he said, “then maybe we'd have a new world of peace and love.”
Sand had been invited to the farmhouse by former Harvard University professor Richard Alpert, who soon would be better known as psychedelic guru Baba Ram Dass. Alpert's former Harvard colleague Leary had formed the League for Spiritual Discovery (LSD) there.
A year later, Sand's reputation as a drug chemist had spread to San Francisco, where another self-taught chemist, Owsley Stanley, was cranking out millions of doses of LSD.
Stanley introduced Sand to Scully, and they began cranking out Orange Sunshine doses.
They had produced about 4 million when the government, which had outlawed LSD in 1966, busted them.