Almost Everything You Want to Know About MDMA, Cannabis, Psilocybin & Other Psychedelics Updated for 2024

Updated: January 18, 2024

foreign back again talking to luminaries influencers in the realm of everything to do with human potential and today my very special guest is Rick doblin PhD he's the founder and president of the multi-disciplinary association for psychedelic studies frequently referred to as maps 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 smoke marijuana versus the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients his undergraduate thesis at a new College of Florida was a 25 year old follow-up to the classic Good Friday experiment which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experience he also conducted a 34 year study follow-up to a follow-up study to Timothy Leary's conquered Prison Experiment Rick studied with Dr stanislav Graf and was among the first to be certified as a holotropic breath practitioner and there's a lot more that you'll find in his bio I just read a little bit from here but I don't want to waste any more time because you'd be seeing his bio the bottom of this um you know of this daily series so thank you for joining me Rick my pleasure thank you for having me I look forward to this discussion yeah so I think we should start right from the beginning you're a Bostonian I grew up in what I actually spent all my training in Boston in the three medical schools or hospitals affiliated with the medical school staffs bu Harvard I know the area well how did you get interested in this whole area I see that you started with actually marijuana as a possible humiliative treatment for nausea and other uh other problems including inflammation Etc he shared with our audience a little bit of your life journey in in this area and how Maps actually came to be wow thank you for this opportunity um well it really began uh for me in 1972 when I was 18 years old and I read Realms of the human unconscious by Stan Groff and what had preceded that was this education that I'd received from my parents and my grandparents my extended family that the story I was told that I was part of this multi-generational situation of refugees running from anti-Semitism in Russia in 1880 my great-grandparents came to the U.S and then 1920 my grandfather my dad's side came to the U.S from Poland and so the story was that it was refugees fleeing for their lives Coming to America finding safety and being able then to build a new life and that actually to become successful and then as I was like this generation sort of Born Into freedom and born into a certain amount of privilege that I was told that it was my job to work on deeper threats to the Jewish people and so I was educated from a very young age about the Holocaust and I had relatives in Palestine since 1904.

and this was just a big part of my education and it was just how do you grapple with something so horrible as the Holocaust as the genocide that what people could do to each other how do you what is a response to that um and as I was sort of mulling that over I'm still a young boy and then it was the Cuban Missile Crisis and now it's like for me the whole world could blow up between the US and the Russians this kind of a hatred and it was just like what a crazy world I was being born into and then it was for me then my own country now doing Vietnam and so I had to respond to I was in one of the last years of the lottery and I knew I wasn't a conscientious objector because you have to be a pacifist and be against all wars and I felt sometimes it's important to defend yourselves you know people talk about how Gandhi in some ways was lucky to come up against the British that you know they had at least some sense of decency compared to what if Gandhi had come up against Hitler um so I wasn't a pacifist um and so I felt that I needed a different response and all and I ended up being a draft resistor and I decided I would go to jail that I would serve my country by going to prison and costing the system resources and all this was like God I'm living in this crazy world people are killing each other um and it's all more and more about these psychological factors so I started thinking more about psychology but I had believed all the propaganda about LSD I was taught you know I thought if you take LSD five or six times you're certifiably insane that's what we were told and that hurts your chromosomes and you can't have normal babies and and all of this um and I was studying the other I was studying Russian and in my Russian class again I gave me a friend gave me a book to read and I loved it and I handed it back to them and um he said you know the person wrote this book partially under LSD and I said that's absolutely impossible nothing good comes from LSD and it turned out he was right it was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken and that's what broke apart the propaganda I started thinking there must be more to LSD so then when I started college um in 1971 at a place called new College in Sarasota Florida I I decided to try to take LSD and I felt like a massive disappointment at my bar mitzvah you know I thought my bar mitzvah would sort of turned me into a man it would be a rite of passage that worked for thousands of years and but for me it didn't work I was the same the morning after as I was the morning before no visitation what was the year let's see experience like what happened it was this um sense that I was more than I was that that I that I was sort of in my biography I was this who I thought I was was you know from birth to death and it's it made me feel that there was um this enormous amount of um Evolution that had come before me to make it so that I could even be here and that there would be enormous amounts of Life continuing after me and that that I had something more in common with with everybody with all Humanity with all life it was this sense that this kind of experience it was difficult for me to let go I wasn't emotionally um fluid in a way and but it it caused me to question Who I Am where do I belong what is this big life situation that we're in and it gave me hope this intimation that if we could feel that we're all connected in these certain ways that that could be the antidote to to genocide to racism to hatred to patriarchy all these things and so I thought there was a lot of Hope there and I had to evolve as fast as I could and so I had the delusion that if you just take LSD as as many times as you can as fast as you can that's that's the key and so I did that and I got completely lost I totally undervalued integration and I went to the guidance counselor at college and now this is 1972.

