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R.I.P. Sasha Shulgin

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Psychedelia Researcher Dies at 88: ‘Alexander Shulgin, a chemist who specialized in the creation of and experimentation with mind-altering substances, and who introduced the controversial drug popularly known as Ecstasy for potential therapeutic use, died on Monday at his home in Lafayette, Calif., east of Oakland. He was 88.The cause was cancer, his wife, Ann, said.

Dr. Shulgin, whose interest, as he put it once, was “in the machinery of the mental process,” was both a rogue and a wizard, a legitimate scientist and a counterculture hero. Over more than four decades, working generally within the law if occasionally on the edge, trying out his concoctions on himself, his wife and a few friends, and publishing his results, he was the creator of almost 200 chemical compounds capable of rejiggering the quotidian functions of the mind.’ (NYTimes obituary)