High Times Greats: Interview with Sasha Shulgin

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In this May, 2005 High Times feature, David Bienenstock interviewed renowned chemist Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin (1925-2014). In honor of Shulgin’s birthday on June 17, we’re republishing the Q+A below.

Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin has taken more psychedelic drugs than any human in history. Not in volume (godspeed to that anonymous cosmonaut), but in variety—including scores of molecules that never even existed until he came along to invent them.

The man who brought the world STP, 2CB, D0I and countless other so-called designer drugs attended Harvard at age 16 on a full scholarship, but dropped out to join the Navy when America entered World War II. As a child he had developed an intense love of chemistry, which he continued to explore during his military service—literally memorizing the textbook he carried onboard his destroyer escort in the North Atlantic.

After the war, Shulgin earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley,

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