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Godfather of Ecstasy Sasha Shulgin Has Died

Presumably while surrounded by kandi bracelets and thumping electronic music.


Photo: Scott Houston / Sygma / Corbis

American medical chemist and pharmacologist Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin – best known for introducing the world to MDMA, aka ecstasy – passed away Monday night at the age of 88.

Shulgin quickly became one of the most prominent icons of the psychedelic movement when he began experimenting with various drugs in the mid-‘50s. Credited with sampling and synthesizing over 200 psychedelic drug compounds, the scientist introduced MDMA - or, as the kids these days call it, "Molly" - in the mid-'70s to various California psychologists, many of whom supported his ideas regarding controlled medical usage of the drug. 

Eventually Shulgin detailed his findings in two popular books, TiHKAL (Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved) and PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved), which he co-wrote with his wife. Now that's true love. 

May he rest in psychedelic peace.


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