AMP #138 – The Cure is Near with Rick Doblin

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00:00
Rick so it’s been a few years since
00:01
you’ve been on this podcast here and
00:03
there’s been a pretty steady stream of
00:05
good fucking news
00:07
since then as we got on I think it was
00:10
the 2012 psychedelic science conference
00:13
was that the year was 2013 2013 yeah and
00:16
things were looking good phase twos data
00:18
was coming in good but then that whole
00:21
swath of data came out and all you know
00:24
be summarizing some of that in the intro
00:25
so we don’t need to go over all the
00:27
details of that but it’s been pretty
00:29
remarkable what you guys have been able
00:33
to show in those years but not only has
00:36
that been really remarkable what’s been
00:37
remarkable is the response and the kind
00:40
of warm reception that you’ve gotten
00:42
from the FDA the FDA has really been our
00:45
main ally not because they’re Pro
00:48
psychedelic or pro marijuana but they’re
00:50
pro science and they’re also very
00:53
sympathetic to the fact that most of the
00:56
treatments for psychiatry just addressed
00:59
symptoms and mdma-assisted psychotherapy
01:02
for a substantial portion of the people
01:04
is about a cure that’s something that is
01:08
it is a paradigm shifting thing and you
01:10
know friend people have heard me talk
01:11
about my page as the Cure is near yeah
01:13
and that’s a really bold thing to say
01:16
cure because it’s not the paradigm the
01:18
paradigm now is mitigate symptoms you
01:21
know kind of manage some of the issues
01:23
that are going on and you know you
01:25
probably have this for life but it’s
01:27
okay we’ll make it a little easier on
01:28
you it’s not like no no the human beings
01:31
remarkable and it can be fixed you know
01:34
like people don’t have that idea in
01:35
their head even with the current
01:37
paradigm yeah not for most psychiatric
01:39
problems like that it’s I mean the
01:41
pharmaceutical industry has kind of
01:42
trained you that you need daily
01:44
medication for years you’ve got a
01:45
biochemical problem and only medicine
01:48
will fix it yeah it’s like it’s almost
01:50
like this I was thinking about it like
01:53
the faulty machine hypothesis you know
01:55
it’s like we’ve been convinced that the
01:57
humans are inherently faulty machines
01:59
and some reason or another one of you
02:03
know a lot of us are just gonna have one
02:04
piece that’s off and don’t worry though
02:06
because we got the solution to your
02:08
faulty machine and that’s gonna be a
02:10
pill that you’ll take every day rather
02:12
than no humans are
02:14
perfect machines in a lot of ways we
02:16
have all of these mechanisms that are
02:18
able to heal almost anything we were
02:20
talking about the placebo effect today
02:21
you know the ability for the mind to
02:24
treat pretty much every known condition
02:26
that’s ever existed every clinical trial
02:28
has to account for the placebo effect so
02:30
it’s working on everything and we’re
02:33
able to do it you know but people
02:34
discredit how powerful we are as humans
02:37
yeah and there are limits to the placebo
02:39
effect I mean we can’t regrow a limb
02:41
there certainly that’s that we haven’t
02:43
won yet
02:44
anybody ever believed that hard enough
02:46
you know hey buddy you really got to
02:49
believe that you can grow them I don’t
02:51
know that’s a hard one with you yeah and
02:53
even a little bit of cure is a bit
02:56
misleading and that sometimes people
02:58
have the idea that in this example for
03:01
PTSD that we can help people cure past
03:04
PTSD but that doesn’t mean that they
03:06
won’t get reach rahmatan the future it’s
03:09
not an inoculation right yeah I mean
03:11
it’s still uh we’re still vulnerable
03:14
always vulnerable always will always
03:16
have different things that can come but
03:18
to be able to take something that
03:20
happened in the past and not let it be a
03:22
part of your future you know I mean
03:24
that’s the that’s the beauty of this
03:25
whatever whatever has happened there’s a
03:27
great shaman in that I’ve worked with
03:30
out in Peru and his name’s maestro
03:31
Alberto and he’s one of his favorite
03:34
things is we can fix anything but dead
03:37
and you know obviously that’s he’s
03:40
extending that broadly but on a psycho a
03:42
psychological psychiatric model I mean
03:45
it’s looking like with the the medicines
03:48
that are available we’re getting a lot
03:49
closer to that that anything that’s
03:51
happening in the past there’s a chance
03:52
that we can not only manage it but
03:55
there’s a chance we can get to the root
03:56
and really cure it we’ve actually had
03:59
several people who have had PTSD from
04:02
Vietnam
04:03
Oumar decades and decades Ekans and are
04:06
still able to get over PTSD with him do
04:10
you may assist at psychotherapy these
04:12
kind of conflicts get locked in these
04:15
patterns for decades and then reinforced
04:18
and reinforced but it doesn’t mean that
04:19
they’re necessarily permanent there are
04:22
ways to
04:25
process buried trauma like that in a
04:29
relatively short amount of time that’s
04:30
what’s most amazing is that you could be
04:33
struggling with PTSD from something that
04:36
happened 40 or 50 years ago and in the
04:38
space of a few hours you can still work
04:40
through it
04:40
mmm it’s just astonishing what’s the you
04:44
know one of the phenomenon that you know
04:46
we’ve seen come to passes actually
04:49
people remembering these events in the
04:52
very first place I mean the minds is yes
04:54
like what is the process by which and
04:56
you know and there may be other people
04:57
who have a more clinical understanding
05:01
of this than but what what is the
05:03
mechanism of the mind that walls off
05:04
those memories like why does the mind do
05:07
that to protect from pain yeah so these
05:11
memories that there’s what’s called
05:13
episodic memory which is the memory for
05:16
episodes for things that happened and
05:17
then there’s an emotional overlay onto
05:20
those episodes and so what we find with
05:22
PTSD is that people have a difficult
05:26
time remembering a lot about the
05:28
episodes because the emotions are so
05:30
painful
05:31
hmm but under the influence of MDMA
05:34
where the fear processing part of the
05:37
brain and the amygdala is reduced then
05:39
people can actually remember more and
05:42
more of the trauma what happened to them
05:45
and that actually is very important
05:47
because when these memories are sort of
05:49
unconscious memories linked with these
05:51
terribly painful emotions they have an
05:54
influence on us we’re just not aware of
05:56
