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#63: The Psychedelic Renaissance - Rick Doblin, PhD

by FitMind LLC
January 19th 2021

Dr. Rick Doblin is the Founder and Director of MAPS, which has raised over $100 million for supporting psychedelics research. 

Rick is one of the k... More

people spend time shaking, crying, letting out the traumas that when it happened to them, the events they had to really focus on survival. And you don't always emotionally process. And then you get stuck in those situations. Lo and welcome to the Fit Mind podcast, where I speak with experts on the mind, from neuroscientists and psychologists to monks and navy seals, they share cutting edge research, fascinating stories, proven advice for creating a fit mind, one that's full of focus, vitality and joy. I'm your host, Liam the founder, fit mind a mental fitness company. And for those of you who are new here, check out the fit mind app in the Apple App store. So mind training app that walks you gradually from beginner to advanced methods drawn from various cultures around the world, explains the underlying neuroscience behind them. My guest today is Dr Rick Doblin, who is the founder and

director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Maps, and Rick is one of the key people leading the charge in this current psychedelics renaissance gathering resource is to support scientific research into these compounds for improving mental health and exploring the mind in a safe and systematic way. I hope you enjoy. All right, Rick. It's great to be speaking with you. Yeah, I'm so happy to be here with you today. Looking for Is it? So I thought to start for those who are unfamiliar with maps, could you talk about what is maps and why did you found it all those years ago To begin with? Well, Maps stands for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. It's a nonprofit organization that I conceived of as a nonprofit pharmaceutical company to develop psychedelics in the prescription medicines

. We do a lot of other things as well. We're very interested in the public education we end up doing harm reduction we have is Endo Project, which is sort of at Burning Man and events all over where people are doing psychedelics. We have peer support volunteers, most of them therapists that air going to help people process difficult experiences. So we have kind of a two track approach. One is to medicalize through the FDA and then have it. The therapy is covered by insurance. The other is drug policy reform. So, fundamentally, I think that the drug war is counterproductive. It's a violation of human rights. We should have freedom to explore a consciousness, and our culture would be better off if we had licensed legalization for psychedelics and other drugs where different than what we have now. For example, for alcohol, you know you could be a drunk driver, and then you get pulled over and then you get a ticket. You lose your driver's license, but you still can go buy alcohol

, get back in your car and kill people, which happens a lot. So there should be kind of a license or drugs rather than just you can buy them. And then if you misbehave, you get punished for your misbehavior. And then maybe you lose your license for a while or something like that. So Maps is now Roughly 100 people were to Companies Maps, which is the nonprofit, and there's a few below 30 people in this group, and then the other group is around 70 people, which is the Maps Public Benefit Corporation. That's basically our pharmaceutical development arm, and that's the group that's gonna make MGM into medicine and then sell it for a profit under prescription use. Hopefully and then whatever profits are made are going to go back to the mission of maps. So the nonprofit is 100% owner of the for profit. So we're a nonprofit owning a psychedelic pharmaceutical company, and we're getting close Thio approval for MGM A assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and in

the history of maps. Since 1986 when I started it, we've raised over $100 million in donations or are or multi your commitments. And so it's kind of astonishing to think about it. Wow. Yeah, I want to get into all that the legalization and the funding and all that. But before that, So you mentioned exploring the consciousness as kind of, you know, one of the goals of psychedelics exploring the mind. So yeah, you were I was reading that you were mentored by Stan Graaf, right? The famous check. Uh, psychotherapist. And what did you learn from him? How did you get started exploring your own consciousness? Well, if it wasn't first stand who's now 89 years old? And, you know, we're in a very frequent contact, even still. But it's because of stand that I've decided to devote my life to psychedelics that took place in 1972 when I was 18 years old. So I was

a college student, started to college in 1971. I had been more and more focused as I was growing up on psychological factors. I was particularly traumatized by the Holocaust being from Jewish family, the Cuban missile crisis, the whole world going up in a nuclear conflagration. That was scary as a child. And this just led me more and more to psychological factors. And then the Vietnam War and I became a draft resistor, and that was my own country doing things that I thought we shouldn't be doing. And I spoke to my parents and they said, You know, if you're gonna be a draft resister, you're going to go to jail. You're gonna be a felon. You'll never be able to be a doctor. My dad was a doctor. You'll never be of the lawyer. None of this and I'm like, that's the price I have to pay. But I'm not gonna, you know, go to Vietnam. Tryingto kill people are not get killed just so I could have certain kind of job, so I wasn't sure what I was gonna dio and then at college. This was after the backlash against the sixties and psychedelic revolution and psychedelics, and all other drugs were criminalized