And he took me seriously and he said this is really important and and I had this sense too Albert Einstein had this quote about how um you know that the the splitting of the atom has changed everything except our mode of thinking and hence we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe what shall be required if mankind is to survive is a whole new mode of thinking and so what is this new mode of thinking I think it's beyond the ego beyond the individual that we're all in it in some ways together and so when I went to this guidance counselor he took me seriously and but then he gave me this Book Realm to the human unconscious and when I read that I was like this is it this is the way to get deep into the psyche um Jung has this incredible quote about the most important political spiritual thing we can do is withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others and I felt that this idea of you know that we see ourselves in some ways uh overly positive and we are negative parts that we disown we project out onto others the Shadow and so if we could withdraw that and own that and I felt that LSD was helping me do that to disown parts of myself and the guidance counselor astonishingly newsstand Groff and the what was Stan was talking about was science I didn't trust religion so much but I trusted science and this was about spirituality about psychodynamics about birth trauma about and it was a technology to help people get better so I felt that there was a reality check in this in the therapy so it was all combined in this package of how do you help people um appreciate and enjoy the life the precious life that we're given and how do we help people adjust to suffering and to trauma and and work through that and this guidance counselor actually had Stan's address and got the book from Stan the book was published in 1975 and I got it manuscript copy in 1972.

So I wrote to Stan and I was 18 year old confused guy and here he's MD PhD at Hopkins but the LSD research is being shut down and he wrote me back and invited me to a workshop that he and Joan Halifax were giving in the summer of 1972. so I hitchhiked Across America did this Workshop did Primal therapy for three weeks intensive did a month-long encounter group and none of these things really got me where I had hoped to be you know I had this delusion about quote Enlightenment and all and and so out of that I realized that I had totally undervalued um integration and that I I needed to really get grounded so I spent 10 years actually building houses being in the physical world dropped out of school and then 10 years later I went back to college and my first semester was uh with Stan Groff and Christina at eslin to develop a curriculum to become a psychedelic therapist and that's where I discovered I learned about MDMA and it was kind of sad because it was both a therapy drug that I learned about that was tremendous but also it had escaped and was becoming ecstasy and was that was doomed this was during Nancy Reagan and Ronald Reagan and just say no so I felt like I could get politically involved I woke up to the value of LSD after the backlash but I was waking up to the value of MDMA before the backlash so that's what led to me starting to be politically involved and I'd say the big turning point was 1983 after I learned about MDMA I'd read a book by Robert Mueller who was the assistant Secretary General of the UN and this book was new genesis shaping a global spirituality and Robert Mueller had been the French resistance fighter against the Nazi so he had been an military person um he wrote one book called what war taught me about peace but this book was had this thesis that this spirituality this sense of we're all in it together that he said that is the resolution of a lot of these disputes the U.N was created for disputes between countries but a lot of the disputes are religious based and we need this understanding that we're all in this together and then the picture of the on the cover of his book was the Earth from space and the astronauts were saying some similar things that once you get this sense of how we're all together you it changes your understanding and your politics so I wrote to Robert Mueller I said great book but you don't say anything about psychedelics and I think psychedelics could help us understand the spirituality that you're talking about would you help us bring back psychedelic research and I told him about MDMA and he wrote me back again it was just astonishing he wrote me back and he said there's a bunch of Mystics I'd like to introduce you to Brother David steindle Ross Rabbi zelman schachter Vania Palmers and the the subtext was send them MDMA which I had mentioned to them and and I did and they would take MDMA Brother David took it in the monastery to help him meditate and have doses that had deepened his meditation practice afterwards the way we talk about psychedelics is you can have an experience and then you can spend a lot of time integrating it without the drug and that that was my theory of change in a way affirmed by the assistant Secretary General of the U.N that we need this underpinning of spirituality and so when um 1984 when I started a non-profit before maps to protect uh try to protect the therapeutic use of MDMA the government was going to move against ecstasy and we had this advantage in that we meaning this underground therapy Community we knew that the government was coming after us but they didn't know we existed they only knew about ecstasy as a party drug they didn't know about the therapy Trust and so we were able to introduce various people including Lester grinspoon at Harvard Medical School and a few others who was an expert in Psychiatry and who was a big advocate for psychedelic research and so we sort of ceded people who would become Witnesses once this legal case would come against the DEA and that happened in 1984 they moved to criminalize MDMA I went to Washington filed for a hearing we got a hearing and delayed the criminalization of MDMA for about a year and we won the hearing but the judge only gave a recommendation the head of the DEA ignored the recommendation and criminalized MDMA and both recreational therapeutic use that's where I realized I had to get more politically involved and that's where I started maps and the only way is to go through the FDA so it was the winning the case but not getting what we needed which was to preserve therapeutic use of MDMA that that really got me involved and then when I had to start doing research I still was an undergraduate at this time and I want to do psychedelic research this is now 1985 and 86 I graduated in 87 and there was no way to do psychedelic research and I was very interested in this spiritual aspects of psychedelics and I realized that the Good Friday experiment which was done by Walter Panky Timothy Leary was the sponsor in 1962 an incredible experiment and it was the first experiment really whether psychedelics could produce a mystical experience and the minister who did this Howard Thurman was the minister of marsh Chapel he had studied with Gandhi and he actually was Martin Luther King's Mentor Martin Luther King got a PhD at Boston University and Howard Thurman was this incredible African-American Minister phenomenal eloquent person and he let Walter Panky and Tim Leary bring 20 Divinity students from Andover Newton the electrical Cemetery into church on Good Friday and they all got a pill either psilocybin or placebo and the results of the experiment were that nine out of the 20 people had a mystical experience polar partial mystical experience and eight out of those nine had the psilocybin and it was just an incredible project but in a tragic after that you know Larry got kicked out of Harvard Walter panicky went to Johns Hopkins worked there with Stan Groff and Walter died in a tragic scuba diving accident in 1971.