it and so one of the more remarkable
05:59
things about mdma-assisted psychotherapy
06:01
for PTSD is the way that people’s
06:03
memories are enhanced or the trauma I’ll
06:06
give you one example I was just in Fort
06:08
Collins week ago and
06:12
that’s gonna be one of our phase three
06:14
I’m doing PTSD sites and we’re going
06:16
through a process now of training the
06:19
therapist where the each new Co therapy
06:21
team a male-female code therapy team
06:23
gets one patient to work with where
06:26
everybody knows that’s MDMA and this was
06:28
a woman who had been severely trumpet
06:36
I’m sorry this story was it was a man
06:38
and he’d been sexually abused as a boy
06:40
and his um he was always resentful for
06:46
his mother and he was telling this story
06:48
under it in MDMA that his mother had
06:51
brought him to the perpetrator and then
06:53
the perpetrator took off with him and
06:55
abused him and he always thought his
06:57
mother should have protected him more
06:59
and that that caused his rift in their
07:02
relationship this is now quite a few
07:04
decades ago and the therapist was saying
07:08
you know I don’t think your mother was
07:10
really intentionally bringing you to the
07:12
perpetrator she didn’t know this was
07:13
gonna happen he said all the sort of
07:16
mother mammals their job is to kind of
07:19
protect their their cubs then that
07:21
that’s what your mother was you know she
07:23
wouldn’t have knowingly done this and
07:25
then
07:28
a pop to memory that was the the key in
07:32
a big way to his healing which was that
07:34
the perpetrator the last thing this
07:36
perpetrator said to his mother was mama
07:39
bear you can leave now
07:42
and once he remembered that his mother
07:45
had that the perpetrator had said that
07:47
to his mother that he recognized that
07:50
the perpetrator had to separate him from
07:52
his mother that his mother was there
07:53
really wanted to protect him and that
07:56
changed everything for him and it was
08:00
just a buried you know from decades and
08:02
decades ago just this one little moment
08:04
but that came back under MDMA and that
08:07
was a doorway to healing wow it’s almost
08:10
so you know these memories as he said
08:12
they get encoded and overlaid with
08:14
emotions and when those emotions are you
08:16
can’t really access the memory without
08:18
accessing the emotion to a certain yeah
08:20
so when those emotions are so high and
08:22
so painful and so traumatic to even get
08:26
into the actual recall of events you
08:29
have to wade through that emotion and
08:30
that’s something that we as humans we’re
08:33
not you know we’re not designed to want
08:35
to go into those incredibly painful
08:38
states so the emotions actually create
08:41
sounds like the emotions actually create
08:42
the wall itself yeah they do and then
08:44
one of the processes of mdma-assisted
08:48
psychotherapy for PTSD is this peaceful
08:53
place to look at the trauma and so
08:56
what’s technically there’s a word called
09:00
fear extinction mmm so that these
09:02
behaviors or these memories produce this
09:05
fear and then when you can look at it
09:07
from a position of safety that MDMA can
09:10
give you and also the MDMA helps people
09:13
process the memory so that it doesn’t
09:16
feel like it’s always happening or
09:18
always about to happen that the the
09:20
memory of the trauma for people with
09:22
PTSD it’s never really in the past it’s
09:25
always about to happen everything
09:26
reminds them triggers them of it right
09:28
and so with the ability to to look
09:32
peacefully at the memory and bring more
09:36
of the memory up from the unconscious
09:37
then when the memory it’s called memory
09:39
reconsolidation
09:40
so memories are pieced together from
09:42
different parts of the brain the episode
09:44
and and the emotion are sort of put
09:47
together and then when you have had a
09:49
sense of peace to look at it and
09:51
processed it and looking at it and are
09:53
able to place it in the past the
09:55
the next time that you remember the
09:57
incident you’ve replaced the fear
09:59
memories with this memories of a peace
10:02
and reflection and is in the past and
10:04
that’s the key to the curative effect of
10:07
mdma-assisted like therapy so that it
10:09
really replaces it you reconsolidate the
10:13
memory with a different emotional tone
10:15
that’s such makes so much sense as a
10:19
mechanism of action of how how it’s
10:22
healed you know because every time you
10:24
access that it’s like just like any
10:26
memory every time you access it and
10:28
you’ll you’ll even you’ll feel the
10:30
emotion but then the more you access it
10:33
over years that emotion kind of dims and
10:35
the emotion kind of dims because you’re
10:36
subtly overriding it with your current
10:38
mental state but if you’ve never acts
10:40
fully accessed and consolidated that
10:42
memory that emotion still at peak yeah
10:44
but then so not only are you accessing
10:46
it again which is part of the healing
10:48
process which is part of talking and
10:50
opening up about it that’s why that cut
10:51
that stuff works gently over time and
10:53
general that’s why the therapy alone
10:56
does some good yeah you know but then
10:58
not only you accessing it and rewriting
11:01
it with a normal mental state you’re
11:02
accessing and rewriting it with the best
11:05
fucking mental state you’ve ever been in
11:07
you know where your heart is just
11:08
speaking and you’re free and you’re full
11:11
of love and it’s really really
11:13
incredible how that happens and I’ve you
11:15
know I talked yesterday in the speech I
11:17
talked about you know how fortunate I’ve
11:18
been because of the circles I’ve
11:20
traveled in I’ve been in the room when
11:22
this therapy has been occurring because
11:24
there’s people who’ve decided that it is
11:27
their calling to provide this medicine
11:29
at risk and you know and but taking all
11:32
of the safeguards that’s one would in an
11:34
in a trial but just taking the onus on
11:36
themselves for healing and I was in a
11:38
couples therapy session and it was
11:40
really about a reconciliation or
11:42
potential conscious severance of a
11:46
couple and they had their own issues
11:48
nothing too serious but this was in that
11:50
kind of classic couples therapy model
11:51
which was actually one of the original
11:53
indications for MDMA right fantastic for
11:56
God yeah therapy so it was in this
11:58
facilitated couples therapy and in the
12:00
first session you know headphones
12:01
everybody’s diving in going deep and the
12:05
female participant
12:08
started recalling and had no idea that
12:11
started recalling episodes of sexual
12:14
trauma you know right from the start and
