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The Promises and Perils of Mainstreaming Psychedelics [ONLINE]

September 16, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

A Conversation with Rick Doblin and Natalie Ginsberg of MAPS

Wednesday, September 16th at 12pm 

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) just finished raising $30 million in non-profit donations in less than six months! With the help of world-famous influencer Tim Ferriss and thousands of donors from different industries and political views, this success clearly demonstrates the value and acceptance society now sees around psychedelic medicine, and puts MAPS one step closer to their goal of making MDMA a legal medicine.

There is no doubt that MAPS has spearheaded the movement to bring psychedelics into the mainstream. This word “mainstream” has become ubiquitous across psychedelic discourse, but depending on your views, it can signify either the ultimate goal or ultimate nightmare. While many view mainstreaming as a necessary tactic to scale psychedelic healing to have the most positive global impact, others believe that it leads to commodification, corporate greed, a lack of inclusiveness and access for marginalized groups, and other economic and social issues inherent in the current capitalist system. What then, is the best way forward?

Join MAPS founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D, in conversation with Director of Policy and Advocacy Natalie Ginsberg, for this special Chacruna Community Forum. We will explore some of these difficult questions around the benefits and risks of mainstreaming and examine how we can make these powerful medicines available at the speed and scale the world so desperately needs, while facing up against the oppressive, racist and systemic issues of capitalism.

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.

Natalie Ginsberg is the Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), where she works to disentangle science from political partisanship, and to create safe, equitable and regulated access to psychedelics, and all criminalized substances. She is also partnering with Israeli and Palestinian colleagues to develop a psychedelic peace-building study. Natalie is particularly inspired by psychedelics’ potential to assist in healing intergenerational trauma, for building empathy and community, and for inspiring creative and innovative solutions. Before joining MAPS in 2014, Natalie worked as a Policy Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, where she helped legalize medical cannabis in her home state of New York, and worked to end New York’s race-based marijuana arrests. Natalie received her B.A. in history from Yale, and her master’s of social work (M.S.W.) from Columbia.


September 16, 2020
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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