The mind behind one of the world's favourite recreational drugs passed away yesterday.
Alexander Shulgin, the pharmacologist credited with discovering Ecstasy, has died aged 88. A Facebook post by his wife and research partner, Ann, claims that the pharmacologist, author, and medicinal chemist died surrounded by "family and caretakers and Buddhist meditation music."
Shulgin is credited with discovering and synthesising over 200 psychoactive drug compounds for psychedelic evaluation alongside his wife.
He famously experimented with the party drug Ecstasy and was instrumental in bringing it to the attention of the wider world. His work is documented in two books, which provide extensive detail on their work and their personal experiences with the drugs.
Shulgin's love for pharmacology became apparent when he studied organic chemistry at Harvard University in the USA. After joining the US Navy in 1943, he got interested in psychopharmacology and after the end of WWII completed a post-doctoral course at the University of California, San Francisco, in the late 1950s.
It wasn't until 1976, that Shulgin synthesised MDMA and changed history forever. He remained in good health before suffering a stroke in 2010.
On April 17, 2014, Ann Shulgin reported on Facebook that Shulgin had developed liver cancer, and in a May 31 update on Facebook his wife Ann said that, although frail, he appeared to be experiencing his last moments in peace and without pain.
Alexander Shulgin died on June 2nd surrounded by his family and friends in California, USA.
We encourage everyone to honour his death in whatever way they deem appropriate.