12:16
this was not even what the intention the
12:18
intention was are that we’re gonna were
12:19
you know that person’s gonna work out
12:21
their shit put their husband and you
12:24
know
12:24
alright husband wife trying to deal with
12:26
their stuff but no that’s not where it
12:28
went and she started to piece together
12:30
these memories and realize like oh wow
12:33
you know and she’d had short-term map
12:35
she died always had memory issues and a
12:37
few different things and then these
12:38
things kind of came back and it was this
12:41
initiation into healing and seeing how
12:43
this had had shaped and really just
12:46
remarkable thing that this you know the
12:50
the intelligence of the body you know
12:51
even with the intention not to go back
12:53
there and look at that thing in that
12:55
space and just be feeling free and it
12:59
just guided her towards that towards
13:01
that thing which I thought was really
13:03
interesting because I think a lot of
13:04
times we think oh you got to have severe
13:06
trauma you got to be pointed right at it
13:09
you got to go right there
13:10
you know sometimes just curating the
13:12
space even if the intention is something
13:14
similar some of these things will come
13:16
up the river will guide you to where you
13:19
need to be the most yeah we talked about
13:21
that in terms of the inner healer yeah
13:23
that there’s a wisdom to the the psyche
13:25
to bring up things from the unconscious
13:27
at the appropriate time and there’s no
13:29
way for the therapist to really predict
13:32
what’s going to happen and we never
13:35
actually used the word guide either
13:36
we’re not the guide because we don’t
13:38
really know the territory it’s the
13:39
people know the eurasia that themselves
13:42
and it’s and this inner wisdom comes up
13:45
and brings things up and you know when
13:47
these are unconscious they’re like
13:48
filters of fear and anxiety that we see
13:51
the world through and we’re not even
13:53
aware that we’re seeing through these
13:54
filters and so under the influence of
13:57
MDMA and other psychedelics you can kind
13:59
of see these traumas these issues that
14:03
come up and then when you resolve them
14:04
it’s like you’re wiping your glasses
14:07
clean and you can see a little bit more
14:09
clearly what’s really in front of you
14:11
and but most people have had kind of a
14:14
different understanding of what memory
14:16
is too so it used to be the thought is
14:19
that the memories like a book
14:21
and the book is stored in your brain and
14:22
then you remember it and then you put
14:24
the book back on the shelf but it’s
14:27
actually that there’s like memories like
14:29
a book and you remember it but then you
14:30
have to reprint the book and you store
14:33
it and that’s called memory
14:35
reconsolidation
14:36
and that helps explain how memories can
14:38
change over time as well yeah and that’s
14:41
also the key to the therapy is that when
14:43
we can change the emotional tone
14:46
connected to a memory then you can
14:50
reconsolidate it in a different way and
14:52
what one of the things that I think is
14:55
so important is that we need to learn
14:57
from our traumas and we need to learn
14:59
from our memories and we don’t want to
15:01
erase our memories or somehow or other
15:04
make it so that they’re no longer
15:07
accessible so the fact that MDMA can
15:09
enhance people’s memories for the trauma
15:11
that brings more up from the unconscious
15:14
you’re you have less of this unconscious
15:16
filtering process yeah and then people
15:18
can really learn from the memories
15:20
people are sometimes people have talked
15:22
about marijuana for PTSD that if you
15:24
take marijuana right after the trauma
15:26
then your short-term memory will not be
15:29
as anchored into long-term memory and
15:33
that’s a scary thing for me because when
15:36
you particularly when you’re traumatized
15:38
you need to learn the lessons from how
15:40
that happened and how to avoid that in
15:42
the past and what that means for the
15:44
world so the fact that this
15:45
mdma-assisted therapy for PTSD enhances
15:49
memory for the trauma people can really
15:51
learn and heal a lot more yeah and you
15:54
know there’s people probably out there
15:55
that are like yeah you know some bad
15:56
should happen but I don’t even I just
15:57
want to leave it where it is it’s not
15:59
affecting me and that’s I think one of
16:01
the biggest you know kind of misnomers
16:03
about this is like oh no it’s in the
16:05
past it’s not affecting me but you’re
16:07
not aware unconsciously subconsciously
16:10
how much this is affecting you that
16:12
temper that you think you have that you
16:15
know those episodes of depression or
16:17
sadness or anxiety that you think is
16:19
related to work or you think is related
16:21
to some other thing you know a lot of
16:23
that a lot of those feelings come from
16:26
these feelings of shame and fear and
16:28
guilt and all of these anger and all of
16:31
the rage all of these things that have
16:32
been kind of
16:33
all doff now your mind is make taking
16:35
these wide births around but it’s just
16:37
screaming through your whole unconscious
16:40
like help me help me help me you know
16:43
and you think no I’m good
16:44
but you know really maybe you’re not
16:47
know and maybe your time Shirley you’re
16:49
tough Shirley you’re tough enough to do
16:52
it without it but what’s the better way
16:54
you know what’s what’s your potential
16:56
what are you capable of without that and
16:58
I don’t think you know until you go
17:00
through a healing process like this yeah
17:01
and actually part of the the essence of
17:04
our therapeutic approach we call it
17:07
patient directed or non directive it’s
17:10
that people’s unconscious that’s really
17:14
where the healing comes from and there’s
17:16
no order for our eight-hour therapy
17:19
sessions so usually we give the MDMA
17:21
around 10:00 in the morning and people
17:24
around two hours later get half the
17:27
initial dose to extend the plateau and
17:30
then the sessions lasts till 6 p.m. so
17:32
there’s an 8 hour session but there’s
17:35
there’s no standardized order for when
17:39
people deal with the trauma or sometimes
17:42
if you both start talking about very
17:44
happy memories and they’re kind of
17:46
building strength to then look at the
17:48
trauma sometimes people will come
17:50
straight to the trauma sometimes it’s a
17:52
different trauma than you anticipated
17:53
yeah that you know there’s kind of the
17:56
surface trauma that they’ve been telling
17:57
themselves that’s the issue and then
17:58
there’s something even deeper underneath
18:00