in 1970 by Nixon and the Controlled Substances Act. And so I started thinking I should try some psychedelics and see what they dio and I had the delusion that the more psychedelics you take, the faster you evolve. You know, I wish that were true, but, you know, I completely underestimated the importance of integration. So in the summer, not some. But in the early part of 1972 I went to the guidance counselor at college and I said, Help me with my trips and this is a period of time. This was a private school. They took me seriously, and the guidance counselor gave me a book to read, and the book was Realms of the Human Unconscious Observations from LSD Research by Stanislaw Growth. And it was reading that book that everything came together for me because politically it was about the mystical experience as one of the realms of conscious. And the thought politically is that if we can feel our primary

identification with the universe with everything, you know that that with the sweep of evolution in history and that we feel part of this big picture and that that's fundamentally who we are. Then when we come back from that people that are different in terms of religion or gender or race or nationality, we know that we have more in common with them than separate us so that we that's so. I felt like that mystical experience is gonna be the antidote to genocide and the world going up in environmental destruction. So Stan talked about that, but it was primarily science over laid on realms of the human, unconscious and un religious mystical topic. So I don't trust religion as much, but I trust science more than religion. But it had a reality check built into it, which was therapy. Can we help people get better? So reading this book just like I can't have a normal job, I could be underground psychedelic therapist. This is the solution to my future. The

world and humanity needs thes experiences, and so I wrote a letter to stand. The guidance counselor not only had this book but had stands address. The book didn't even get published in 1975. So I got a manuscript copy in 1972. I just had the most luckiest guidance counselor. I couldn't have been more lucky. And Stan, when I wrote him a letter actually wrote me back, and I did a workshop with him in 1972 with Joan Halifax, who he was temporarily married to, and I've been inspired by him ever since. And and it's really been that work by stand that made me realize he has said that Psychedelics, heir to the study of the mind, what the microscope is to biology and the telescope is to astronomy. And when we think about human history and we think about the telescope, Father Bruno was burned at the stake for saying that the Earth wasn't the center of the universe based on Copernicus and Galileo's findings, and

Galileo died under house arrest. And so the telescope itself was controversial. Now we don't think of the telescope as a disruptive piece of technology that has to be criminalized, and we have to punish people that use the telescope. But some of us still think that way about psychedelics, So the hope is, and this is, I think, because of a lot of the work that stand It is that one day the psychedelics will be seen as a tool just like the microscope and the telescope it will bring to the surface parts of our unconscious parts of our inner conflicts. Uh, and new experiences to help us really evolved as individuals and as humanity. Yeah, I just recently finished treating the way of the psycho, not by stand Graaf on. You know, it's interesting because you might think, Well, I guess one counter arguments that be, well, you were just on drugs like how does what you were seeing have any relevance to

human mind as it relates to other people's minds? But what? What Dr Graf has done is really bring a scientific approach and noticed commonalities and connections, and kind of started to map the unconscious and these estates or these recurring themes in his work with patients. And I was hoping you could talk a little bit more about the science. And what are we finding about the mind as it relates to psychedelics? Yeah, Thank you. I think you know, in part because Stan talked about the cartography of the human mind that also helped me come up with the name maps because because he used that metaphor Well, what I? One thing I think that's extraordinarily reassuring but will be quite controversial in the current world is that there is, I believe, and this is still to be proven

. But I believe that there's sort of this unit mystical experience that we talked about that's common for all humans and that underlies all the different religions. And I would sort of communicate religions being like languages. They all have their different flavors. They're different emphasis what they're kind of good for best at. But they're all basically doing the same thing, which is trying to help us, you know, communicate to each other. Religions, I think, are somewhere there could be different religious, cultural, um, origins, different symbols, different different people that air the Buddha or Jesus or Moses or but so I think that in the structure of the mind, as you're saying, there is this commonality that we all share. I think that the way Stand described it was sort of three different areas of the mind main areas. One is sort of psychodynamic, which is more what Freud was trying to talk

