Rick Doblin

Rick Doblin is best known for his renowned work in psychedelic research. He is the President and founder of Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), through which he continues his research into the use of psychedelics for medical reasons.

Life and Career

Doblin's Ph.D. dissertation was on "The Regulation of the Medical Use of Psychedelics and Marijuana." His master's (Harvard) focused on the attitudes and experiences of oncologists concerning the medical use of marijuana.
His undergraduate thesis (New College of Florida) was a twenty-five year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences.
Doblin has also studied with Dr. Stan Grof and was in the first group to become certified as holotropic breathwork practitioners.
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 to also become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist.
Rick and MAPS have played a crucial role in the recent renaissance in psychedelic research worldwide.

Early Years

Doblin was born on November 30, 1953, and grew up in Chicago. He tried LSD for the first time at age 17 feeling like it was offering him a certain kind of spiritual connection and a deepening of emotion.
In 1971 he started as a freshman at New College in Sarasota, Florida. Where he found himself spending most of his time experimenting with LSD and Mescaline. Experiencing the typical college life of the early seventies, he only lasted one semester.
His first experience with MDMA was with his girlfriend in 1982. They both found the experience liberating, communicating on a deeper level leaving them with a profound sense of better part of themselves.


BA Psycholoogy New College of Florida, 1987
PHD Public policy Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2001


Rick Doblin is the president and founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. He co-founded Earth Metabolic Design Laboratories in 1984 to support psychedelic research and Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in 1986 with the goal of making MDMA an FDA-approved medicine, a scientific and educational non-profit organization chartered to foster medical and scientific research on psychoactive drugs. Doblin’s motivation for starting MAPS was to legalize MDMA.
MAPS pursues its mission by helping scientific researchers design, obtain governmental approval for, fund, conduct, and report on psychedelic and marijuana research in human volunteers. MAPS is nonprofit pharmaceutical company with the mission to turn psychedelic drugs into prescription medicines to treat afflictions — including posttraumatic stress disorder, pain, depression, and even addiction – for which conventional therapies offer little relief.
Since 1992, MAPS has been assisting Dr. Donald Abrams at UC-San Francisco in implementing a clinical trial investigating the effects of smoked marijuana in patients suffering from the AIDS wasting syndrome
He also is the Editor and Publisher of The Bulletin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which reports on research into the therapeutic applications of psychedelics and marijuana and related topics. And has served on the board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws since 1996.

Recent Times

He currently resides in Boston with his wife and three children, and continues his work with MAPS in research with psychedelics as use in treating certain conditions, and leagaizing MDMA.

Notable Events and Accomplishments

  • Co-founded Earth Metabolic Design Laboratories in 1984
  • Founded Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in 1986
  • Board member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws since 1996.
  • Editor and Publisher of The Bulletin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies


Controversy surrounding medical use of drugs that are popularly assumed to be purely recreational usually involves the debate over medical marijuana, MDMA, LSD and other psychedelics.



MAPS Research Staff members:
  • Michael Mithoefer, M.D., Clinical Investigator for MDMA/PTSD Studies
  • Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., Co-Investigator for MDMA/PTSD Studies
  • L (Ilsa) Jerome Ph.D., Clinical Research and Information Specialist
  • Amy Emerson, Director of Clinical Research
  • Virginia Wright, Director of Development
  • Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Clinical Research Scientist
  • Linnae Ponté, Executive and Clinical Research Assistant / Harm Reduction Coordinator
He Also Collaboratews With:
Milan L. Hopkins, Dale Pendell, Dr. Andrew Tatarsky, David Luke, David Jay Brown, Christian Rätsch, Marlene Dobkin de Rios, Dr. Neal Goldsmith, Rick Strassman, Stanislav Grof, Dr. Wolf-Dieter Storl, Thomas Roberts, Ralph Metzner. Amanda Feilding, and David E. Nichols.


It was the holocaust that was his main motivation for doing what he does. Recognition that this catastrophic abuse of power and violence was made possible by ignorance, fear, scapegoating and people projecting their shadow onto others. Psychedelic psychotherapy and the mystical sense of unity that psychedelics can generate can be an antidote to all of those things.”


Was Influenced By

Dr. Albert Hofmann, Dr. Stanislav Grof, Walter Pahnke, Dr. Alexander Shulgin, Timothy Leary

Has an Influence On

The legalization for medical use of MDMA, marijuana, and other psychedelics.

Collected Works


  • Manifesting Minds: A Review of Psychedelics in Science, Medicine, Sex, and Spirituality (2013)
  • Ecstasy: Dance, Trance, and Transformation (1996)


Research Papers


Drug Truth Networks Interviews with Rick Doblin


The Dish Interviews: Ask Rick Doblin Anything
Categories: Biographies

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