and in the mystical literature the classic test of the validity of an experience is called the fruits test it's not how you describe it but what impact does it actually have on your life and I knew that Walter would have done a long-term follow-up to the Good Friday experiment if he had been alive but since he was dead nobody was thinking about doing it and I thought this is a psychedelic research project that I can do without getting permission from the FDA or the DEA I could do a long-term follow-up and that that would be um something I just get permission from my local IRB at the school and so that was my first research project and it was um tracking these people down and it was a whole long story how I found them all the names were lost and but I eventually identified 19 out of the 20 people and I traveled all over the country to interview them and one of the things that I was amazed at and Deepak we've sort of talked about this a bit it's just the imprint of psychedelic experiences on memory on how I was just amazed how this was now 25 years before 24 to 25 years and these people remembered vividly parts of it the people that were in the placebo group yeah I was there but you know most of them said either um it was so scary when I saw people going through that I decided never wanted to do psychedelics again then the others were like it was so interesting and I decided I wanted to do psychedelics as quickly as I could but they didn't have much in the way of vivid Memories the way the Psychedelic and the people that got the psilocybin and these were ministers many of them had had non-drug mystical experiences before or after and they they said that these non-drug mystical experiences helped them to understand that what they experienced under the suicide and was legitimate it was they tended to prefer the non-drug mystical experiences and they said that was because they were more universally uniformly positive but that the Psychedelic experience would oscillate between you know fear of losing control fear of losing your mind into these sometimes beautiful mystical States but it would go back and forth psycho dynamic make things that were difficult so they sort of reaffirmed the validity of their experience and they talked about the implications of that sense of we're all connected to their subsequent political actions and they they did say that that loss of so much of the fear of death the sense of the value of the moment the now the willingness to feel that we're all together that it motivated them to move into um more political actions and so I felt that this sort of theory of change that if we all do feel how we're connected that that can contribute to a better world I felt that that was affirmed by that by their testimony but I also learned and this was a big difficulty for me is that the results had been exaggerated um you know Time Magazine said that everybody that got the pill I had the mystical experience like the Saints of the ages which was not not quite true and also I discovered something disturbing which was that Howard Thurman was an incredible Dynamic Minister as I said and and part of his sermon was you have to tell people there's a man on the cross you know I have to tell people there's about and one of the minister one of the students who had the society and said yeah I got to do that I got to do that now and he um left the the chapel and he went outside and Houston Smith and um Walter Panky ran after him Commonwealth Avenue right in front of Mars Chapel is a busy busy street and it's dangerous and so they finally captured this guy and um who's going to tell the president of the University he realized the president was somewhere else but he'd tell the president of the university and he didn't want to come back in to the chapel and so they gave him a shot of Thorazine to calm him down and brought him back in but they never mentioned that so I felt that there was a little bit of this exaggeration of the benefits and minimization of the risks but that was the first research I ever did and then I tried to get into a clinical psych PhD program to learn about Psychotherapy outcome research now I graduate in 87 and psychedelic research still wiped out nobody would let me in and so um I realized actually how I realized is when I got trapped sometimes I like to smoke pot and think about things from a broader perspective so I thought my whole life since 1972 1987 has been to become a psychedelic therapist this is what I want to do I want to bring back so I get all the research um and nobody would let me in and then I realized that under marijuana but I might have realized it otherwise that that I wanted too much too soon I wanted the science but the politics was in the way so I had to study the politics so that's where I shifted and and went to the Kennedy School and and one last thing which happened in my mid-20s was the most powerful dream I ever had and it was of a holocaust Survivor telling me that he had survived miraculously almost killed multiple times and he knew he was survived for a reason but he didn't know what the reason was and he's on his in the dream he's on his deathbed and he's telling me this and he shows me how he almost died and then then we're back it was you know Mass grave people machine gun pushed in these Mass Graves but he survived then we're back in his deathbed he said now I know what the reason is why I survived and I'm like well what is that and he said well it's to tell you to study psychedelics you need to bring this back because that is one of the ways to prevent this kind of hatred and killing and um and in my mind I said in this dream I'd already decided to do that and so I said okay you I will do that you can die in peace and and then in my dream he died in front of my eyes and so I've carried this idea that it's this dying wish of Holocaust survivors of not you know people African-Americans who are lynched everybody who's subject to hatred you know that that we need to help people understand and process their own pain and understand our connection and so that has been my path for 50 years and so that's the origin story that's beautiful it's a very good story and it's very interesting uh that of course without the without the immersion that you've had in this world uh somewhat parallels my story but not with the Deep immersion that you've had so I was I think 17 or 18 18 I think when I was in medical school and uh the year is 1965 actually so I'm I must be much older than you are I'm 76 right now how old are you Rick yeah I'm 69.

