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, 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, dog, and empty rooms from three children, one of whom is in college and two have graduated.
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John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact podcast. I am John Shegerian and this is a very, very special edition of the Impact podcast because we have got Rick Doblin. He is the Executive Director and founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies MAPS. He is with us today. Welcome to the Impact podcast, Rick.
Rick Doblin: Thank you, John, for having me. I am looking forward to our discussion.
John: Oh, yeah. I am so honored you are here today truly. I have enjoyed learning about your work in the last five or six years. I have studied up for this episode especially in a more impressed than ever before. I am going to share some of my thoughts with our listeners after you speak today. But before we get talking about this fascinating journey of what you have been working on, can you share a little bit about your background, Rick, growing up, and how you even came to found MAPS and started this journey thirty-four years or so ago.
Rick: Well, yeah, actually the journey for me started forty-eight years ago in 1972 when I was just eighteen years old. What really led me in this direction, I would say that I had exceptionally loving parents. They were very supportive. To give you an example of how supportive they were, when I was eighteen in my first year of college, I called them up. I have only been in college for a couple of months and I told them that I had got really interested in LSD, and I wanted to drop out of college. I wanted to study LSD and I wanted them to pay for it. I explain to them that this is also why I said that is that I am Jewish and was born in 1953 shortly after World War II. I raised on stories of the holocaust and that really scared me. It really oriented me towards psychological factors, how you can have all the food and shelter, all the money you have but you could still fall prey to this kind of victimization and genocide. It is so irrational. So, it made me understand and think more about psychological factors as being the most important threat to me. I saw a lot about that. It is on how do I avoid that happening again to myself and to other people.
Rick: I was a young boy during the Cuban Missile crisis. Today we know about how students at school go through active shooter drills and what will happen if somebody comes into their school and that is terrifying for kids. It was similarly terrifying to go through these drills, what if there is nuclear weaponry and nuclear war with Russia and the whole thing about duck and cover. Duck under your desk and cover yourself and maybe you will survive. It just was terrifying. It also made me think again about these psychological factors, how we could potentially destroy the world, and just mass murder because of political conflicts or other kinds of complex or leaders trying to show that they were tough. It just was really terrifying. The final step for me was when I was seventeen and the whole Vietnam war. I turned eighteen in 1971 and I had to do a lot of thinking about what to do about Vietnam. Now, it was these sort of fears and anxiety psychological factors that was my own country that I thought was making some terrible mistakes.
Rick: I studied up a lot about nonviolent resistance. I read Gandhi and I read Martin Luther King. I read Thoreau, Emerson, and Tolstoy, and all sorts of books about nonviolent resistance and how that can be very effective. I decided that I would not register for the draft and that would be the step that during the system of the most energy, I would end up going to jail. Martin Luther King has actually said– There is a great quote and I am sure [inaudible] a little bit but what he said was that the person that sees the law is unjust and breaks the law and willingly suffers the consequences in order to educate his fellow citizens that the law is unjust actually has the highest regard for the law. It was trying to reframe civil disobedience as not lawless writing or anything but as patriotic because you are trying to improve the rule of law by bringing to people’s attention the injustice of certain kinds of laws.
Rick: I decided I was not going to register for the draft and I would end up going to jail. They would come to get me and this is my thought at least. My parents were, “Well, that is a problem. We are sympathetic with what you are doing, but you are going to become a felon and you are never going to be able to have a real job, you will never be able to come to be a doctor or a lawyer because you will have this felony conviction.” I said, “That is terrible, but that is just the price I am going to have to pay.” Then I just was aware of how much hatred, anger, and violence are all there was in the world. I studied Russian in high school in order to learn about quote the other. Also, my great grandparents on one side were refugees from Russia and came to Chicago in around 1880. I studied Russian in high school and my parents actually sent me to Russia in the summer of 1970 with sixty other high school students to study Russian. When I was there, I went for a walk on the beach with the Russian girl and I was like, “Where is the horns on your head? You are not the devil.” “Why do I want to kill you?” “I thought Russians want to kill me.” This was the height of the Cold War. Again, it made me realize that these kinds of conflicts between countries could end up destroying the world that the people did not really hate each other. These were leaders that were trapped in their different power games. In any case, I decided that I was going to be a draft resister and then I thought, “Okay, I am going to have to figure out what else I can do with my life.” I do not know what kind of jobs will be open to me. But then in college is when I really started doing LSD.
