CIA experiments, Mormon ravers, and reformed racists: the untold history of MDMA

It was in 1975, when Carl Resnikoff and his girlfriend, Judith Gipson, took a bucolic ferry ride to Sausalito, a city located on the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, that a revolution in youth culture, music, emotion, and imagination would take place. It was on that ride that the two undergraduates took capsules filled with MDMA powder for the very first time. Resnikoff, a biophysics major at Berkeley, had synthesized the drug himself. As the boat cut through the water of the San Francisco Bay, Gipson began to feel “a floating sense of euphoria … like some guy could come walking up to us asking for help and his guts are spilling out, and we’d be grooving on how beautiful it was.”

One of the first MDMA hotspots was the Starck Club, which operated in Dallas, Texas in the 1980s.

According to Rachel Nuwer’s book I Feel Love: MDMA and the Quest for Connection in a Fractured World, Resnikoff and his girlfriend’s romp was the first-ever documented instance of people taking MDMA recreationally.

Nuwer is a science journalist who covered clinical trials for MDMA use in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While cannabis and psilocybin have undergone rebrands of late, going from countercultural tokens to the mainstream, she believes that the public is starting to open up to MDMA, too… Read more >

MDMA 1975 Vintage Men’s T-Shirt

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