Okay so yeah it fits it I had my first LSD experience in medical school in India of all the places where we had an exchange program with Harvard and it was controlled you know there was one placebo group and one group with us and there were two um two experiments that I participated in the first one where I had what uh would be called a panic attack or Dark Knight of the soul I lost my Moorings I felt very nervous I didn't want to let go but then I was convinced to go for a second session and um this time you know we all had something to look at or listen to or you know some other uh intervention along with the LST and in my case I was looking at a poster of Mother Teresa and she was licking the wounds of children with Leprosy now at that time we there was in the news there was all this news about how she was a miracle worker and when she kissed his wounds they would get healed and you know for me in medical school that seemed totally unreliable and you know far out but then there was one study that showed that when medical students watched her their ige levels in their saliva went up their immune response went up and so I got very interested and I was looking at this poster of my Teresa 18 year old medical student at the most intense experience of empathy compassion desire to alleviate suffering be a Healer so to speak and of course I finished my medical school training came to the United States all that disappeared you know I did my internship in New Jersey went on to do residency in Harvard and or hospitals associated with Harvard Tufts Bill well God forgot about all this and then in the late 70s working with a neuroendocrinologist a very famous Seymour reichlen got interested in neuropeptide research and molecules of emotion and you know this Pathways for serotonin dopamine oxytocin opiates in fact one of my colleagues Candice spurt had discovered the opioid receptor so I you know now in hindsight I met some of the people that you talk about stanislav graph and communicated with him and you know I just actually um read his latest new book The and and helped to publicize it a little bit forever then I met Robert Thurman and on and on but it wasn't until about 20 years ago when I was in uh in Ecuador that I met a woman who said uh do you want to meet God I said what do you mean she took me to a shamanic ceremony with Ayahuasca and actually I apparently was in that out of body experience that I had for almost eight hours before I get back into my body and so that was an amazing experience and I didn't have an idea after that any desire to do anything and then you know somehow got involved with some of the Psychedelic research only recently with um with Gita with here in New York looking at Terminal Lucidity end of life experiences and now inflammation chronic disease mental illness Suicide Prevention and what you call the mystical religious experience so we have a lot to share with our audience today but let's go before we do that I just have one question for you which was you describe your first experience was really a little bit frightening and negative and yet you decided that you still wanted to go and try for a second experience I'm curious what made you after a difficult experience like that want to try it again I was looking at all the stuff that was come out coming out from Timothy lady ramadas and one of these people you know and I was just saying you know maybe something went wrong I'm going to try it again you know and I am glad I did so but let's fast forward first two maps where you are what your mission is how can people know more about maps and the research how can they get involved but then I want to go back and go back and look at each of the psychedelics individually including you know some things that are not considered psychedelics marijuana cannabis because it's all over the place right now so we need our audience to get some clarity a little bit but let's talk about maps for now people need to know what Maps is what is the mission what you're up to and what is current status of maps and if people want to get involved how do they get involved great thank you so Maps is basically a non-profit psychedelic pharmaceutical company that I started in 1986 so 37 years ago and in 2014 we started the maps public benefit Corporation so that is a for-profit company but it's not to maximize profits it's to maximize public benefit and that's our pharmaceutical arm and that currently is 100 owned by the non-profit so in the course of our history we've raised about 145 million dollars in Grants and donations and we've mostly focused on MDMA assisted therapy for PTSD we also a couple years ago we had a challenge raising more donations because of the rise of all these for-profit psychedelic companies of which there's now hundreds and so we have taken 43 million dollars in a revenue share from investors and we have about 20 million dollars in what's called a convertible node loan in a sense so we are at this rare moment after 37 years where we still have the non-profit which is about 30 people owns the public benefit Corp which is about you know 130 or so people and we have two successful phase three studies with MDMA assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder so we are in this enviable position right now of preparing all this data to submit to the FDA or possible FDA approval and we think that that if it's going to happen it's possible it would be around June of 2024.