that and so it’s this beautiful process
18:03
of unfolding in a natural way
18:05
the therapists kind of hold space and
18:08
then really what we’re trying to do is
18:10
help people heal themselves we’re not
18:12
doing it to them they’re finding the
18:15
courage as they get more and more
18:16
comfortable and as the medicine takes
18:18
more effect to just sort of free
18:21
associate almost and then at some point
18:24
these emotionally charged areas will
18:26
come to the surface yeah and we’ll help
18:28
them work through that do you is as part
18:31
of the protocol giving them the tapes of
18:33
the session or the notes of the session
18:35
because that you know in any experience
18:37
that I’ve had that’s extremely valuable
18:39
yeah yeah we videotape and audiotape all
18:42
of the sessions mm-hmm and a lot of
18:44
times it’s like a river flowing by so
18:47
much is happening emotionally and people
18:50
are having this just flow of imagery
18:53
people are incredibly metaphorical under
18:57
the influence of psychedelics and people
19:00
speak in terms of parts of themselves or
19:03
images but it’s it’s flowing a lot and
19:07
we encourage people not to try to hold
19:09
on to it to just keep going with the
19:12
flow keep experiencing and the
19:14
therapists will be taking notes as well
19:16
about important points important things
19:19
people have said but at the same time
19:21
these videotapes not everybody wants to
19:24
see them but quite a few people whole
19:27
patients do want to see the videotapes
19:29
and will share them with them yeah
19:31
that’s great and one of the things
19:33
another aspect of you know being
19:35
fortunate to be in that room I
19:37
been in the room with people who
19:38
generally I’m the you know I’m kind of
19:42
the mentor in that especially in matters
19:44
spiritual or philosophical or emotional
19:47
processing you know I’ve I’ve collected
19:49
enough wisdom where I’ll generally be
19:51
explaining things to them and then in
19:53
the medicine I’ll just sit back and be
19:55
like you go like you were teaching all
19:59
of us everything I don’t even want to
20:00
open my mouth because you’re tat there
20:03
tapped into their own highest highest
20:05
wisdom and at that level you know with
20:08
me being sober in the room there I am
20:10
just like a little kid looking up it at
20:12
grandpa like tell me more truth you know
20:15
and so this this whole it’s you know you
20:17
can create this inversion of of you know
20:20
where the real master is the one who’s
20:22
tapped into their own higher wisdom no
20:24
matter how much knowledge you’ve
20:26
accumulated no matter what and you know
20:28
this has been something talking to the
20:29
other like Michael and Annie and and
20:31
everybody who’s been in the in the rooms
20:33
Tony Bo sis and everybody’s like yeah
20:35
when they’re tapped in and even that
20:37
video we saw of the marine you know
20:39
everybody in that room everybody in the
20:40
room last night at our dinner it’s done
20:42
a lot of work read a lot of books but
20:44
when that marine is speaking we’re all
20:46
like preach even though like we’re all
20:49
just listening because it’s so true and
20:51
it’s so right on and it’s amazing that
20:54
we all have that capability yeah and
20:56
people have to come to things on their
20:58
own in their own time you might have a
21:00
piece of wisdom but if people aren’t
21:01
ready for it yeah it’s not really gonna
21:03
be helpful to them it could even be
21:05
distracting to them even though it’s an
21:08
idea that they have to come to at some
21:09
point mmm and so that’s that’s a part of
21:12
the art of being a therapist too is
21:14
maybe getting a sense as to what people
21:17
need to work on but helping them work on
21:20
that in their own time and not kind of
21:22
leaping in and messing with their
21:25
process yeah they are it’s trusting them
21:28
trusting the inner wisdom you know
21:30
trusting the you know their inner coach
21:32
you know who’s gonna be helping them out
21:34
yeah and we all know that the body heals
21:36
itself I mean that you can have a cut
21:39
and you can clean it out and you can you
21:41
know put an antiseptic and put on a
21:42
band-aid but you don’t your body has got
21:44
this inner wisdom to
21:47
reconnect its shape to rebuild itself
21:50
yeah we all know that experientially but
21:52
when it comes to the mind there’s a
21:55
similar process but because it’s more
21:57
invisible we don’t really see it or
21:59
believe it as much and that’s that goes
22:01
back to that faulty mechanism kind of
22:03
paradigm we’re like oh my it’s just a
22:06
faulty mechanism we need to fix it like
22:07
if we don’t have that same thing that we
22:09
have with the skin which is yeah it’ll
22:11
heal itself you know if you get a cut
22:13
you know that keep it clean it’ll heal
22:15
itself with the mind we think and I was
22:17
just born that way chemical imbalance
22:19
you know it’d be like having a wound and
22:21
being like ah you know blood clotting
22:23
imbalance well yeah all right a couple
22:24
people have that you know like their
22:26
blood won’t clot their Hema fili AK and
22:28
that actually is a problem but it would
22:30
be like calling everybody who gets a cut
22:32
of hemophilia you know like there are
22:34
human Felix for sure there are chemical
22:36
imbalances not saying that doesn’t exist
22:37
right but it’s not everybody it’s
22:39
probably much much much more rare than
22:42
people give it credit like we’re
22:44
mentioning in the car
22:45
bipolar was a very rare disorder and
22:48
then there came a drug to treat bipolar
22:50
disorder and it blossomed by I’m
22:53
incredible multiple because people were
22:55
thinking like oh well I have a drug for
22:57
that so let’s look for that and let’s
22:59
create this expand this population and
23:01
it and it creates an even larger appeal
23:04
of alright this faulty mechanism
23:07
hypothesis something that was probably a
23:09
very small portion is now diagnosed as a
23:11
very big portion you know not giving the
23:13
mind credit enough to go through its
23:15
natural ABB’s inflows yeah we’ve been
23:18
thinking about once MDMA becomes a
23:21
medicine what kind of commercials might
23:23
be make and you know but basically we
23:27
don’t need to make any I’m time to make
23:28
you’ll just be feeling people who’ve
23:31
gotten all of their friends and
23:33
relatives and buddies and like come on
23:35
the last thing you why you want like
23:37
anti commercials hey everybody calm down
23:40
we’re overloaded now please do not call
23:43
our sinners we can no longer handle the
23:47
call volume so well so it’s actually
23:50
very very sad in that we just got last
23:55
week