Rick: I got these intimations of connectivity, of unity, of being part of this whole sweep of evolution of being this fundamental human being between life and death but connected to the cycles of life, connected to everything. Then that kind of unit of experience which early on I just got intimations of it because I still had a lot of emotional issues, letting go, being fully present with my emotions. But the sense that I had of if we can identify as part of the planet, as part of the web of life is connected to nature then that is the antidote to genocide and to environmental destruction. If we are part of everything then people who might have different skin colors or a different religion or a different nationality are still more fundamentally like us than they are different from us. We are part of the human family. I felt that the psychedelics could produce this kind of experience that had profound political implications and I looked at the ’60s and all the whole psychedelic movement there and the interconnections between people influenced by psychedelics and working on the anti-war movement or working on the environmental movement or the women’s rights movement or the Civil Rights movement. There is something about the psychedelic, the experience of connection of the unity that does have political implications and so I thought this is it. This is what I really want to focus on.
Rick: This is what I really want to focus on. So that is how it really began for me. I guess to add one more piece to that, I had a very difficult time with my psychedelic trips when I was seventeen and eighteen. I really did not have the ability to process them. And so I went up to the guidance counselor at my college. There is a couple of guidance counselors and I went to one of them and I said, “I need help with my LSD trips.” This was an era where I went to an [inaudible] Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research by Stanislav Grof, the world’s foremost LSD researcher. Reading that it put together a bunch of different things for me. First off, it did talk about spiritual experiences. There is [inaudible] but it also talks about psychological factors and also confrontations with birth and death, various things like that. But what it was science looking at is spirituality and religion. That really reassured me that it was a scientifically relay and then it had a reality check to all of this, which is therapy. How do we use these experiences to actually help people be more alive to get over past traumas, to be more fully present, to be more loving, that it is not just theories and spirituality but it is this practical test? Can we use these experiences to understand how to help people make more of their lives while this short period of time that we are alive?
Rick: So what was so amazing was that– this was 1972 that I read this book and Stan did not publish the book until 1975. My guidance counselor knew Stan Brock had a manuscript copy of the book and then connected me to Stan after I read the book. I actually wrote Stan a letter when I was an eighteen year old kid and he wrote me back. I did a workshop with him in 1972, but it was this idea of the political implications of the mystical experience and the therapeutic implications of psychedelics and the fact that when I woke up to all this in 1972, it was after the backlash against the ’60s and Nixon and 1970 was the Controlled Substances Act and criminalizing all these drugs and wiping out psychedelic research. So, while I was waiting for the police to come to get me to put me in jail for being a draft resister. I just thought it is a crazy world. I will just do what I can and I will try to work on psychedelics and that will be my contribution to a better world. As it turned out roughly sixty thousand people never registered for the draft and nothing happened. Nothing happened.
John: I did not realize that.
Rick: We have got a president who had five deferments or whatever for bone spurs. I cannot even remember which foot it was then. We had people running away to Canada. We had people pretending to be crazy. We had people shooting themselves in the foot, doing all sorts of horrible things to get out of Vietnam. All I did was just not send in this little postcard to register for the draft.
John: With no consequences.
