Chemist. Spent the 50s and 60s working for Dow Chemicals, and has since worked with phenethylamines and tryptamines under the guise of a 'drug handling' permit.

Sometime in the 50s, Shulgin experimented with large doses of mescaline. After claiming that he had found things deep inside of himself (like, what? a ball of lint? I dunno.), he did postgrad work in his chosen field, chemistry, and joined Dow Chemicals as a research scientist. After he had created a very profitable insecticide, Dow let Shulgin have a bit of room and privacy to work in. Dow gave an inch, Shulgin took a mile, and Dow ended up with a few patents on psychedelic drugs. Shulgin left Dow in 1965 to do his own research.

Shulgin is a true chemist - anyone who reads his books can discover that he is trying his hardest to create drugs that fit certain known receptors in the human brain. His book, PihKaL : A Chemical Love Story (PihKaL meaning Phenethylamines I have Known and Loved) is a scientific tome of 179 different phenethylamines, all kid-tested and mother-approved. Shulgin tries out all of his creations first, so there's no need to worry about ill effects you are unprepared for. Included in the list is MDMA (ecstasy), DOM (STP) and 2C-B, along with many other classic psychedelics. Each chemical listing includes an incredibly detailed recipe (you'll need more than a Toys-R-Us chemistry kit, tho) and 'qualitative comments', Shulgin's experiences on the drugs, ordered by dosage.

Shulgin's work with MDMA in the mid-70s and his subsequent push to keep the drug legal for therapeutic use was blocked, but his work and publications let the public know of the drug. Shulgin is often called 'the stepfather of ecstasy'.

Shulgin was also the author of 'Controlled Substances: Chemical & Legal Guide to Federal Drug Laws', which is supposedly still used by law enforcement. The popularity of this guide is probably what allows him to keep his 'drug handler's permit', which allows him to legally explore drugs so he can authoritatively testify about them in court.

Mad props to dmd for the autonoding job on PiHKAL. Run, don't walk, to your nearest unquestioning raw chemical supplier, and let me know how those recipes turn out.

Alexander T. Shulgin

Known to his friends as Sasha, Shulgin is best know for his part in repopularizing the drug MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxy-N-Methylamphetamine) or Ecstasy, which was created in 1912 as an appetite suppressant by the German Drug Company Merck. While Sasha is often erroneously credited with inventing MDMA he has created literally hundreds of chemical compounds meant to be used recreationally and medically, many of which make LSD look like sweet tarts, many of these are covered in his books, PiHKal, published in 1991 and TiHKal, published in 1996.

Shulgin was born in 1925. He served time in the Navy then finished school at UC Berkeley, earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry then went on to post-doctorate work in psychiatry and pharmacology at UC San Francisco after which he became a senior research chemist at Dow Chemical Co. When anti drug sentiment grew strong in the 60's Dow found itself uncomfortably holding several patents on psychedelic drugs created by Sasha, after tightening what he was allowed to work with Sasha left Dow in 1965 and built his own lab in a rural utopia east of Berkeley. and became, as he puts it, a "scientific consultant.".

Shulgin met Ann, a fellow psychedelic explorer with a penchant for Peyote at Berkeley in 1979. They were married in Shulgin's back yard in 1981. The man who married them, they say, was a DEA agent.

Shulgin still works with chemicals to this day, and is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the DEA. He has spent tens of thousands of dollars of his retirement funds in order to continue doing his research and faces possible destitution.

Note: what follows is dated 2001 and may or may not be active when you read this. Please check all information if you choose to act on the following...

There is a trust fund set up to help with Alexander Shulgin's legal battles this can be reached at:

Alexander T. Shulgin Trust
Box 322
343 Soquel Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

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