23:58
the LA site was set up and ready to go
24:01
and they just put a little announcement
24:03
about how they’re ready to go we already
24:05
have over a hundred people want to
24:07
volunteer for the study we have over
24:11
20,000 people have contacted us through
24:13
the website to be notified when the
24:16
phase three study started because they
24:18
have PTSD there’s right now as a well
24:22
not right now as of June 30th 2016 which
24:26
is about a year and a half ago there was
24:31
868 thousand veterans receiving
24:33
disability payments from the VA for PTSD
24:36
now it’s probably up to a million
24:39
there was six hundred thousand veterans
24:41
receiving disability payments from the
24:43
VA for depression anxiety and other
24:45
mental health disorders
24:47
so roughly almost 1.5 million vets for
24:51
mental health related disorders and the
24:53
last time the VA put out numbers was in
24:56
2004 and it was $20,000 per person per
25:00
year for disability payments for PTSD so
25:04
that’s right now if we use those old
25:06
numbers as of June 30th 2016 that’d be
25:11
about 17 billion dollars a year and
25:12
total it’s for all mental health
25:15
disorders it’s around 30 billion a year
25:16
and these are mostly young people this
25:18
is gonna go on through the decades and
25:20
yet the VA will not give us a penny for
25:23
research with mdma-assisted
25:24
psychotherapy for PTSD um they’ll let us
25:28
pay to have their own therapists
25:32
experiment with blending MDMA with the
25:34
existing non drug psychotherapy as they
25:36
have so that for us is major progress
25:38
yeah I started trying to educate the VA
25:42
about MDMA in 1990 and we worked at the
25:45
same we had doctors and therapists at
25:48
the San Francisco VA that wanted to do a
25:50
study that maps would fund I mean I
25:53
started maps in 86 so this is four years
25:55
later I was just trying to figure out if
25:57
there were any opportunities and the
25:59
head of the San Francisco VA said no
26:01
it’s so it’s so odd because you would
26:04
think like I mean it’s just crazy how
26:06
deep those stigmas run yeah and it’s you
26:09
know
26:10
because the VA should not only want to
26:12
take care of their veterans from a
26:13
compassionate standpoint so that’s one
26:15
motivation to look at the science
26:17
objectively but the other is if you can
26:19
treat PTSD you’ll probably get more
26:21
soldiers in the field you know it’s just
26:23
from a very practical like IED if you
26:25
look they’re running ads you’re running
26:27
ads on TV for soldiers there you know in
26:30
couraging in every football game you
26:32
know they’re paying the NFL to advertise
26:34
to get more people into the military
26:36
like one of the ways you could do it is
26:38
actually cure all the veterans first of
26:40
all it would take away a lot of the
26:41
downside that’s preventing people from
26:42
going so this is like very practical
26:44
reasons there’s very compassionate
26:45
reasons but I guess maybe do you think
26:48
it’s just the fear of what happened with
26:50
the psychedelic Revolution and the
26:53
Vietnam War that’s that’s kind of in
26:55
there or is it just a general fear of
26:57
drugs from this kind of dare mentality
27:00
that came out in the eighties like
27:01
where’s the hesitation I think a lot of
27:03
that is that it’s the the residue of
27:05
this cultural trauma that we faced in
27:08
the sixties when psychedelics really
27:10
emerged and was identified with the
27:12
counterculture and then was smashed and
27:14
we’re still living near the end of I
27:18
think the over enthusiasm for the drug
27:21
war the misguided enthusiasm for the
27:23
drug war one of the things we were able
27:28
to do with the help of dr. Richard
27:29
rockefeller who came he was the chair of
27:32
the Board of Advisors of Doctors Without
27:35
Borders and he saw in Kosovo and Serbia
27:39
you know hundreds and hundred thousands
27:41
millions of people refugees with PTSD
27:43
and he wanted to know how to help them
27:47
and he realized there’s not enough
27:48
therapists there’s not enough
27:49
psychiatrists and he started getting
27:51
curious about MDMA and then we got in
27:53
touch and then his cousin senator Jay
27:56
Rockefeller was on the Senate Veterans
27:57
Affairs Committee and so we had these
27:59
meetings that went up through the
28:02
hierarchy we actually started at the San
28:04
Diego Naval Medical Center where they
28:06
work with Navy SEALs and Marines with
28:08
PTSD and they wanted to work with MDMA
28:10
but they said they weren’t tight enough
28:12
in the hierarchy we had to get the
28:14
Admirals permission so then the Admiral
28:16
says okay but I’m not high enough then
28:18
we had to go to the Pentagon and we had
28:20
to meet with the
28:22
Assistant Secretary of the Navy the Navy
28:24
Surgeon General the Secretary of the
28:25
Navy then they were all supportive but
28:28
they weren’t high enough in the higher
28:29
oh wow incredible oh we had to go to the
28:32
Assistant Secretary of Defense for
28:34
Health Affairs meanwhile we were trying
28:36
to work through the meanwhile there’s
28:37
this Navy Seal in San Diego it’s like
28:39
come on I did everything you said yeah
28:43
and then then we were working with the
28:45
Secretary of the VA and the National
28:46
Center for PTSD of the VA and finally we
28:49
had this meeting and what they told us
28:53
was that they wanted the reasons they
28:55
wanted us to start in veterans but not
28:57
in active-duty soldiers is because
28:59
they’re trying to create an no drug use
29:03
military other than of course the drugs
29:05
that the military gives you and so they
29:07
were concerned that if they were gonna
29:11
work let us work with active-duty
29:12
soldiers the word would get out and
29:14
people are so frustrated at the
29:16
treatments that are available for them
29:17
now that they were worried that people
29:20
would self-medicate and so they said
29:22
start with veterans and that’s where we
29:25
got permission to self-medicate with
29:27
painkillers though that doesn’t ever
29:29
happen you know like it’s crazy and they
29:33
said it’s it is a generational thing as
29:35
well they said most of the people coming
29:36
in as the mentor are young and they come
29:38
from a different culture they’re there
29:40
they’ve grown up during a liberalisation
29:42
of marijuana laws and they don’t see it
29:44
as such a demon drug and and there’s
29:47
they’ve heard a lot of stories about
29:49
therapeutic use of MDMA so I think the
29:53
the big concern is yeah the the symbolic
29:56
value of psychedelics as part of the
29:58
anti-war movement part of protocol
30:00
counterculture but that’s fading and
30:02
we’re doing our very best to try to