Rick: With no consequences. Then, Jimmy Carter’s first day in office, he pardoned all the draft resisters. That started making me think, my first identification as eighteen year old– I am a counterculture drug-using criminal and then once by a pardon for being a draft resister and then over time, I have gone to Harvard. I got the Kennedy school of government. I have my masters and Ph.D. from there and really now we are about mainstreaming psychedelics and turning it into something that is available to everybody regardless of their political persuasions, hopefully, covered by insurance. Now, we have a hundred people at MAPS and the public benefit corporation working in a non-profit way to bring psychedelic psychotherapy through the FDA. It is a long journey. It will be roughly now forty-eight years since 1972 when I was doing that.
Rick: Now, what would also lead me to Map is I had a very difficult time as I said with my psychedelic experiences. Basically, I did drop out of college. My parents did say that they would help me study LSD. I did whatever I could and I have the delusion. I think this is not an uncommon delusion that the more drugs you take the faster you will evolve. That it is this idea that I am just going to take more and more psychedelics and it will be good for me. I will just grow. I completely misunderstood the need to take time and integrate what happens if it is not just about going out to these other non-ordinary states of consciousness over and over and over. You have to put into practice in your normal state of consciousness in your life lessons that you learn and if can actually become harmful to keep doing psychedelic if you are not doing the work to integrate it. So, I realized that after doing a lot of different things and I end up spending ten years in the construction business to get grounded. So, I built homes. My parents had a home designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright which was just an incredible home that I grew up in. Then I did build homes at a construction company and after ten years of that, I felt grounded and ready to go back to school to study psychedelics. To make that sort of the forefront whereas before I was just sort of personally trying to get ready.
Rick: The very first semester back in school was in 1982 where after ten years of dropping out and I went back to the new college, the very first semester, Stan Grof was offering a workshop at Esalen Institute in Big Sur with his wife Christina, and it was called The Mystical Quest. It was a month-long workshop. I got to be at work scholar-organized stands papers in my other time which was a fantastic job also. While I was there at Esalen, I learned about MDMA. Now, again, it is 1982 and what I learned was that it was called Adam, it is when we used as a therapy drug in underground circles. It was kept quiet, even though it was illegal. Even though it was legal because of fear but was made public, it would become illegal. I learned about it as Adam. I learned there was this whole psychedelic underground psychedelic therapist, but I also learned that it had seeped out of that community and was being sold as ecstasy in public settings and bars. This was during Nancy Reagan’s time and it was the escalation of the drug war and so very much clear that MDMA was doomed. I thought, “Okay, I learned about LSD after the backlash. Now, I am learning about MDMA before the backlash and that means I can get involved and I can talk to people about it and I can even suggest they try at various psychiatrists and therapists and mystics and others. Because it is not illegal, they might be willing to do it. Then with other people that I met at Esalen and as I got more integrated into this psychedelic community, we started planning to organize to defend the therapeutic use of MDMA once the DEA tried to criminalize it.
Rick: I actually started a non-profit before MAPS in 1984 to organize the Psychedelic Community raise resources and then try to defend MDMA. In the summer of ’84, the DEA moved finally to criminalize ecstasy. They did not know what the therapeutic use but they said that they want to criminalize ecstasy and so we were ready. Once they moved to criminalize it, you have thirty days to file a public comment and ask for a hearing. We did have a big DC Law Firm working for free for us. I went to Washington and filed for a hearing and like day twenty-eight of the thirty days took DEA completely by surprise and we got the hearing. During the hearing, we were actually bringing these people that we had prepared, Lester Grinspoon, who was a professor at Harvard Medical School of Psychiatrist, very prominent. We had all sorts of people. We started winning in the courts and also winning in the media, winning in the courts public opinion. The DEA just freaked out and emergency scheduled MDMA in ’85 and then in ’86, the judge came out and said it should be a medicine. It should be scheduled [inaudible]. It should be illegal for recreational use but legal for therapeutic use. I was delighted but then the administrator of the DEA rejected the recommendation. It was already clear that the DEA would not make that let this happen. So, we sued in the appeals courts, and we won actually twice but eventually, the DEA lawyers figured out how to satisfy the appeals courts. It was clear to me that the legal method to keep the therapeutic use of MDMA was not going to work and that the only way to work would be
through the FDA to do the scientific research.