and so we are now um getting ready to publish the second phase three study we've submitted the results to a journal the first paper was published in May 2021 in nature medicine and at the end of the year science the journal science publishes a list of the top 10 breakthroughs of the world in the science field and they decided that our phase three study the first one was one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs of the world and I think it was because two parts we had such incredible outcome research outcome data but also because the whole field of psychedelic Psychotherapy is moving forward and this is just the first example of it so I think they were really awarding this to this whole new area of psychedelic assisted therapy which is not really that new thousands of years old in a way but now through the FDA so we are also doing a study with cannabis we have a 12.9 million dollar Grant from uh the state of Michigan and this is to study cannabis for PTSD and 320 veterans but cannabis for PTSD is palliative not potentially Curative the way MDMA assisted therapy can be in our first phase three study we we had to work with the hardest people the most difficult cases so we worked only with severe PTSD people had PTSD average of 14 years one third over 20 years they almost all of them had other treatments that didn't work and this is it's best to think about this as Psychotherapy enhanced assisted by the Psychedelic it's not here's a pill and the Psychedelic will make you feel better work through your problems it's the therapeutic context that is really the intervention so it's 42 hours of therapy over about three and a half months and it's three MDMA sessions once a month each eight hours long and it's two therapists for one person it's often a male female team but not always and it's our therapeutic approach is called interdirected therapy meaning that we all know that our body knows how to heal itself in certain ways below our level of conscious awareness and we have a theory that that the mind is like that too there's this inner wisdom from the unconscious it comes up what comes up to us in our dreams and when you take a psychedelic you could say it makes the membrane between conscious and unconscious more permeable and what comes up we believe there's a wisdom to it and so we support what's emerging so interdirected therapy means that we're not the guide I never use the word guide the person's unconscious they're the own guide we know the process but they know the territory meaning the therapist and so we support what's ever emerging you know vessel vanderkook is one of the principal investigators he wrote the book the body keeps the score which astonishingly last week was the number one best selling paperback book in America but he published the book over eight years ago people are so sensitized to trauma but I mentioned that because sometimes what emerges emerges in a thought or a memory or it emerges in a body sensation or it emerges in a pain or it emerges in nausea or a different way so whatever it is we encourage people to instead of making the symptoms less like traditional medications a lot of times are to reduce symptoms and to not get it to the root cause Stan has developed this approach this idea of the symptoms are the path to the solution that that you let the symptoms instead of suppressing them it feels like it's overwhelming but you let them take you experience it it has a beautiful statement which is the full expression of an emotion is the funeral pyre of that emotion well that if if you really fully experience something it will change it into something else if you feel like you're trapped forever the solution is not to run away it's to say I am trapped forever and to accept that and then you realize that part of you is always trapped forever but it's not the whole it's a part and not the whole it becomes background instead of foreground so we ex support people to experience there's a great uh documentary trip of compassion about three of our Israeli patients it's on Vimeo and I'd recommend it to people to really it's the most patient-centered documentary ever but we'll link to it at the bottom so yeah I agree so that I think that we are now at this incredible point we're the only company that has in this whole field that is finished one phase three study and we finished two and so we're in the process of trying to negotiate how does this field emerge in an FDA regulated context and so we will be having these negotiations with FDA the other way people to learn about us is we've got the world's largest conference on psychedelics ever coming up yeah it's coming up uh June 19th to 23rd uh in Denver we have the entire Denver Convention Center uh the mayor is going to come the governor might come Josh Gordon the head of NIMH is going to be speaking but we've got over 300 speakers um we're probably going to have six or seven thousand or more people coming we do have a discount code Chopra 20.