30:04
reinforce the idea that people can have
30:08
these experiences and it doesn’t mean
30:10
that they want to drop out and live on a
30:11
farm and grow soybeans and become vegan
30:14
and you know that’s probably the
30:16
greatest fear that I hear you know when
30:17
there’s I’m talking to a MMA fighter or
30:20
mathlete or something like that they say
30:22
ah you know your journeys sound amazing
30:25
Aubrey but you know I’m so I’m just
30:27
terrified that I won’t be a fighter
30:28
anymore if I take this you know I’m on
30:30
and it’s a funny thing because it’s it’s
30:33
almost hypothesizing that
30:34
the medicine itself has a will and that
30:37
it’s either it’s gonna impose that will
30:39
and that will is it’s a it’s like it’s
30:41
like you’re hanging out with your vegan
30:43
friend who’s really persuasive you know
30:44
he’s gonna tell you not to eat meat and
30:45
he’s gonna convince you of this stuff
30:47
it’s it’s just not how it works if
30:49
something if your own inner wisdom tells
30:52
you that you shouldn’t be doing that
30:54
that’s one thing but typically you know
30:56
if you’re on a path and that’s the path
30:58
that you love it’s just gonna enforce
30:59
that it’s just gonna say alright here’s
31:01
how you do it and here’s how you do it
31:03
better you know it’s not it doesn’t have
31:05
an opinion there’s no vested interest in
31:07
these medicines other than what you
31:09
yourself know and if you yourself want
31:11
to tell yourself to take a different
31:12
course that’s something you should know
31:15
you know that’s something you should
31:16
want to know yeah you know but uh yeah
31:18
it’s because of the association with
31:21
some of the types who have taken it they
31:24
think that that’s the result but it’s
31:26
not causal you know it’s just
31:28
correlative yeah I like the word that
31:30
use Association because if there is an
31:33
agenda I would say it’s the opposite of
31:35
disassociation and so what we find is a
31:38
lot of times when people are traumatized
31:39
particularly at a young age the the
31:43
defense all that they can do is
31:44
dissociate so that they’re no longer
31:46
there in a way something’s happening to
31:48
their body but you know they’re they’ve
31:50
sort of removed themselves and what we
31:52
find is that those people that are the
31:55
highest on dissociation we have scales
31:57
to measure that take the longest to heal
32:01
because they have to sort of come back
32:03
into an integrated sense with their with
32:07
their body and with their mind and so if
32:09
there is an agenda is to take the split
32:12
apart pieces of ourselves that we’ve put
32:16
into the shadow or we’ve rejected or are
32:18
too painful
32:19
and to try to bring them together into
32:21
more of a unified wholly unified
32:23
personality and I think that’s where we
32:26
see people making a lot of progress from
32:31
shadow sides of themselves or painful
32:33
sides of themselves that they learn to
32:35
integrate yeah and yet once your
32:38
integrated there’s so many different
32:40
ways to express that
32:43
that for some people it could be really
32:45
appropriate to do in a you know in a
32:49
fighting context I mean hopefully not
32:51
where they’re really well it’s trying to
32:54
hurt somebody yeah bored context yeah so
32:56
I think people are scared of their own
32:59
inner wisdom that might make them change
33:01
something and they you know they’ve got
33:03
a patter and they like it they don’t
33:04
want to change and you know those are
33:08
probably the people who would benefit
33:10
the most from doing it you know because
33:12
if you’ve got this sort of buried
33:14
intuition that maybe there’s a different
33:16
direction for you and it does cause
33:18
certain disruptions in your life and
33:20
your patterns but you know what you
33:22
don’t want to do everybody who’s afraid
33:24
of that what you don’t want to do is you
33:25
don’t want to take the ultimate
33:26
psychedelic that we’re all gonna take
33:28
and that one’s called death and when you
33:30
have that one that’s not the one you
33:32
want to wake your ass up and be like
33:34
what the fuck was I doing no like how
33:36
about you you take them do you take one
33:38
a little earlier on the journey maybe
33:39
where you can correct it in this life
33:41
you know rather than waiting till you
33:43
die and waking up and being like oh my
33:45
god you know I shouldn’t have been doing
33:46
that my whole life or being on your
33:48
deathbed you know I’ve read the reports
33:50
of Broni where there’s palliative care
33:52
nurse and talking about all the
33:53
commonalities between the deathbed
33:55
regrets like don’t be that guy don’t be
33:58
that girl no don’t don’t be the person
34:00
there that hasn’t taken the time to
34:03
reflect upon your life and make sure
34:04
that you’re doing what your heart sings
34:07
for you know go find that go figure it
34:10
out you owe it to yourself yeah you know
34:12
sometimes actually it’s easier to die
34:15
physically than it is to change who you
34:19
think you are so what we what we find is
34:22
that under the influence of the classic
34:24
psychedelics there’s what we are calling
34:28
when neuroscience has been finding it’s
34:30
called the default mode Network mm-hmm
34:31
and so it’s sort of your resting ego
34:33
state and the classic psychedelics
34:36
weaken this network in the brain so that
34:39
your normal ways of processing
34:41
information according to your priorities
34:43
of food and shelter and companionship
34:45
and sex and love that that’s weakened
34:49
and you get a flood of material that’s
34:52
coming to the surface and and often
34:54
people when they’re losing their their
34:56
primary
34:57
sort of point of orientation often that
35:00
can be called ego death in a way ego
35:02
doesn’t really die it just gets sort of
35:04
replaced in the proper order but people
35:09
are are so scared of that this ego death
35:12
that they turn it into physical death
35:15
they become scared of actually dying
35:17
even though there’s nothing in these
35:19
like dogs that’s gonna cause them to
35:21
actually die but the change in who we
35:25
think we are can be more difficult and
35:28
more painful than yeah well if you’re I
35:30
did well if you’re identified as the EE
35:32
yeah if that is who you think you are
35:34
your identity your career your
35:37
girlfriend your wife your husband
35:39
whatever all of these things that are
35:41
wrapped up in your identity and your ego
35:43
if your business card you know if that’s
35:46
who you are and you really think that’s
35:49
who you are then of course that is a
35:50
that is a death of who your identity is
35:53
but what the psychedelics will do will