about. I think Freud is like Columbus and that Columbus discovered America but wrote the map all wrong. I mean, you know, Fried helped us understand, understand the power of the unconscious, but had all sorts of culturally specific views that he universalized like Penis envy and the edifice complex. And a lot of these things, I think, are were part of the culture context, but not really fundamental factors of the human mind. But what Sam talked is that there's this vast realm of, of sort of psychodynamic issues in the mind. But then there's what he called the para NATO matrices, or the birth trauma, the process of birth, that sort of imprints on us all, a certain dynamic of being into this oceanic lists. And then the boom starts contracting, and you don't know what's gonna happen. This fear of death your you know. And then there's the struggle, and then you're on your own, you know, and that there's all different variations, according to that, but a lot of these air sort of patterns established early

of how people process things, and then there's what what stand called the union or the transportation ALS area where things that we share in common so mystical experiences, I do believe. And again this is. I think what Stan has tried to talk about is that there this is a more challenging area, but but there's some ways where our minds interconnect. I mean, and so I do believe that there's probably ways to get information in a holographic way through. So we talked about E. S P or things like that. A lot of times under psychedelics, people will have experiences from other times and places where they seem to bring back information that then can be verified sometimes. So this is the more controversial thing. But I think our minds to interconnect not just with what's going on, but with what has happened in the past. And the question you you started about saying, Oh, that's just a

drought, you know, Let's discount these experiences. So first off, our brain is drugs. What is our brain? But, you know, electrical chemical serious and so are eso. If if it's just a drug experience, our brain is just a drug experience and we can say, Oh, it's it's not really and it's true, you know we see the world through a filter. So another approach Thio thinking about the mind has been with Abraham Maslow, and many people may know about the hierarchy of needs and you know your safety, survival, nature belonging, needs your steam needs. And then the peak of this need. Harkey was self actualization. Now that's humanistic psychology. Stand gruff and a mass low and a few others near the end of Maslow's life started transportation. All psychology, which is about the things we have in common by being human, the confrontation with death and these mystical experiences that go beyond our individual ego and that that's this sort of trans

personal realm. And so I think, within this sort of broad spectrum of what could be happening a lot of times, the roots of psychological issues will be resolved through some of these transfers. Nall experiences not always, but what What Stan was trying to do basically, I think, was to demonstrate that for healing of therapy, a lot of times there's a deeper roots than just what people are sharing that that there's, you know, fundamental issues and so that the therapeutic process is when I talked about the reality check for stand, so you can say it's just a drug. These experiences air, not riel. That's a separate kind of question. Are they real or not? The issue that I have focused on addressing that stand has is, Are they useful? Are they helpful toe help? People grow to enjoy life more to use this precious time that we have a lot more fully. And so I think you

can have all these discussions about Are these Is it a drug? Is it really? Is it not? But is it therapeutic? Is it useful? Is a more important frame for me. And I think that a lot of times people do have profound healings from, you know, thinking about their birth or thinking about death or or thinking about spirituality that that isn't related to their direct life. Everyone, it's Liam. I have a quick favor to ask. We don't run ads here, But if you're finding this podcast helpful, please take 10 seconds to share this episode. Now with one friend who could benefit, for example, by tapping the three dots in the bottom right corner of apple podcasts, there is the option of text it or email it. This would help us out a ton and spreading the good word and really appreciate your help If you feel moved to share. Okay, back into it, right? Yeah, I think that's a really important point, that pragmatically speaking, that I mean, that's what we should care about is do these things improve? Human lives

today lessen suffering, not ontological e. What is the out there out there that is actually really and not just projected into our minds, which, you know, it gets into more philosophical stuff without any hard answers? So it's like, Why not just look at these as tools that can then be give us better and better maps for improving human lives? Eso that philosophers other people, you know, it is important to answer these questions. You know what's really what's that? But But I think that, as you say, you know, that could take another couple centuries for people to figure that out. And meanwhile, people are suffering now. So is it useful is more important to me, right? Right. And yes. So let's talk about some of that research being done. So catch us up on the latest in the psychedelics research sphere. Okay, well, I have an image, but I'll describe it so because we won't share slider anything. But there's been a The slide is of the web of science, and it's

