Why a British MP was filmed taking mescaline
# Warning: This programme contains scenes of drug use #
In 1955, a British member of parliament, Christopher Mayhew, took the hallucinogenic drug mescaline and had his experience filmed by the BBC. The drug was legal at the time and the experiment was supervised by the pyschiatrist Dr Humphry Osmond. The film was part of a wider public debate about psychedelic drugs following the publication of The Doors of Perception by the writer Aldous Huxley. But the film of the experiment was never broadcast and years later mescaline was put on the banned list of drugs in the UK because of fears of its potential impact on mental health..
Photo: Christopher Mayhew (right) preparing to start the experiment, watched by Dr Humphry Osmond (left), December 1955. (BBC)