Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Godfather of Ecstasy - Alexander Shulgin

Alexander Shulgin on MDMA: "The man known as "the Godfather of Ecstasy" passes through a narrow door on a dusk-soaked evening in early winter. His strides are measured, his spine slightly hunched, though he still stands more than six feet tall.

He’s going to be 77 in June, but his words race smoothly from mind to mouth. He wants to show his lab off before it gets too dark. Two weeks ago, a tree fell and cut the power lines completely. "This will give you a taste," he says, his shoes splashing through mud puddles.

Rustic and sturdy, Shulgin’s lab has seen its share of controversy. It was here that Shulgin discovered - or rediscovered - nearly 200 mind-altering chemicals, the most famous being Ecstasy, a drug that continues to dominate the world’s rave scene. In recent years, Shulgin’s research has drawn the ire of law enforcement, most notably the Drug Enforcement Agency, which believes the scientist is largely responsible for creating drugs popular among today’s club kids."

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