a list of psychedelic publications by year by decade, going back to the forties, the fifties and sixties right now, in this moment in time, 2020 in the last few years, their arm or psychedelic scientific papers published vastly more, multiple times more than in the peak of the 19 sixties in early seventies. So we are really in the realm of Renaissance and psychedelic research, and there's a whole range of studies that are being done all over the world. And we see universities that even Harvard is now got a psychedelic research center at the MGH Messages General Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance. So we're Timothy Leary was sort of where people think psychedelics went off the track and the sixties. Now there's psychedelic research. Air Yale has a psychedelic study, N Y N y u U c San Francisco Medical University of South Carolina, all these schools. So there's I'd say that there's the area of research

that I'm most interested in, which is for political reasons is drug development making drugs in psychedelic assisted psychotherapy into medicines to help people in their suffering? There's a whole other area of research which is mechanism of action research. How do these substances help us understand? How does the mind actually work? And how do these drugs actually work? So there's been an enormous amount of information on mechanism of action. And then there's another bunch of studies that air more on safety. Like, you know, how do these drugs interact in the body and the brain? And what are the health consequences of that? There's another yet another area of research. That's I think it's going to be growing in the future, which is EPA genetics. So what, We s So I just gave a presentation right before this to the Bronx V. A and Mount Sinai Hospital, And Rachel Yehuda is

a researcher who is going to lead our MGM, a project inside the Bronx, Va. But she's done studies with Holocaust survivors and their Children, and she's identified mechanisms epigenetic mechanisms by which trauma is passed from generation to generation set points for anxiety and trauma. So how is it that thes set points air set. How is this epigenetic information? What does therapy with psychedelics or not? How does that impact what we pass on to our Children? So that's another area of research. I think that the national instrumental health, the traditional funding agencies they like mechanism of action research, um, or results oriented, which is drug development. Eso a drug development. Let me just say that we are in Phase three, which is the final stage of research to make a drug into a medicine for MGM assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. We've gotten good results from our first Phase three study, and we're just starting our second. We hope

by early 2023 or late 2022 that we would have FDA approval and if we were those results a swell. Well, it's hard for. I'll just share that, you know, because we're trying Thio get a scientific paper published. I can say now that there was very statistically significant with substantial effect size with an excellent safety profile. So in other words, actions, the first phase three study was successful, and so now we're moving on to trying to do the second Phase three study. There are groups that air doing psilocybin for major depression disorder and also treatment resistant depression for profit groups and Compass Nonprofit group use ona they're in phase two. There's a whole range of studies into a wide variety of therapeutic applications with addiction, and we've also done worked with Ben Sessa, psychiatrist in England, who's done MGM A

for alcoholics. You help them process their trauma. They don't have so much of the need to escape. There's been studies with psilocybin for nicotine addiction for cocaine addiction for alcoholism. There's just a enormous range of work With the treatment of addiction, depression, social anxiety has being well studied. People with life threatening illnesses have been studied were about to do work with eating disorders. With MGM A. There's still aside and study, starting with eating disorders. Obsessive, uh, compulsive disorder. There's the potential some interest in schizophrenia, looking at MGM A for schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder. There's enormous potential there, I think, from the neuroscience. Let me just say that what has been discovered is that the psychedelics promote new neural connections. They promote neural plasticity. So how is so? You could say, Oh, it's just a drug and you know it's not real. But how is it that you can have a just a drug experience one

time or a few times and it changes your life and it lasts? How can that be? Well, the answer is that we are re sculpting people's brains or people are re sculpting their own brains under the influence of psyche dark. So there's a paper that just came out a while ago in nature by a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins in mice that showed that MBIA may releases oxytocin, which is the hormone of love and connection, nursing mothers and all. But it produces what's called the opening of a social route. Rewards learning process s so people can, you know, we socialize more at early ages, animals Tua's well, it reopens that, but it promotes new connections so new not new neurons, necessarily in terms of the birth of new neurons. But that does seem to be happening with other psychedelics, but it promotes synaptic growth, and so we're creating new neural pathways. Just as an example in PTSD

