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10 Geniuses Who Used Drugs and Their Drugs of Choice

Is intelligence related to an increased likelihood of recreational drug use?

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The secret to Mullis' breakthrough? In a September, 1994 issue of California Monthly, Mullis says that he "took plenty of LSD" In the sixties and seventies, going so far as to call his "mind-opening" experimentation with psychedelics "much more important than any courses [he] ever took." A few years later, in an interview for BBC's Psychedelic Sciencedocumentary, Mullis mused aloud: "What if I had not taken LSD ever; would I have still invented PCR?" To which he replied, "I don't know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it."

10. Carl Sagan — Marijuana

Preeminent astrophysicist and cosmologist Carl Sagan not only smoked marijuana regularly, he was also a strong advocate for its use in enhancing intellectual pursuits — though not as publicly as others on this list. Having said that, Sagandid contribute an essay to the 1971 book titled Marijuana Reconsidered that spoke to the virtues of marijuana use. The piece was penned under the assumed name "Mr. X." The identity of its true author was only revealed after Sagan's death.


Robert T. Gonzalez is a science writer for io9, a daily publication that covers science, science fiction, and the future.

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