So if anybody wants to go to Sega alexscience.org or the maps website and we should put all those Links at the bottom of this interview while we're doing it on Youtube it'll be everywhere to be on Facebook and Twitter and everywhere you know so Instagram 20 and then you'll get a 20 discounts on coming to the company we'll put a link over there so tell you know but you know because we have another 15 20 minutes only because we have a Time limitation of one hour for social media on this is MDMA considered a classic psychedelic and how does it work well uh no MDMA is not considered a classic psychedelic is something like LSD psilocybin mescaline Ayahuasca um I began these are ones that have this primary property of um sort of weakening your sense of self that this you know in some of the Neuroscience they talk about the default mode network but but it opens you up to something larger it it sort of um has this um sense that um well Aldous Huxley when when he first did masculine and and wrote the doors of perception and he talked about the brain as a reducing valve correct and and also Abraham Maslow we talk about him as the hierarchy of needs and a lot of people don't know that Abraham Maslow um what they're taught in school is that self-actualization is the the top of the pyramid and in the last few years of of Maslow's life in confrontation with the work with LSD and psychedelics and other things he developed transpersonal psychology and the the top of the pyramid is no longer self-actualization it's self-transcendence correct the answer so the but this idea of the brain is the reducing valve it's a according to what that we scan the environment for our sense of needs survival needs belonging needs self-esteem needs and so the classic psychedelics weaken this sort of narrowing of perception and open us up to a whole flood of experiences emotions things that we've suppressed and what not wanted to see can come to the surface and also deeper intimations of the spiritual connection so the word psychedelic was developed by Humphrey Osmond in discussion with all this Huxley and it means mind manifesting so I I don't I I try to normalize it but I say psychedelic is dreams dreams are Psychedelic Meditation can be psychedelic hyperventilation can be psychedelic but MDMA is not a classic second and it works in a different way so it doesn't really yeah it it um has several fundamental things that it does first off it reduces uh activity in the amygdala the fear pressings part of the brain so that we have this sense of difficult emotions and materials that have been linked to these fearful emotions we can have the content of the memories with a different emotional tone and so that's why it can be so helpful for dealing with difficult things it also releases oxytocin MDMA does which uh promotes a sense of connection self-love self-acceptance more a connection with the therapists as it's called yeah and um a neuroscientist at Hopkins uh ghoul Dolan did some studies with mice she also did studies with octopuses with MDMA and octopuses are solitary creatures you give them MDMA now they spend time with other octopuses so it's an octopus's due process serotonin so this is evolutionary conserved and it's pre-verbal some of the effect of MDMA but in mice what she showed is the oxytocin release is connected to neuroplasticity that new neural connections are are capable during the these critical open periods and so MDMA can other psychedelics can do the same thing as as well so right now where we are thanks to the efforts of maps and your work we where we are is that we are hoping for FDA approval for uh post-traumatics stress disorder but do you see any other uses for everything can you just miss them I want to go over other a second yeah I'll say one of the things that we're doing right now there are some Israelis and Palestinians that have decided to do Ayahuasca and MDMA together as a way to get over their fear of the other and stuff so one of the best uses of MDMA I think is going to be couples therapy and we have learned from FDA that people think that FDA can only approve drugs for the treatment of diseases in the DSM but that's not true we we could get potential FDA approval for couples therapy and we have to come out what is our primary outcome measure what is our secondary measures we have to agree on the methodology but then we could do that we we've done studies with autistic adults with social anxiety with MDMA and we made a lot of progress in helping people to get over the social anxiety there was a study in England by a Dr Ben Sessa with people with alcohol use disorder with MDMA and it was very successful and what it turned out is that people who become dependent on alcohol or other drugs are often running away from trauma and if you help them process the trauma then they're not going to be able to need to run away so much and they'll be able to handle these inner emotions so that study was successful MDMA we did a great project with people with life-threatening illnesses that were anxious about dying with Phil Olson and so MDMA I think is um a tool that can be used in many many different ways and I think the same is true for other psychedelics and so it's like um we tend to develop drugs for through the FDA one drug for one thing you know but the Psychedelic Psychotherapy can be used for pretty much everything that Psychotherapy can and and what we want to do is train psychedelic therapists so the future of clinics the second clinics in the future will not be here's a ketamine Clinic here's an MDMA Clinic here's a psilocybin Clinic it will be therapists cross-trained in the range of different psychedelics and what they do they're all subtly different and then they will customize a treatment program for each individual patient and the goal is to get this covered by insurance and we think that there's a good chance for doing that so MDMA has an enormous number of uses because it's primarily Psychotherapy that enhances Psychotherapy whatever Psychotherapy is good for psychedelics can be good for as well but I think one of the key challenges that we have today is the problems with addiction and we have you know most people are not aware that Bill W who started Alcoholics Anonymous first got sober with um Belladonna he had this experience and then in the 50s he took LSD and he thought that LSD could be really helpful for hitting bottom he realized that a lot of times people with addiction they have to destroy everything their lives their relationships their work their health and finally when they hit bottom they do this uh assessment of what they're doing but he said with LST you can hit bottom