It’s sometimes difficult to imagine that some of our greatest thought leaders and brilliant minds dabbled in the realm of drugs. We might have a stereotype in our heads of people who experiment with drugs – maybe college kids just having some fun, or in more extreme cases, homeless drug addicts on street corners. But this could not be farther from the truth. Drugs are “an equal opportunity employer” – they don’t discriminate and they certainly don’t pick and choose who gets affected by them.

13 Brilliant Minds Who Admitted to Doing Drugs

Andrew Weil

This scientist is known by most as “the founder of integrative medicine.” He is very open about his drug use, citing substances like morphine and psychedelic mushrooms, in particular. He also considers chocolate one of his drugs…and that one, well, we’re on board with.

Bill Gates

Ah, the household name of genius Bill Gates. We know he’s the mind behind Microsoft and is likely one of the most important entrepreneurs in the world, specifically in the computer world. In an interview with the iconic magazine Playboy, he admitted to using the drug LSD in, what he refers to as, his “errant youth.”

Carl Sagan

If you love space and science, you know this guy. He’s one of the most influential minds of astrophysics and cosmology, and if you’re a true fan, you likely remember his TV show (that has now been adapted and remade with Neil deGrasse Tyson – another legendary scientist) Cosmos. Well, you may be surprised to know that Sagan actually wrote a book in the 1970s entitled Marijuana Reconsidered where he openly advocated the use of marijuana.

Francis Crick

Another household name in the world of science, Crick is responsible (along with partner Watson) for what we know about DNA – that magical double helix shape. Rumor has it Crick was telling his Cambridge fellow and other molecular biology buddies that he “perceived the double helix while on LSD.”

John C. Lilly

John Cunningham Lilly was a neuroscientist and credited as the most important mind in the field of electronic brain stimulation at the time. Much of what we know about this field is attributed to Lilly. Reports suggest he experimented with LSD and ketamine at the time.

Kary Mullis

This American biochemist was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry thanks to making important and valuable changes to the process of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, a common laboratory procedure used to amplify and copy DNA sequences. It’s a lengthy and intricate process, and Mullis enhanced it at this time. He actually told California Monthly in an interview that he used LSD quite often during his scientific times.

Paul Erdos

This Hungarian brilliant mind was known as a leading mathematician and prolific author. He was rather eccentric according to his acquaintances. There are even reports that he became so reliant on amphetamines that when he made a bet with a friend (a $500 bet, to be exact) that he’d lay off the drugs for a month, he could not get a single shred of mathematical work done.

Ralph Abraham

Abraham is a prolific and prominent mathematician in America. When interviewed for GQ magazine, Abraham cited “psychedelic insights” are what helped him come up with and elaborate on his mathematical theories. These insights came from drugs like LSD and other psychedelic substances.

Richard Feynman

Perhaps one of the greatest theoretical physicists in history, Feynman admits to experimenting here and there with LSD, marijuana, and ketamine in his inventive days.

Sigmund Freud

The “Father of Psychoanalysis” was actually a pro-drug individual. He said cocaine was actually a “wonder drug” that allowed him to delve into his psyche and uncover truths.

Stephen Jay Gould

Gould was an American paleontologist and evolutionary biologist. Reports suggest he used marijuana quite religiously until his death in 2002.

Steve Jobs

Another household name in the computer world, we know Jobs was the mastermind behind Apple. He is often noted as “the most revered pioneer in the personal computer revolution.” He admitted to experimenting with LSD in the 1960s but never reported doing any more than that in his later years.

Thomas Edison

It’s likely anyone of any age or cultural background knows Thomas Edison – as they should. He is perhaps the most famous and prolific inventor in all of history. Edison was known to use “Vin Mariani,” which was a wine from Bordeaux that was treated with coca leaves – later known as where the drug cocaine comes from.