35:54
they’ll give you a little bit of
35:56
separation from that and say oh that’s a
35:58
part of me part of me that’s worthy of
36:00
love and has collected a lot of
36:01
interesting things and interesting
36:02
traits but that’s not me I’m this
36:05
something else and so it’s a lot easier
36:07
to let that other side go and then
36:10
reawaken that side of yourself that you
36:13
know people have called it many things
36:15
your consciousness your higher self your
36:17
divine self your true self you know this
36:19
kind of your inner wisdom you know that
36:22
part of you that’s that really belongs
36:25
at the helm of the starship you know
36:27
rather than the ego yeah and I think
36:29
this concept of ego death is really a
36:31
little bit misleading because it
36:34
metaphorically it’s like back when
36:37
people thought that the earth was the
36:38
center of the universe and the Sun
36:40
revolved around the earth and that you
36:42
know that that’s in a sense what the ego
36:45
is like we think the whole world
36:46
revolves around us and an ego death has
36:50
to recognize that we’re revolving around
36:52
something even bigger you know life
36:54
itself and that you know we’re revolving
36:57
the earth is revolving around the Sun
36:58
the sun’s moving in space but so the ego
37:01
doesn’t die but it just finds a more
37:04
proper place humble place and once
37:07
people can experience that
37:10
through support move through the terror
37:11
of letting go of who they think they are
37:13
and finding that there’s still a new
37:16
orientation that can be deeper and more
37:18
joyous and we’re relaxing and yet that
37:21
you still have to take care of yourself
37:23
you we are still individuals living in a
37:25
time bound system of birth and death and
37:28
we we have to pay attention to what our
37:30
own needs are as well but we’re not the
37:32
center of the universe right as the ego
37:35
would tell us yeah I so let’s fast
37:36
forward to the future here and you gave
37:38
you gave a bit of a timeline and you
37:40
know and we’re going to talk about some
37:42
of the opportunities for donation that
37:44
we have coming out but let’s let’s fast
37:46
forward all things go well and we’re
37:48
you’re able to raise the money get
37:49
things going on time take us through you
37:52
know the timeline of potential
37:55
legalization I think you mentioned the
37:56
date of 2021 yeah yeah potential target
37:59
yeah so I think let’s go back just a
38:02
tiny bit to August 15th 2017 which isn’t
38:07
that far ago and that’s the day that FDA
38:12
accepted our application to have
38:14
mdma-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD
38:16
designated as a breakthrough therapy so
38:19
huge yeah it’s you know more than
38:22
two-thirds of the applications from Big
38:24
Pharma to have their drugs declared
38:25
breakthrough or rejected it’s for the
38:28
most promising drugs and so what that
38:31
means is that the FDA is now seeing
38:34
themselves as partnering with us to
38:36
develop MDMA through phase three to see
38:39
if the data that we generate will indeed
38:42
prove safety and efficacy to make it
38:44
into a medicine and so with that
38:47
breakthrough therapy designation that’s
38:50
enhancing our timelines a bit so what
38:54
we’re doing right now and right now as
38:57
you know here in February of 2018 we’re
39:02
completing the final stages of training
39:05
84 therapists in 42 male-female
39:08
Kothari’s to work with PTSD patients
39:12
that are chronic severe PTSD patients
39:15
and we’re we’re doing that we’ve had a
39:18
lot of training so far but now they’re
39:21
all getting one patient
39:23
in a protocol open-label everybody knows
39:25
it’s MDMA to complete their training
39:27
getting feedback from our training team
39:30
so starting in June of 2018 we’re gonna
39:33
start the formal phase three studies and
39:36
from the FDA and the negotiations that
39:39
we’ve had with them during a process
39:42
called special protocol assessment that
39:44
was a seven-month process where we
39:46
negotiated every aspect of the protocol
39:48
design and FDA gave us an agreement
39:50
letter on July 28th so that they’re
39:53
formally bound now to approve the drug
39:55
if this design gets statistically
39:57
significant evidence of efficacy and
39:59
nono
39:59
safety concerns arise we’ve negotiated
40:03
that we’re gonna need but at a minimum
40:06
200 subjects in Phase three in to 100
40:11
person studies and we have to get
40:12
statistical significance in each of
40:14
those there’s a process called interim
40:17
analysis that as the studies are going
40:19
when there’s 60 percent of the people
40:21
that have hit the primary outcome
40:23
measure a small group will be unblinded
40:26
the data monitoring committee and
40:28
they’ll tell us if we need to add more
40:29
subjects that get significant so we’re
40:31
anticipating between two and three
40:33
hundred subjects but we’re thinking that
40:34
starting in June of 2018 by the summer
40:38
of 2000 and 2020 we will have had all
40:41
the data that we need and then it will
40:43
take us several months to process the
40:47
data to prepare all this for submission
40:49
to FDA and we anticipate in 2021 that
40:52
mdma-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD
40:54
will be approved as a medicine in the US
40:57
we’re also right now starting to
40:59
negotiate with the European Medicines
41:01
Agency I was a call I just got right
41:04
before we started here this podcast
41:05
about our documents ready to go in and
41:09
we think by the end of this this summer
41:11
also we’ll have an agreement with the
41:12
European Medicines Agency and we hope
41:14
they’ll be on a similar timetable 2021
41:17
we are also we just recently shipped
41:20
MDMA to Brazil we’re shipping some to
41:22
the Netherlands we’re kind of getting
41:25
other countries started and
41:30
preparing so once it’s approved let’s
41:33
say in 2021 then we think that there’s
41:36
gonna be a gradual but fairly rapid
41:41
rollout of psychedelic clinics where
41:44
these treatments will take place right
41:47
now ketamine is being used more and more
41:49
for the treatment of depression so these
41:52
psychedelic clinics will not just be
41:54
like an MDMA clinic or Academy in clinic
41:56
there’s other groups that that you’ve
41:58
been helping to really what you’re
42:00
trying to develop and psilocybin into a
42:02
medicine for depression so we think that
42:04
they’ll be administered in these
42:06
specialized psychedelic clinic let’s
42:08
just let’s just take a moment everybody
42:09
let’s just take a moment and imagine
42:11
that let’s imagine that you’re going
42:14
through some hard shit you know limes
