#14 - Mescaline

Mescaline is one of the lesser-used psychedelics of the 21st century, however, its use may be older than any other psychedelic drug we know of. In this episode of the Drug Science podcast, Mike Jay recounts the definitive history of mescaline, exploring its mind-altering effects across cultures, from ancient America to western modernity.

Mike Jay is a writer and curator who has written widely on the history of drugs. He is the author of High Society: mind-altering drugs in history and culture, which accompanied the exhibition he curated at Welcome Collection in London on 2010, and most recently of Mescaline: a global history of the first psychedelic.

Professor Nutt and Mike Jay also discuss:

The stigmatisation of people who use drugs

The lexicology of the word ‘drug’

The cultural revolution of the 1960s

Mescaline tourism

High Society


Wellcome Collection exhibition

Mike Jay

Humphry Davy

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016


Peyote ceremonies

Ghost Dance

Wounded Knee

San Pedro ancient art

Alexander Shulgin

A Different Medicine

From Shock to Awe 

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Twitter: @ProfDavidNutt @Drug_Science

Fascinate Productions podcast for Drug Science