The NYT on Alexander Shulgin

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The Times has an article about the famous Alexander Shulgin. Shulgin has synthesized and tried some amazing number of psychedelics and written about them in Pihkal and Tihkal. The article is fairly interesting and moderately positive, despite the author's fixation on the negative effects of psychedelics (suggesting that they've damaged Shulgin's memory (the guy is 80), focusing on the really small number of people who have died from psychedelics, etc.)

Mark A.R. Kleiman makes an appearance, too:

With the F.D.A.'s approval of the Harvard cancer-patient study on Dec. 17, all that's still needed is a D.E.A. license for MDMA. John Halpern, the psychiatrist heading the study, anticipates that happening in the next couple of months. At the same time, he cautions against making too much of his ''small pilot study'': eight subjects undergoing a course of MDMA therapy, with another four receiving a placebo. The Charleston study is similarly modest, with 20 subjects.

Still, according to Mark A.R. Kleiman, director of the Drug Policy Analysis Program at U.C.L.A., ''there's obviously been a significant shift at the regulatory agencies and the Institutional Review Boards. There are studies being approved that wouldn't have been approved 10 years ago. And there are studies being proposed that wouldn't have been proposed 10 years ago.''

The DEA's attitude towards psychedelic research does seem to have changed, which is good. It's not like millions of ravers are suddenly going to start taking X under cover of doing research into the therapeutic uses of glowsticks and techno music.

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