In Praise of Psychedelics: Rick Doblin and the MAPS Project

"The rave movement is sort of an antidote to the fact that for many people, the religious rituals that they have just don’t work, and so we’ve had to create our own," said Rick Doblin, the founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

During the 1960s and 1970s, a number of therapists conducted experiments using psychedelic drugs. The research was promising, but widespread recreational use of psychedelics among young people ultimately led to the prohibition of psychedelic drugs. As a result, research on the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics decreased significantly.

In 1985, despite its widespread reputation as an effective therapeutic tool, the DEA classified MDMA as a Schedule I drug. The following year, Rick Doblin founded the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) with the goal of developing psychedelics into legal prescription drugs. Today, MDMA is in Phase 2 FDA trials for use as a therapeutic aid for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

MAPS researchers are also finding that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, can be an effective therapeutic tool for helping addicts and people suffering from terminal diseases. Reason TV talked to Doblin and other psychedelic researchers at the 2013 Psychedelic Science Conference in Oakland, California, to learn more.

Approximately 6:30 minutes.

Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

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  • ||

    I took three hits of chocolate mesc once and I saw God.

  • sarcasmic||

    Using chemicals to get high is morally unacceptable because it's unnatural.

    Getting cranked on adrenalin and throwing flashbangs into cribs is natural so it's OK.

  • SugarFree||

    If infants didn't went to get flashbanged, then maybe they shouldn't choose to live with drug dealers in a house were no drugs were found.

  • sarcasmic||

    Isn't that written into the Social Contract somewhere?

  • SugarFree||

    On the back. You gotta flip that shit over, son.

  • sarcasmic||

    I never got my copy.

  • np||

    Really? Cigarette addiction cured after one psilocybin session? didn't know that

  • VicRattlehead||

    Fixed alcoholism for me, as far as being clean from alcohol for almost 3 years, but it only works if the subject is already conditioned into believing that there is a problem that needs addressing.
    for instance if you smoke and enjoy it psychedelics won't work for you to quit if you are a slave to addiction with no apparent solutions give it a shot you may come to the conclusion your life needs to be re-organized. but again this doesnt cure anything it just opens your mind up to a new way of thinking that could be vital in saving yourself from addiction

  • Mongo||

    We always heard of Russians shaving a patch of hair on their heads, applying shoe polish on the bare skin, then tightly wrapping a bandana around it to compress the area for a high.

    Probably not true but funny to think it exists.

  • R C Dean||

    I've always thought that the Timothy Leary theory on psychedelics had something to it. Namely, that they allow the user to do some reprogramming at a pretty deep level. If so, that means psychedelics have enormous therapeutic potential.

    But, non-crony big pharma drugs bad, amirite?

  • VicRattlehead||

    If used to explore the inner consciousness yes, if used as recreational fun no.
    Like all substances it has its uses and abuses.

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