Inductees to the Counterculture Hall of Fame are Sasha and Ann Shulgin.
Alexander Theodore "Sasha" Shulgin (June 17, 1925 – June 2, 2014) was an American medicinal chemist, biochemist, pharmacologist, psychopharmacologist, and author known for his creation of new psychoactive chemicals. In 1960, Sasha tried mescaline for the first time.
He then experimented with synthesizing chemicals with structures similar to mescaline such as DOM.
He taught public health at Berkeley and San Francisco General Hospital. Although he didn't invent it, Sasha first synthesized MDMA in 1965; however, he did not try it at that time.
In 1976, the effects of MDMA were described to Sasha by an undergrad at San Francisco State University. Sasha was inspired to cook up a batch of the drug, which he began testing on himself in September of that year. He found the compound to have worthwhile qualities.
In 1977 he introduced the material to Leo Zeff, an Oakland psychologist who worked with psychedelics in his therapy practice. Zeff introduced hundreds of therapists to MDMA and word quickly spread outside the therapist community.
After that, Sasha Shulgin synthesized and self-tested hundreds of psychoactive chemicals, recording his work in five books and more than two hundred papers.
He was a fixture in the psychedelic community, who testified in court, granted frequent interviews and instilled a sense of rational scientific thought into the world of self-experimentation and psychoactive ingestion.
Sasha's partner Ann Shulgin also conducted psychedelic therapy sessions with MDMA before it was placed on the US government’s list of banned controlled substances. In her writings, she has stressed the potential of these drugs from a psychoanalytic perspective, as well as their use in combination with hypnotherapy. She often appears as a speaker at conventions, and has continued to advocate the use of psychedelics in therapeutic contexts.
Sasha and Ann authored the books Pihkal and Tihkal and contributed to the books Thanatos to Eros: 35 Years of Psychedelic Exploration, Entheogens and the Future of Religion, Ecstasy: The Complete Guide, The Secret Chief Revealed, Higher Wisdom: Eminent Elders Explore the Continuing Impact of Psychedelics, and Manifesting Minds: A Review of Psychedelics in Science, Medicine, Sex, and Spirituality.
In April of 2010, Sasha and Ann Shulgin were honored for their lifetime of achievements in the field at the Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century conference in San Jose, CA
On November 17, 2010 Sasha suffered a stroke. Though his recovery went well, he continued to face a variety of age-related health challenges. On June 2nd, 2014, he died at home surrounded by friends and family.
The Counterculture Hall of Fame was created in 1997 by High Times Editor Steven Hager. The purpose of the Hall of Fame was to help focus ceremonies at the annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, and to celebrate the history of the counterculture by recognizing its saints. The inductions are done in Amsterdam every year on Thanksgiving as part of the Cannabis Cup awards show. Often a documentary film is shown to introduce the inductee(s) to the audience. A silver Cannabis Cup is awarded as part of the induction ceremony.
(Source: Wikipedia,High Times)