Alexander ‘Sasha’ Shulgin, Biochemist, Psychopharmacologist, and arguably the grandfather of Psychedelic drugs and chemistry, is nearing the end of his life in hospice care at age 88. This man is responsible for discovering, synthesizing, and cataloging 230+ unique psychoactive chemical compounds (most famously MDMA, 2C-B, DOM) and distributing all of his knowledge for free, open source use to both the leading medical researchers to create conventional medicine, and to the clandestine chemists following in his footsteps. He authored PIHKAL and TIHKAL (Phenethylamines/Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved) with his wife Ann Shulgin (who pioneered breakthrough studies and research on psychotherapy with empathogens such as MDMA and hallucinogens). His life has been devoted to his love of psychoactive compounds and distributing his knowledge for free. Without his research and synthesis we would not have the wealth of knowledge to support the current psychedelic clinical/medical studies that are beginning to happen around the world thanks to advocates and open minded thinkers of yesterday ( Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary) and and today ( Joe Rogan, Dr. Rick Strassman,Alex Grey), organizations like Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) , and web-resources like Erowid that provide unbiased, scientific information and safety for researches, chemists, medical/therapeutic, and recreational users. In more progressive areas, the cultural taboo of psychoactive compounds is starting to disappear with the rise of scientific studies and medical analysis of these substances. wether you agree or disagree with the use of these substances, the fact is people are always going to experiment, and the world will be a much better place when we change from a culture of fear to a culture of information. Research and Safety always trumps fear and ignorance.
“Use them with care, and use them with respect as to the transformations they can achieve, and you have an extraordinary research tool. Go banging about with a psychedelic drug for a Saturday night turn-on, and you can get into a really bad place, psychologically. Know what you’re using, decide just why you’re using it, and you can have a rich experience. They’re not addictive, and they’re certainly not escapist, either, but they’re exceptionally valuable tools for understanding the human mind, and how it works.”
― Alexander Shulgin, Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story
(Painting of Sasha and Ann Shulgin by Alex Grey)