, we showed that PTSD patients have ah heightened activity in the amygdala, the fear processing part of the brain after MDM a therapy. The activity in the middle goes down, and they've been ableto agree. It's called Fear Extinction and memory Reconsolidation. The memories are put into more long term storage, so there's a enormous amount to be learned from neuroscience research. What I'm not sure about is whether the neuroscience research will help the therapy. B'more effect. Yeah, there's a lot of benefits in neuroscience. Maybe they'll develop new drugs or, you know, or just understanding how the brain works could be great in many different ways. But the translational neuroscience still remains to be demonstrated that we can take neuroscience findings and turn it into ways to help people better. And and then there's, you know, the one area of research that hasn't happened yet is psychedelics for E. S P research. I think that would be interesting to happen again, but there's just so much that can be learned, and

it's just so wonderful to be in this period of time in history when there's more psychedelic research than ever before, humanity needs it more than ever before, and I think we've grown over the last 50 years as culture as a world so that I think we can introduce in mainstream psychedelics without the backlash that we had before. That's the real challenge. Can we do that? Yeah, it's really exciting. And congrats on those early results. And you know, the fact that so many different compounds here are are successful in treating a variety of disorders. It makes me wonder. I mean, are there common mechanisms here like you start to talk about deep patterning a little bit like the idea that getting stuck in a mental rut, You know, this could help us see a different perspective on the world. But are there other? What do we know about the mechanisms beyond that? That's why it is so effective, I tell you that the fundamental, um concept is that

symptoms are to not be suppressed but to be explored and experienced. So the classic kind of pharmaceutical drugs for psychiatric indications are ones that reduce the symptoms. They don't necessarily get to the core of the problem, and they're often meant to be taken on a daily basis for months, years or a lifetime. So the thing about psychedelics like therapy is that the idea, the fundamental concept, is that the symptoms need to be brought into full awareness and fully experienced rather than suppressed on the psychedelics in a safe, supportive environment. Where the symptoms come to the surface can be profoundly healing eso. For example, there's, Ah, documentary

. I'd refer to people called Trip of Compassion, and it's on Vimeo. It's about three of our PTSD patients from the Israeli study. It's Got English subtitles. Some of it is it is in English as well, but it's the most patient focused documentary ever made about MD. May assisted psychotherapy, and you can see the symptoms coming to the service. People spend time shaking, crying, letting out the traumas that when it happened to them, the events they had to really focus on survival. And you don't always emotionally process. And then you get stuck in those situations. Some people dio, and so it's about bringing all that to the surface in a way where you feel safe where you can process it so psychedelics bring things to the surface, and that's what's been so very important. So I'd say that that's the fundamental thing is that we're not scared and that there's a difference between an intellectual understanding and an experiential processing so I think a lot of Freudian analysis

. You could think about it as the power dynamics. The analyst is listening to you. The analyst is the one that knows. The analyst puts interpretation on you, and it's you know, the the healing comes from the analyst, and it's all cognitive. And that's why people have been in psychoanalysis for decades and they don't seem to get much better. They're just So There's an album by Rita Marley, who was Bob Marley's wife and the titlist who feels it knows it s o. I think the psychedelic therapy is about feeling it, knowing it and expressing it. Standoff has said something very poetic and beautiful, which is the full expression oven emotion is the funeral pyre of that emotion. So what? And I think that is the focus, that their meaning, that everything's in motion, the the earth is spinning were in this universe. Everything is spinning, the sun's going to die, you know, there's nothing universal. Everything is in motion. Everything is moving. We're all connected. And when it comes to emotions

, if you can fully experience something, then it will change. It moves from sort of foreground to background And a good analogy for this is grief. Somebody that we love has died or somebody we love has got hurts. We're sad for something, and when you keep your feelings bottled up, it always concerns you your But if you can cry, if you can let it out. If you can let out the grief, then it's not like you're no longer sad. The person has has died, but it's part of what's happened, and then you can can move on. So I think that's the core aspect of the therapy. Is bringing symptoms that have been, um, too painful for many different reasons been suppressed, bringing them to the service, helping people through them and process them and then with the most important part, is helping them integrate it, so that then they can ground these experiences and operate a new ways without the use of the drug. So that that's another big difference between psychedelic therapy

and regular psychopharmacology, and that we're not looking to give people drugs every day for the rest of their lives, Were looking to give psychotherapy deep, profound, enhanced by the drugs that then get to the core of the problem and then make it so people don't need the drugs anymore. And that's why coming from a nonprofit context, it's easier for us to focus on that, right? And I imagine that creates some competing interests with the drug companies, right? I mean, what kind? I don't know much about public policy, but how are you dealing or how are you? What kind of pushed back are you facing? Nero Zero. Surprisingly so. The reason is because the SS arise. A lot of these drugs that are really have been very big moneymakers for pharma are now generic. You know, they've been in 20 years ago or more, You know where they came on the market and developing new drugs for what are called central nervous system

