Episode 3

#3 - Canadian History of Psychedelics: Part I

00:00:00
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00:25:24

June 21st, 2021

25 mins 24 secs

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About this Episode

This episode is the first in our two-part series on Canada’s captivating history with psychedelics. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane...

Did you know Canada was once the leading country in psychedelic research? Beginning in the late-1940s, Canada’s first so-called socialist provincial government in Saskatchewan set out to improve the state of mental health care with research at the Weyburn Mental Hospital. Over the course of the 1950s, groundbreaking research with LSD and mescaline was conducted at Weyburn and LSD made its way to British Columbia which became home to the most prominent mental healthcare facility in the world during the 1960s. In this episode, we deliver a behind-the-scenes look at the introduction of LSD and peyote into Canada and the story behind the fascinating scientists and researchers that pioneered psychedelic research in the realm of psychiatry, while also advocating Indigenous Peoples and their cultural rights to peyote.


This episode was produced by Brendon Campbell. It was researched, written and edited by Jaipreet Mattu, Sean Hallam, Rebecca Troock, Sidath Rankaduwa, Monica Lau, Ross Crockford, and Bob Sybydlo. Readings by Sean Hallam, Jaipreet Mattu, and Brendon Campbell. Original music and audio engineering by Andrew Illmann. We’d like to give a special thanks to Ross Crockford for providing research material and helping us make this episode come alive.


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Sources:

Bradford, T., & Dyck, E. (2012). Peyote on the Prairies: Religion, Scientists, and Native-Newcomer Relations in Western Canada. Journal of Canadian Studies, 46(1), 28-52

Brown, J.E. Introduction to LSD Experience, December 8, 1957. Cathedral of the Holy Rosary. Letter.

Cameron, D. (Executive Producer) (1960). 1960 Saskatchewan election: Tommy Douglas' medicare plan dominates the 1960 election campaign [Television Broadcast]. CBC News Magazine. CBC Television.

Crockford, R. (2001a). B.C.’S Acid Flashback. Vancouver Sun. http://www.rave.ca/en/news_info/142625/canada/. Accessed 31 January 2021.

Crockford, R. (2001b). Dr. Yes. Western Living. December 2021 issue.

Dyck, E. (2019). Psychedelic Research in 1950 Saskatchewan. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/psychedelic-research-in-1950s-saskatchewan. Accessed 25 January 2021.

Dyck, E. (2012). Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD on the Canadian Prairies. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.

Dyck, E. (2007). The History of LSD - The Original Psychedelic Drug: Acid trip. Biochemist, 29(2), 20-23.

Dyck, E. (2006). Hitting Highs at Rock Bottom’: LSD Treatment for Alcoholism, 1950–1970. Social History of Medicine, 19(2), 313–329.

Hofmann, A. (1978). LSD: My Problem Child and Insights/Outlooks. Oxford University Press.

Huxley, A. (1954). The Doors of Perception. Harper & Row.

Osmond, H. (Performer), Littlefield, C. (Director). (2002). Hofmann’s Potion. [Documentary]. Retrieved from https://www.nfb.ca/film/hofmanns_potion/. Accessed 5 March 2021.

Metcalfe, B. (1959, Sep 1). The Experience: Moment of truth's alarming. The Province, 1.

Sagi, D. (1956, Oct 13). White Men Witness Indian Peyote Rites. Saskatoon Star-Pheonix, 15.


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