Rick: In 1986 is when I started MAPS as a non-profit pharmaceutical company to try to work with psychedelics, particularly MDMA through the FDA. So that is sort of the origin stories.
John: Thank you Rick for that. And for our listeners who are just joining us, we have got Rick Doblin, the Executive Director and founder of MAPS. To find MAPS and to learn all about Rick and his colleagues amazing and breakthrough and great work go to www.maps.org. Right on the cover page, which I am on right now is Rick’s brilliant sixteen and a half minute or so TED talk, and I will tell you if you have not seen it yet, please go to the website and watch that TED talk. Also, in the store, if you click the store button, you can see the book that they have just recently written The Way of the Psychonaut, the book that is about Dr. Stanislav Grof, who is Rick’s mentor who said in his writings and papers, psychedelics are to the study of the mind with the microscope is to biology and telescope is to astronomy.
Rick: Wow, John. Thank you so much for that mention, yeah. So the book, The Way of the Psychonaut is by Stan Grof. It is a summary of his life’s work, The way of the Psychonaut: Encyclopedia for Inner Journeys, so it is just really an incredible resource for people.
John: Rick, I know someone like you who is just beyond brilliant and such a great evangelist for the use of MDMA.
Rick: Let me just interrupt for a second, John, just to say not that I am brilliant but I can learn from my mistakes.
John: That is a smart person, though. A lot of people do not learn from their mistakes, okay?
Rick: That is true.
John: But I got to say this, I have watched and listened to you for years and read your materials. Today, I have had over thirteen hundred guests and I told my family, I told my producer today, this might be the most exciting and important show I have done in the last thirteen years. Your work is about to change the world and it already has changed the world but I want our listeners to understand that you have become what Jonas Salk was to polio to the PTSD and brain world. I mean what you are doing with the use of MDMA to PTSD just one issue besides anxiety and other brain issues. I mean, I just see you as one of these people who are going to go down in history as a game-changer like Jonas Salk did. For that, I am grateful and for your time today, I am grateful. Can you tell us– and I know our time is limited today, but for our listeners out there, talk a little bit about where we are because we have all learned. We have all had a truncated education in the last seven months because of COVID-19 on FDA approvals. We have learned about this process. You have been now on this journey thirty-four some years through phase one, two. Now, you are at the end, hopefully, a phase 3, can you share about MDMA, PTSD, and where you are in this FDA journey and about to breakthrough?
Rick: Yeah. Well, I will share about Jonas Salk that he actually invented the polio vaccine. I did not invent anything. I mean, I learned about MDMA, other people have figured out it was therapeutic and had incredible potential. I just saw the value and decided to focus my life on bringing it forward. So that is one distinction. The other thing is just an interesting story I learned about Jonas Salk, which is that he decided that there was a moral imperative that the world have the polio vaccine he decided not to patent it and similarly, we are trying to do research with psychedelics in the public domain, in a non-profit context, were not patenting any of the uses or any of our process information of making MDMA. I just read an article that said that the patent on the polio vaccine was had an estimated value– Now, looking back on it at seven billion dollars and that was something that is [inaudible] in the public domain. So, to say where we are at though.
John: Yeah. By the way, again, you are a humble guy. By the way, I have watched every interview with you. I have watched your TED Talks. I have watched you on Rogan Tim Ferriss and everywhere else I could watch and learn all about you over the years. If I had your mom and dad on the phone today, I just love to know is this the real Rick Doblin? Are you this affable since you were a kid or is this an altered– and because if this is really an altered Rick Doblin, I think everyone’s got to get on board real fast here because you are just so friendly in every conversation, so I got just say that to you. Everyone loves you. You are so warm and clear and a great evangelist. Also, you are humble to the point where, “Yes, Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine,” but you took something that existed and created a new application. That is a game-changer. So if the game changes, regardless if it is a new invention or new application to me, it is a game-changing thing that can change the world similarly to Jonas Salk. So, I just wanted to share that with all this. Go ahead and tell us where we are in your great journey.