emotionally and spiritually while you still have an intact uh relationship or job or so so I think that's one of the Lost um opportunities that we will come to regret is that in the 50s Bill W wanted LSD to be part of the treatment of Alcoholics and it was too controversial and it didn't happen so MDMA is great for addiction I think there's just an enormous number of different things that that can be and that's what that's that's a beautiful update on on MDMA talk a little bit about marijuana because it's now everywhere it's legal does what is the the what are the potential benefits and possibly what are the potential harmful effects of marijuana yeah well I think the thing that people have to keep in mind is that um two things is that the dose makes the big difference that's what paracelsus the the difference between the medicine and a poison is the dose so if if you're a high school student in your smoking pot every day it's probably not very good for you and you're gonna not learn as much as you could so the dangers of of cannabis are mostly um using it too much and too frequently not doing the integration work not doing the grounding not understanding that it's as an enhancement but not like a permanent you know BMS state has kind of mis-reduced inflammation and all that we hear about treatment of chronic illness and cancer and fear and and you know um actually nausea side effects yeah and what really changed American attitudes towards cannabis was the the Sanjay Gupta and others were noticing that uh CBD a part of Canada this is helpful for childhood epilepsy and so you know there's so many different cannabinoids so many different uses I think it's good for creativity it's good for certain kind of uh a whole range it can be good for enhancing Psychotherapy even in in different ways but I think that it tends at least for PTSD um it tends to be more symptom management rather than helping people deal with the powerful emotions that they're doing cannabis will help you focus on the moment and so that makes the traumas of the past a little bit less painful it can help people not have nightmares it helps with sleep so people don't have as many nightmares it's got a lot of potentials and you know as we know it's been used for thousands of years and and I think it's the other thing that people don't realize and I think that it's the big problem of the drug war which is that we invest properties in things like this is a bad drug this is a good drug and and it's about the thing and what we're missing is that it's about the relationship that we have with it it's not the thing itself these properties are properties of the relationship not the thing so that cannabis can be um harmful for people it can be helpful for people and it's the same cannabis it's how people relate to it it's what they so I I'm very happy that we are trying to study cannabis for PTSD and I think is it's a challenge for a lot of people don't want it's so painful for them the thought of dealing with their traumas that they they they are interested in symptom control that's the story of ssris and a lot of the medicines that that but if you can help people reduce the symptoms and then maybe they get to a place where they're like okay now I'm ready to do something deeper and so cannabis can be a big part of that okay in the remaining few minutes let's very briefly go over psilocybin and Ayahuasca ibogen and all the others whatever you know we saw Paul Summit with you just a few minutes ago we started and you know he's an amazing guy too just like you are and uh you know they're more and more evidence is emerging that these are serotonin agonists but they probably in addition to decreasing the activity of the default mode Network I think they may probably loosen the entire network of the conditioned mind you know so that we can experience this expansive interconnectedness that you talk about which is the religious experience I personally have convinced myself that when Moses fed Mana to the Jews that there was a lot of fungus there and Jesus Christ converted the water into wine the cost probably had some fungus so but you know when you read the hymns of the rigveda you read all about this substance called soma which seems to be some kind of psychedelic and of course ganja cannabis has a long tradition in the uh traditions of India as a religious experience and all religious experience is basically one Transcendence to the emergence of platonic values as as a result of that interconnectedness and three the loss of the fear of death so I've had that in my meditation and my nightly practices and it's very obvious that these psychedelics do influence the neural networks of the condition mind which are basically the recycling of trauma it doesn't matter you know whether you were in the Holocaust but all of us have intergenerational drama yeah and probably there's no one who doesn't who hasn't had some trauma in their life if not at Birth in neutral or intergenerational trauma and we know all about the epigenetics of all that so I do see that they have a role in not only terminal Lucidity end of life care but actually going beyond the conditioned mind so briefly yes or no and then I wanna okay but also super briefly is the one historical um evidence that that you didn't mention was the ellisinian Mysteries oh yes that is the world's longest for two thousand years the world's longest mystery ceremony it's the the flowering of the Greek culture the beginnings of democracy and that involved the potion called Kicking on that people drank and had this experience that they were under pain of death not to share but everybody who is anybody that we think of in Greek society experienced that and later lately through Albert Hoffman Gordon Watson Carl Walker and others it's became clear that the kikian was a psychedelic potion so when we talk about integrating psychedelics back into culture and mainstreaming psychedelics we're actually trying to do it for the second time the first time being um it was it was squashed by the Catholic church around 396 the ellisinian Mysteries by hierarchies that want to be between you and your own spirituality so I think the origins of Western culture were intimately connected with psychedelics as well I totally agree and I think the origins of great epics like Mahabharata and odyssey Iliad have something to do with that as well because they're extraordinary stories about extraordinary people and superheroes and super heroines and non-local dormant potentials and healing and all of that so I totally agree with you so last question Rick this is more philosophical than anything else you know I being all over the world