diseases has been very difficult. There haven't been a lot of new developments, so that that's why pharma in general, a lot of the pharma companies have abandoned research with CNS drugs, and a lot of their drugs are now generic. So we don't really see any opposition at this point from the front. No, the pharmaceutical companies have in the past supported the drug war. You know they support partnership for a drug Free America and they put their drugs air. Okay, but other drugs are bad now. You've got to go buy drugs from them, and you can't just get marijuana for you know that's changing, too. So the other part is that the way the FDA is structured, if it's designed thio insulate the FDA reviewers from outside pressure. So if one pharmaceutical company could influence the FDA and get them toe not like a competitors drug or something like that, then all of the F the pharmaceutical companies would be doing that, and it would come up the whole works. Now

, up until recently, President Trump has stayed out of politicizing the FDA, although he has recently tried to politicize the FDA when it comes to vaccines and drugs for Cove it. And so that's been terrible because our whole model of changes based on FDA being science over politics, they haven't always been that way. But since 1992 the FDA had a formal advisory committee meeting. They decided to put psychedelics back into research science over politics. So that has been the way, and it's a dangerous precedent when that process gets politicized, because that's when you can imagine pharmaceutical companies trying to use their political leverage toe. But, for example, if you wanted to call the FDA and say, Hey, what's going on with maps is work with M d M A FDA can't tell you they cannot for privacy reasons, they cannot tell you about what is being studied. I mean, there you can look at clinical trials. Gov. There's

other ways for you to find out. But the main point to your question is that this is a new modality. It will replace a lot of other drugs that people are getting, but we don't feel that there is opposition from the pharma. And to give you one highlight example of that. M. D. M. A. Was invented by Merck in 1919. 12 is when so it's it's, you know, 108 years old. M d M A. They never tested it in humans recently. You know, as I mentioned, we've got 70 people in the benefit corporation, a lot of them from pharma. We call them the Refugees from Pharma. One of them had a friend who was a senior executive at Merck. And while we're doing work with the FDA. Then we're starting to think about Europe and globalization, and this was an expert from murky and globalization. And this woman joined one of our strategy close for free consulting with us, even though she's from the company that invented MGM A. And she's helping us try to

move it forward. Eso It was very reassuring to see that. Yeah, that's awesome. Well, I mean, just from the outside, it truly is a fascinating scene, because from what I'm seeing is Silicon Valley wealthy entrepreneurs, even Wall Street elites now putting money into this. Tim, A lot of my updates air coming from Tim Ferriss. You've got the Navy SEALs just put. I think it was $50,000 in tow PTSD research. So there's a lot of different interesting, like kind of players here. What's your take on the landscape in that regard? That's what's new. Over the last couple years has been the rise of for profit companies focused on psychedelics. So in the past, you know, when I started maps in 86 there was no hope for investors. I mean, the research had been shut down, you know, there was no psychedelic research taking place the FDA

didn't really start opening the door for years later. And there was so many political obstacles, so many social cultural fears and concerns resistance people concerned about at the FDA at the regulatory level. So it's only been the last couple of years that because of the progress that Maps has made and Hefter research other nonprofits Beckley Foundation in England that have been sort of pioneering this move towards psychedelics, it's only because we made enough progress. Mhm investors could start coming in and see that they could, you know, possibly make money and that they wouldn't have to worry about all these political and cultural issues. So the landscape has fundamentally changed in the last couple of years. And now there's three companies that are listed on the stock market that have a market cap of $1.5 billion. Three pharmaceutical companies profit and for profit psychedelic companies on their only in phase two. And we're in Congress. Yeah, Compass is worth 1.2 billion. Something

like that Field trip mind medicine field trip is like 120 million or something Mind medicine last week was like 290 million market cap thes air companies that have done virtually nothing tell a story, not company, has done a lot. Compass is is the lot. They've raised over $200 million in the capital markets, but so that's part of the. But it's not coming from traditional pharma. That's the other thing. The for profit work with psychedelics is coming from new companies that have just been set up to focus in this area. We don't see Big Pharma. Other than the one exception is Johnson and Johnson, which owns Jansen, which made ketamine s ketamine into a medicine for depression. But that's again as ketamine as a pharmacological treatment without psychotherapy. T to give you a sense of the other kind of landscape. For 30 years, we have been trying since 1990 to start research inside the Veterans Administration and the presentation I just gave before this was to