Rick: Yeah. Well, also, our goal is mass mental health. We need humanity is now heading off a cliff. We are destroying the environment. We have all these energies of fears and anxieties that are irrational taking over a lot of people, rise of authoritarianism that the weaponry that we have. So, our goal is mass mental health and that means that we have two tracks of what we are doing. One is medicalizing, working through the science, the medicalized psychedelic psychotherapy. The other is drug policy reform to help people have access to these substances without becoming criminals that there should be a license legalization system. There should be an honest drug education. There should be pure drugs. There should be a harm reduction method. So we have a kind of a two-track approach. So, where we are at with the psychedelic drug development is that from 1986 when I started MAPS it took us six years to 1992, five protocols were rejected by the FDA. But in 1992, FDA finally said yes that we could do phase one dose-response safety study with MDMA. They open the door to psychedelic research. So that was the fun and when I look back now, that was the key decision that opened the door to where now we are in the midst of a renaissance of psychedelic research.
Rick: In 1999 and 2000, this when we started the first work with MDMA for PTSD. If people do listen to my TED Talk, they will see that in 1984, I did work with a woman who had PTSD and I saw through her recovery how much MDMA could be helpful for PTSD.
John: She is a therapist now, teaching people the use of MDMA for PTSD right now, right?
Rick: Yeah. She is one of our lead trainers just to watch her keep getting better over the year.
John: Oh, man. It is a great story.
Rick: Now, it just made me realize that, and also I just been texting with her this morning. She just finished a training program for training more therapists.
John: That is awesome.
Rick: Yeah. She is one of our lead therapist. I knew that MDMA was great for PTSD. In 1999 or 2000 is when we started working for MDMA for PTSD in patients. It took us sixteen years of what is called phase two studies which are pilot studies to develop your methods figure out the patient’s [inaudible] works with, who you exclude, who you include, what are the doses, what are your measures, all of this. November 29th, 2016, almost four years ago, we had what is called the end of phase two meeting with FDA. That is to present all your data and ask for permission to move to phase three. Phase three are the final large-scale multi-site double-blind placebo-controlled studies where you have to prove safety and efficacy in order to get permission for prescription use.
Rick: We have now started and finished our first phase three study. We have to do two phases three studies each with roughly a hundred people and we have to then look at the data and see if they can prove safety and advocacy. This conversation that we are having now is two days away. On Friday, we are going to find out if our first phase three study was statistically significant– [crosstalks]
John: Wow, congratulations.
Rick: It would have been successful when you combine it with the safety record. It was just a few days away from learning if our first phase three study was statistically significant. We have started our second phase three study. Things are going fairly slow now because of COVID. The enrollment is slower. What we think is going to likely happen is that by the year and a half from now, sort of early the first half of 2022, sometime in there, we think we will finish the second phase three study. Then we will submit the data assuming that this one, the first, and the second are statistically significant. We will submit the data to the FDA for approval and we think by early 2023 are late 2022, we should have, hopefully, FDA approval for prescription use. We are also starting research in Europe. We still have to do another thirty million dollar fundraising campaign to bring MDMA to Europe and around the world. We are training therapists in Africa, in South America, all over the world because there is so much trauma everywhere.
Rick: So what we are hoping is that by 2023, we will have FDA approval by the end of 2023, early 2024 we will have approval in Europe, and then we will start going to countries all over the world to get approval there. What we are hoping then also is that we need to move from our current model which is– Well, not move from but supplement our current model which is treating individuals with chronic severe PTSD. That we need to start exploring group therapy. According to the Veterans Administration National Center for PTSD, there are eight million Americans with PTSD right now and many, many more than that, they have trauma that does not rise to the level of PTSD but is debilitating in different ways or colors their approach to life.
John: Anxiety, depression, all that kind of stuff that your work is going to be able to treat a lot of those things.
John: Got it.
Rick: What our method is MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. It is really psychotherapy that is the treatment and the drug, the MDMA helps make it more effective and similarly for LSD or psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. It is not just here as a pill and you are going to get better. It is here something that if you embedded in a therapeutic context, and you offer people sufficient support, the faith things that are often quite difficult for them to face that then they can make progress. We have actually worked with Vietnam Vets who had PTS and after forty or fifty years, they can still get better.
John: [inaudible] that up, you said about eight million people in America have PTSD, about a million or so, Vets have it, are not we losing about twenty Vets a day to–
Rick: Yeah. Yes, as of September 2018, there was one million thirty-nine thousand Vets receiving disability payments from the Veterans Administration for PTSD. We estimate and the VA has not put out the number but we guess based on past information that it is somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen billion dollars a year that the VA pays the Veterans for disability payments for PTSD. Now, we have not got a penny from the Veterans Administration or the Department of Defense for MDMA research, even though the FDA declared it a breakthrough therapy for PTSD. It is been all [inaudible] because of the [inaudible] of psychedelics, but hopefully, that we are changing, the stigma is reducing. Other groups are working now with psilocybin for depression. They are making progress and we are close to getting approval to work inside a VA system. So, yeah, this feels like a moment of a lot of breakers, a lot of transitions into a new world. In particular, just in a couple of days when we find out if our first study was statistically significant, but also we are making progress in a lot of different areas and so we are very hopeful. Now, to switch to drug policy for it just to say on the ballot coming right up next Tuesday is the Oregon [inaudible] Cyber Initiative, which is an effort at a State level to create State procedures to trained and licensed guides who may or may not be licensed therapist to work with people with psilocybin legal according to the State. It will be not just for people with clinical conditions, but if people wanted for personal growth, for a [inaudible], what do I do if my life? For people who are just wanting it for couples therapy or any number of different things.
Rick: There is a good chance that that is going to pass. A bunch of cities has made [inaudible] the lowest enforcement priority or other plant psychedelics. There is a general disillusionment with the mass incarceration strategies that we have had with the whole war on drugs and prohibition being counterproductive. Also because of the financial crisis what we see with marijuana is a lot of governments are moving towards taxing, making marijuana legal, not just for medicine but for other any use, and then taxing it and needing the tax money. I think we are seeing progress in drug policy reform. We are seeing progress in the medicalization that the advantage of the medicalization route, even though it is so very expensive is that if we could obtain FDA approval then we can also hopefully obtain insurance coverage so that people can have psychedelic psychotherapy covered by their insurance. So that is what we really moving towards and also I think humanity as whole individuals were so motivated by fears, anxieties, past traumas, and that we need to really become more spiritualized and become more healing.
Rick: We hear a lot these days about carbon-neutral or net zero-emission, our long-term goal is going to be to have a year where it’s a net zero trauma.
John: I love it.
Rick: That is kind of our goal, trauma-neutral.
John: Rick, I mean, [inaudible] you are saying this, we are only two days away from hopefully some amazing news for you and your colleagues and the important and impactful work that you have been doing all these years. But really this year, I am finding the world has taken a shift and just here in the United States, the trauma that is going on just with the exterior pressures on everyone due to COVID-19, the political unrest, the social unrest, there is going to be some form of anxiety and PTSD I think for us coming out of this tragic period that I think your work is going to be very applicable too, am I overstating that?
Rick: No, not at all. And in fact, one of the studies that we did a small phase two study other than PTSD. It was with autistic adults, but it was for social anxiety. It was really treating social anxiety and their results were great. I think now because of COVID-19, so many more people have social anxiety not just about getting the disease, but we have kind of deemphasize public spaces and interactions and people are more isolated. There is more depression. There is more trauma. There is more suicide. There is more drug abuse. Everything that is kind of from this sense of isolation and stress and I do think that psychedelic psychotherapy and psychedelic drug policy reform can make a major contribution in helping people to cope with the challenges that we have. I am very much hoping for that.
