Alexander Shulgin, the scientist credited for revolutionising the iconic and controversial drug MDMA (illegal since 1985), has passed away at the age of 88.
His wife Ann Shulgin posted on Facebook that the innovative scientist had died peacefully, while surrounded by his friends and family.
Shulgin was recognised for bringing the psychoactive qualities of MDMA to the attention of psychologists in the 1970s. His theory was that the drug could benefit those with relationship problems, due to its ability to increase feelings of happiness and empathy.
By bringing it to global attention it was quickly picked up by many and became instrumental in the great musical movement that resulted in the scene we have today.
The drug has also been the cause of several tragedies and controversies throughout the years. The Electric Zoo tragedy has been blamed through the illicit use of MDMA and the media are almost too keen in portraying the scene in a negative light because of its association with this drug.
However the beneficial qualities remain unfounded and optimistic; they hark back to Shulgin’s original idea that MDMA can help a patient with psychological problems.
By testing and developing over 230 psychoactive compounds, Alexander Shulgin has been fondly known as the ‘Godfather of psychedelics’. Visionquest member Shaun Reeves had said of Shulgin:
“Shulgin’s life’s work had a deeper spiritual objective: to give us the keys to open doors of perception. It just so happens that he made a lot of keys.”
We have lost a great founding father of the scene, a man who created many difficult and exciting roads for the human experience.
Watch this video below which gives a brief history about Shulgin’s experience with MDMA and watch him nonchalantly recall the time he took the ‘no-calorie Martini’ as an apéritif: