By Drake Bennett
Alexander Shulgin, Sasha to his friends, lives with his wife, Ann, 30 minutes inland from the San Francisco Bay on a hillside dotted with valley oak, Monterey pine and hallucinogenic cactus. At 79, he stoops a little, but he is still well over six feet tall, with a mane of white hair, a matching beard and a wardrobe that runs toward sandals, slacks and short-sleeved shirts with vaguely ethnic patterns. He lives modestly, drawing income from a small stock portfolio supplemented by his Social Security and the rent that two phone companies pay him to put cell towers on his land. In many respects he might pass for a typical Contra Costa County retiree.