John: If all goes well on Friday and it will, God willing. Then early in 2022 if that goes well, is the first three countries that are going to gain access to your great work and applications: USA, Canada, and Israel, do I have that right?
Rick: Yeah, you do because what we are doing– I was always raised to make a contribution to Israel. I never felt like moving there but I thought bringing MDMA therapy, bringing my work there could be a big contribution. If that will worked out well. For our phase three studies, we have– for our first phase three study, we had two sites in Canada, two an Israel, and eleven throughout the United States. That is why we will submit all of the data once it is ready to both the FDA, the health Canada, and also to the Israeli Ministry of Health.
John: Once it all goes well there, let us say the fourth quarter of 2022 and 2023, you are going to get to see your great work get socialized around the world then. It will quickly go to Asia, Middle East, South America, and Europe post 2022, right?
Rick: That is what we hope. It will depend on our fundraising. It depends on our therapists and data and how well we trained the therapist but we are very hopeful, yeah. I think that the long-term vision that we have is that there will end up being thousands and thousands and thousands of psychedelic clinics. Even though we are just working on MDMA, primarily, I mean, we are doing work with Cannabis, with a [inaudible], we have done the first study with LSD in thirty-five years we were able to get started for people with life-threatening illnesses with anxiety. The goal is psychedelic clinics and what we are finding is that the therapist that we work with they all want to be cross-trained with MDMA, with ketamine, with psilocybin, with other drugs that move through regulatory system. I think what we are talking about eventually is going to be this customized, personalized medicine, personalized psychedelic medicine where you go to these clinics where they have therapist trained in psychedelic psychotherapy and they will say, “Hey, let us start you with MDMA and let us give you psilocybin or ketamine.” Therapist will develop customized treatments for each individual and what they think is best.
Rick: We will eventually have probably eight to ten thousand psychedelic clinics in the United States and Canada. Large numbers of therapists really practicing this and then we want to globalize as well. We really want to embed this healing technology from psychedelic psychotherapy and the spiritual aspects of it into our culture as we face ever more challenges from dealing with climate crisis, climate refugees, and trying to work through
the vestiges that the traumas that we have inherited and the prejudices that we have inherited from the past.
John: Rick, we are going to leave it with that today. You are a very special human being. I am going to have you back because there is going to be a lot of updates after this Friday and as we go into next year, there is going to be a lot of great updates. So I have so much more material that I want to cover with you and I want to hear about all the updates. For our listeners out there, trust me, Rick Doblin is going to go down as one of the great game-changers in this world and you have to go to his website www.maps.org. Please, take sixteen and a half minutes of your time, change your own life, and watch his Ted Talk video, donate if you are so inclined, and go to the store and buy the new book that just came out, The Way of the Psychonaut which was written by Dr. Stanislav Grof, who is Rick’s mentor.
John: Rick, you are making one of the biggest impacts of anyone I have ever had on the show with not the biggest, you are a game-changer. You are making the world a better place. I am so humbled and grateful for you being here today, and I cannot wait to have you back. Thank you again for being with us today on the Impact podcast.
Rick: Thank you very much and thank you for this opportunity for public education because I feel that now that we are doing the research, we are getting the funding that we need. We are getting the data that we need. The most crucial part of this now is the public education.
John: One hundred percent. You are going to come back and I am going to welcome you back when you have time and we are going to do this again and this time next time we are going to do it actually on the video broadcast because I want our listeners to see you and I want to see how– I want them to see how [inaudible] nice you really are and we are all going to get on board them and we all want to become Rick Doblin.
John: Rick, thank you again. Truly you are the Jonas Salk of the MDMA and the PTSD world and we are so grateful for how you are making the world a better place. Cannot wait to have you back and good luck this Friday.
Rick: Thank you. Thank you, John, very much.