The Inventor Of 80% Of The Hallucinogenic Drugs In The World

A nice introductory profile of Sasha Shulgin:

The jolly, white-haired and bearded chemist, who resembles a rather malnourished Santa Claus after several nights on the tiles, claims he has always been motivated by a higher purpose than just getting high.

“My art is being able to make new compounds that can be used as tools in new ways,” he says picking at a piece of quiche on the long wooden dining table in his photograph-cluttered dining room. “I’m exploring these areas to develop tools for study of the mind. The purpose has always been that, in time – probably not in my lifetime – people would have access to these materials and actually go into the mental process to try to work out the mechanism of the human mind. Not the brain, but the mind.”

Shulgin’s own mind is still working well. His body may be failing him – “I’m virtually blind in my left eye and my teeth are falling apart” – but his brain is fully functioning and, throughout our interview, he only occasionally fails to recall places rather than people or the complex names of chemicals…

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