the Bronx, Va. We have FDA I R B approval. We've got a cradle, which is a cooperative research and development agreement between the Bronx, Va. And Maps. They're moving forward, other Va's air, very interested, and over the weekend I got the news that there's a good chance that the Department of Defense is ready to fund up Thio half a million to a million dollars. A small MGM, a proof of concept study inside a Department of Defense, military active duty soldier context. So the culture is moving in in this way and then to speak about the elections that just happened. Most of us know who won the presidential election. Some of us can't figure it out yet, but the clear winner is drug policy reform. So you know the Oregon Psilocybin Initiative, which creates a mechanism on a state level for people to get access the suicide and licensed guides not just for clinical conditions but for personal

growth. Psychedelics plant psychedelics were decriminalized, made the lowest enforcement priority in Washington, D. C. Medical marijuana and marijuana legalization passed in every state that it was on the ballot. So there's a general cultural shift that's happening. The landscape has never been better for this kind of research, and I think what has blocked this research in the past has been this sort of prohibitionist mentality, this drug war mentality. But now we see that even the president elect Biden, who did a lot to escalate the drug war, even particularly the rave act, which was reducing America's vulnerability to Ecstasy, which criminalized harm reduction was terrible. Bill and he did do stuff contributed to mass incarceration. President elect Biden sees that as a mistake. So I think the the overall landscape is very exciting and one challenge for us, since we think that nonprofit development will maximize public benefit

and be different than four project. There's a challenge for us because a lot of people are now saying, Why should I give you money? Why don't I just invest money somewhere else? I'm like, Well, yeah, you can and you maybe should invest money. But we should be by virtue of the fact that we pioneered the field through the nonprofit. There's a lot of things that are non monetize mobile that we want to do in particular these Israelis and Palestinians air using Iowa skin India may together and we're studying that for cultural reconciliation in this unit of mystical experience and working through their traumas. And so we do believe that we will tell a different story and we will act in a different way and we will maximize public benefit, not profit. And we, um I think we could make a good enough case to donors that they will continue to donate to maps while they may also send money to for profit companies where they can invest. And I imagine e. I mean, there's got to be the government's got to trust someone toe like train the therapist even when these things are legalized, right

? Well, trust is, ah, again, they I go back to Ronald Reagan, the trust, but verify So the way they verify is they look at our outcomes. They basically the FDA is basically left it off up to us to develop their be training program. And then they look for the effectiveness at the outcomes that we get from the study. So the way, the way that we think MGM A will be made into a medicine this will be true for psilocybin as well is there is called rims, which is risk evaluation and mitigation strategies that the FDA can customize for each particular drugs for suicide. And for M. D. M. A. The drug is not the therapy, it's the therapy. It's the psychotherapy. The drug makes it more effective, So the sponsors of the research train. The therapists and the FDA will require in these rims that the only people that can prescribe and treat patients or people who have been through the training program to learn that there. Then, of course, they can innovate if they want to. But they've got the

basic so that the FDA will be relying on us, requiring us to do the training of the therapists and only people that we put on a list that have passed. Our training can be involved prescribing and treating patients. And I think the FDA doesn't regulate psychotherapy. They don't understand psychotherapy. We're having some problems with the FDA because they have indicated in our phase three studies in our face to studies, we have a two person therapy team. The often male female, but not always the lead person, is a licensed therapist. The second person is a student, even learning to get a license. For a while, the FDA was saying, We want the lead person now to become an M D or Ph. D. So this is bureaucratic ass covering. They think it looks good, these more credentials, but it doesn't increase safety or efficacy. So We're arguing with the FDA about the training program and also about the credentials of the providers. But it's really up to us to provide data, and then FDA has to respond

to the data so there will be training programs that we're establishing. That's gonna be the limiting factor toe how much this can roll out because it's going to require training. And and we feel that a lot of the training is actually untrained. So you go to a lot of therapists and most of the therapies cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure there scripted. There's lessons. There's a whole sort of you could say, What's the word I'm looking for is eluding me. But there's algorithms. There's a whole set of algorithms for you know how you do therapy, but it's imposed on the person. Are therapeutic. Approach is kind of inner directed therapy. You give somebody a psychedelic whatever emerges in whatever order is what you deal with and you support it and you don't you support the full expression of it. And so a lot of our training is toe untrained people from being more interventionist and to become more supportive. But but there will be training requirements and we will be sort of negotiating with FDA. The

