"It permits the possibility of cures, whereas current psychiatric medications are about minimally reducing symptoms," said Rick Doblin, the Harvard-educated founder and executive director of MAPS.
They had no idea," Doblin
No scientist believes that it does that," Doblin
Doblin founded MAPS in Florida in 1986 - it still works off a supply of MDMA produced by Purdue University at that time - and for several years he was the only staffed
But Doblin's own academic career would later hit a wall.
had trouble finding a school willing to entertain his
idea for psychedelic-related graduate studies.
"My whole life for 16 years had been in one direction and then I couldn't follow it up anymore.
So I went home and smoked a joint," Doblin
"Marijuana gives you a chance to see things from a broader framework.
And I thought, 'The politics is in the way of the science.'"
In 1998, Doblin found a mentor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and he now has a doctorate in public policy.
still lives in Boston - Doblin
has never lived in Santa Cruz - but a large staff is here.
Newly schooled in the levers of power, Doblin began working the Food and Drug Administration at a time when research into psychedelics had basically flat-lined.
credits a mid-1990s staff change at the agency for allowing research to go forward.
"We were able to get our first study approved for MDMA," Doblin
"We work with the hardest cases on purpose," Doblin
wanted to relocate here, his
team found Ben Lomond
first, later resettling in Santa Cruz.