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Founding Director of MAPS

Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director 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. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist. He founded MAPS in 1986, and currently resides in Boston with his wife and three children.


A discussion of the latest developments in MAPS’ effort to conduct research will focus on the aim to develop MDMA-assisted psychotherapy into EMA and FDA approved prescription treatment. Also covered in this talk: MAPS’ marijuana study for chronic, treatment resistant PTSD, an observational study involving US Veterans with PTSD receiving Ayahuasca in Peru, and our Psychedelic Harm Reduction work. The big picture is the overall importance of psychedelic research and cultural evolution.