credentials. Well, that's fascinating. And I know everyone's everyone's excited about the direction this is headed in and also, you know, really like the kind of more cautious approach, then kind of the hippie movement, everything that went wrong there. It seems like a lot of the things that could derail this are being carefully. Well, I hear you. But what? I wanted to say that to being an old hippie myself, that the times were different so that we're we've learned a lot. I think one of the big mistakes that the hippies made was counterculture. The whole idea that psychedelics or counterculture, when you set yourself up as counterculture, you're going to be squashed right often, So we're mainstreaming. So we're talking about that. I think there was an overreliance in the sixties on the the hope for a one dose miracle cure makes like Alex. You have this experience

, your enlightened, you know more than everybody else. And now your profit, you know? So I think that we've gone away from the one dose miracle cure, and but I think that our our approach. While we're more cautious, I think people are more desperate. The problems air greater. The problems of suicide have grown. The problems of depression have grown despite the vast increase in the number of people that air medicated for depression or medicated Thio avoid suicide so that there's we are careful. We are step by step. We are incremental, but the need is greater. The culture is ground. And so I do think that we've got I wouldn't only attributed to hippies being irresponsible. And now we're more watch our Yeah, well, listen, speaking of your own experience Ah, couple of rapid fire questions for you here. So what is your personal favorite psychedelic? Well, I know it's hard for me to answer that because it's different psychedelics for different purposes. But I would say

that if I was a sailor on a ship that was shipwrecked, and I survived, and I was the only one on the deserted island and I could only have one drug, it would be LSD, much as I love M d m A that the thing about M. D. M. A. Is that you can steer it a little bit, which is good in therapy, but with LSD, you you have a hard time negotiating as your unconscious material comes to the surface, you can negotiate with them D m a. With the LSD, you kind of really have to let it happen. So But if I had just one drug, it would be LSD because it would maybe bring me to places that I wasn't quite ready to go to. Okay, But you may. It can bring you where you aren't quite ready to go to, but it's a more in a gentle way. Mhm. Gotcha. Okay, if you could have dinner or say smoke a joint with anyone in the world, who would it be? And why? Mhm. I could smoke a joint with anybody in the world. Well, I guess I would say

living or debt. How are you? You know, I'm gonna say any time period. Okay. Well, I'd be interested in smoking a joint with Carl Young and from my understanding, he never did psychedelics, but he knew all about them. And so I'd be curious that he felt that I mean, he was in such touch with his own unconscious. He you know, But it would be Carl Young, I think. What's something that most people don't know about you? E was okay. But most people don't know about me that that my long term goal is to have a psychedelic clinic on the beach in Sarasota, Florida, where I could work with college students who are looking for purpose and meaning in life the same way that my guidance counselor helped me so much that that would be my. After we've made psychedelics into medicines, I'd like to have a little tiny psychedelic clinic on the beach and work with young people and old people too. But that's a beautiful vision. All right, last question. You have a 15 2nd commercial

that goes out to the world. What would you say? That we have more in common than separate us, but that the understanding of our commonality will not be homogenizing us but will help us appreciate differences that paradoxically we see how we're all connected and the same. And we can all be mawr uniquely our individual cells. Mhm. Right on. Awesome. Well, listen, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. Yeah, Thank you for the opportunity. And if people want to go to the maps or website. There's all sorts of information there. Oh, yes. Sorry. I normally end with the kind of plug zone. Is there? Yes. So maps dot com maps that order. Yeah. Okay. Thank you. So Yeah. Thank you so much. Really good to meet you. And I really appreciate your time and respect all the work that you're doing. Yeah, and I'll just say that we're doing all this scientific work, but

what's so crucial is public education. And so I'm very That's why I said yes. And that's why I think what you're doing to is so important to prepare for all the people for the changes ahead. And if we could just get honest education out to people, I think the culture really will be ready. Thank you for checking out the fit mind podcast. If you enjoyed the podcast, please take the time to leave it to review. I really can't tell you how much I appreciate reviews. This allows us to reach others who might benefit from these conversations as well. And if you'd like to keep hearing expert insights on the mind of meditation when the episodes come out, please subscribe to the show. Thanks for listening. And I'll see you here next time

#63: The Psychedelic Renaissance - Rick Doblin, PhD
#63: The Psychedelic Renaissance - Rick Doblin, PhD
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