In this episode, syde & WarcoBrienza welcome Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). A ‘godfather’ of psychedelics since 1985, as syde loves to name him! Together with Federico Seragnoli, cofounder of the ALPS conference, we discussed with Rick the results of 2 MAPS-sponsored, philanthropy-funded Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
As MAPS approaches a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD as soon as mid-2024, we explore the context of the MDMA prohibition that occurred in the 80’, as well as the possibility of a world of net-zero trauma by 2070.
Questions to Rick Doblin & Federico Seragnoli:
- You are one the Godfather of the Psychedelic Renaissance, how does it feel to see your life’s work being recognised?
- Live from Geneva at the ALPS Conference 2023, what was the importance of Switzerland in 1986 when you founded the MAPS Association ?
- What are the most promising regions of the world in terms of psychedelics for therapeutic use ?
- How can drugs reinforce the spiritual experience?
Biography of Rick Doblin
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences.
He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and puppy, with three empty rooms from his children who have all graduated college and begun their life journeys.
This interview was recorded during the Alps Conference 2023 on psychedelic research in Geneva, Switzerland on 27.10.2022. More info on the Alps Conference here