and not so have you so you know I go to Germany I've been to Berlin I've been to Russia I've been to most of east and west Europe Latin America [Music] what is it about humans that uh we think that violence is the solution to everything you know I'm just going to Berlin for example now you see this art you see this uh literature you see the German history of philosophy mathematics music Geniuses and you see that from in Russia you see that everywhere and yet the history of humanity is the history of murder War pillage rape and what is it about human beings that we've created these modern capacities for disruption and we still have Tribal medieval minds and is there ever going to be a solution you know you mentioned Gandhi as a pacifist and you mentioned you know the the connection between all these people have a deeper actually knowledge of the connection between Gandhi Martin Luther King Jr Nelson Mandela and and even Obama there's a light there's a link there you know but this are very few in the world why do we still I mean you look at the news today or any day it's all about confrontation it's all about power mongering cronyism influence peddling selfishness greed and blood money we use we create wealth through through murder what is it about human beings and do you have any any idea if psychedelics and just a broader conversation around our interconnectedness and inseparability which is of course the religious Buddhist experience the religious Gnostic experiences the religious advaitha experience do you think there will ever come a time where we will actually say a more peaceful just sustainable healthier and joyful world is possible if we have this deeper understanding of who we are well I think it is possible but I think more importantly even uh it's it's important to work towards that whether it's you know ultimately achievable or not there's a nobility in trying to bring that to bear and I would say that um Hermann Hess wrote this incredible book uh called the the glass bead game Magister looting the class B game and this was an attempt to try he wrote this during World War II to imagine how do we re-channel these competitive energies in a way that it's not so destructive and this was like a post-apocalyptic world and they had re-channeled these competitive energies into the glass bead game which was mathematics music poetry and attempt to make the most some of the same culture that created the Holocaust huh yeah well look here in America I never thought that um we can see the how um another dictator could arise in America and we see how the way Trump was able to motivate people on their fears and their anxieties so I think that we have to answer your question we have evolved our minds in this incredible way but it has way outpaced our emotional and Spiritual Development and we have technologies that we are Technologies of mass murder Technologies even of the energy of electricity that still are causing climate change so I think we are not as advanced as we think we are we we have this Brilliance of the mind that has been able to create Miracles that seem miraculous but that we are still in this Evolution process of our spirituality and what we're we're believing but our new goal you know for 37 years the goal of maps was pretty much make MDMA into medicine now that it looks like that might happen the new goal is a world of Net Zero trauma by 2070.

And it's going to take multiple generations and the way you talk about Moses one of the things about uh the spiritual stories about why did it take the Israelites 40 years in the Sinai before they got to the promised land because it's not that far and part of the explanation the spiritual sages is that they wanted to have the generation Born Into Slavery die and the generation born into Freedom be the one that starts the new world the new land so I I think that where we're at is very primitive in this emotional spiritual and that I think why um dictators are able to come is because people are mostly on these lower levels of um of the hierarchy of needs struggling for survival and you know we came up with this horrifying thing that half roughly half the families in America couldn't handle a 500 unexpected expense so we had massive inequality economic inequality and people are struggling for survival and as long as you can keep people in fear struggling for survival they're they're not going to think peaceful thoughts they're going to devolve more into their own Survival and I think we need to move you know people have talked about guaranteed national income or we have the capacity we have the resources to have um everybody even all the seven eight billion people there's enough food there's enough we if we didn't have such income inequality but how do we get to that point I think it's possible and I think we have to work for it but I think it's through the sense of this interconnectedness and that we have to have people not just hear it but feel it so Rita Marley to Bob Marley's wife wrote this had this album and the title was who feels it knows it so it has to be experiential who feels it knows it so that's where I think psychedelics come in meditation comes in we have to help people go beyond their survival needs to realize there's something deeper and if we can do that I think we can reach a world of Net Zero trauma which means dealing with all the multi-generational trauma it's going to get worse for the next 20 30 years I think because of climate change because of there's an estimate that by Institute of economics and peace that there could be a billion more than a billion climate refugees by 2050.

I saw that my very special guest has been Rick Dublin and this conversation has been extremely enlightening please look at all the links get educated and help us expand this conversation I'm just going to end with a quote from Jonas Salk who was one of my heroes he said the future of evolution has to be survival of the wisest and it's uh not about will of the soccer Fitness but it's the evolution of our Consciousness and ultimately the evolution of our consciousness of Consciousness that is the world so thank you very much Rick for joining me thank you David I'd like to say for people to learn more the maps website maps.org there's enormous amount of information there and you could become a member and support us and if you'd like there's just a lot of ways to help and I'd say one of the main ways is what we're doing right now is helping to educate yourself about what the real facts are try to get beyond the propaganda down to the actual science the actual opportunities perfect foreign

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