42:16
are tough and you can’t figure things
42:18
out and you have some stuff that’s
42:20
rattling around in your head and you say
42:21
yeah I’m gonna stop by my psychedelic
42:23
clay and it’s lovely in there it smells
42:26
like incense there’s nice music there’s
42:28
a credentialed doctor who knows the full
42:30
gamut of psychiatric options but also
42:32
the full gamut of psychedelic medicines
42:34
and they’re there to greet you warmly
42:36
there’s kind people waiting for you at
42:39
the waiting room and they start talking
42:40
to you you know it’s not this massive
42:42
intake form and cold and as this you
42:45
know you’ll fill out the forms but
42:46
they’ll start talking to you have you
42:47
know what’s going on and then eventually
42:49
you’ll see the head of the you know
42:51
psychiatric medicine there and they’ll
42:53
start talking to you oh well I think
42:55
actually you know a psilocybin session
42:57
might be you know exactly what would be
42:59
best for you in this case and you know
43:01
talked you through that protocol but you
43:03
know we might want to follow up with an
43:04
MDMA session to make sure that you’ve
43:06
integrated that properly and that you’re
43:08
on the right course and there isn’t any
43:09
trauma and how does that sound to you
43:11
yeah that sounds great you know and you
43:14
schedule it and you go in and you put
43:17
your headphones on your blindfold and
43:19
you work on your trauma and your issues
43:21
and maybe you speak to your dead
43:23
relatives or maybe are some other random
43:25
things happen while you’re there but
43:27
you’re there for the work and for the
43:28
medicine you come out and you come out
43:30
different than when you walked in and
43:33
not you’re not running to the pharmacy
43:35
to go get some pill bottle that you’re
43:37
gonna be shackled to like like this is
43:40
your new slave collar you come out that
43:42
day
43:43
you know some of the psilocybin
43:44
indications from after it’s single doses
43:47
that are carrying some of these
43:48
indications for 80% of people so you
43:51
come out that day and you’re different
43:53
that day like that that is possible it’s
43:58
not like oh yeah wouldn’t that be
43:59
wonderful no 20 fucking 21 that’s that’s
44:02
like in an instant we’re gonna blink I’m
44:04
gonna eat a bunch of sandwiches and you
44:07
know work out and all of a sudden is
44:08
gonna be 2021 like out of the years past
44:10
like they just go and that’s that’s that
44:14
can happen but we need to help that
44:17
happen to we need to raise the awareness
44:18
so that it’s acceptable culturally and
44:21
we need to help raise the funds so that
44:23
you guys can do the work that you need
44:24
and have to can do the work that they
44:25
need yeah but it’s not far away well
44:29
it’s even closer than 2021
44:31
because yeah because there’s a program
44:36
that the FDA have has that’s called
44:38
expanded access and what that means is
44:41
that if you have a condition that the
44:45
currently available medications or
44:48
treatments have not sufficiently helped
44:50
and there’s a drug that’s being
44:51
researched for that condition that
44:53
there’s a way to provide access before
44:56
the drug is approved and so as long as
44:59
we have the phase three studies fully
45:03
populated and moving forward as quickly
45:05
as possible and I indicated that we are
45:08
gonna need a minimum of 200 sometimes
45:11
between two and three hundred people but
45:12
with these 20,000 people already on our
45:15
waiting list to be notified about the
45:16
studies there’s way more people millions
45:19
millions people that need treatment for
45:21
PTSD and so under this expanded access
45:25
program people can pay for their own
45:28
treatment the pharmaceutical company
45:30
sponsor in this case Maps can only sell
45:32
the drug at cost which is totally fine
45:35
and what’s that cost well yeah
45:40
where’s that cost right some people who
45:42
need enough they get ripped off
45:44
well our cost is actually way higher I’m
45:48
sure because of all the procedures then
45:52
we have to go through so you know you
45:54
know our cost is gonna be way out well
45:56
above
45:57
but the black market crisis
46:00
unfortunately it should and uh a lot of
46:02
the black market stuff is not really
46:04
actually MDMA at all but more the ideas
46:08
though that we are going to be starting
46:10
in the end of 2018 to train more
46:12
therapists not for phase three but for
46:15
expanded access so we think in the
46:16
summer of 2019
46:18
and we hope one of these expanded access
46:21
sites will be here at Austin with some
46:22
of the people we met last night yeah but
46:25
they’ll be able to be a lot of people
46:28
accessing this outside of the phase
46:31
three studies prior to the actual
46:33
approval and most people also you know
46:37
we’re talking about drugs all time this
46:38
about psychedelics is this drug it’s
46:40
that drug but actually really we’re
46:43
talking about anti drug strategies
46:45
anyway we’re trying to have a short-term
46:47
intervention that can be several months
46:49
our intervention is three and a half
46:51
months with three MDMA sessions only one
46:54
month apart with twelve 90-minute non
46:58
drug psychotherapy sessions as part of
47:01
the treatment package three before the
47:03
first MDMA session to prepare and then
47:05
three after each MDMA session to
47:08
integrate it but in that period of time
47:11
a lot of deep work and can take place
47:15
and our goal is to try to make it so
47:17
people don’t need drugs afterwards that
47:19
they’re free from that they’ve made a
47:20
change in their life and we’ve done one
47:24
follow-up study to one of our first
47:26
phase two pilot studies that was done an
47:29
average of three and a half years after
47:31
the last treatment and what we found is
47:34
on average that the symptom scores for
47:38
PTSD were even lower at three and a half
47:40
years than they were at the two months
47:42
and one year mark
47:44
now some people relapse but once you
47:48
start this healing process I mean once
47:50
you start getting people healthy it sort
47:52
of gets reinforcing yeah and they keep
47:54
getting healthier so but but I do think
47:57
that the visioning that you did that’s
47:59
really absolutely essential because you
48:02
have to kind of and I’m sure that’s true
48:04
with a lot of athletes that that you do
48:06
this mental visualization of doing
48:08
things before you do it and
48:10
I think this vision for people to
48:12
imagine walking down the street and oh
48:14
there’s a Starbucks you know there’s a
48:17
subway oh there’s my psyche you know
48:18
like it makes you goes they’ll be better
48:20
Maps logo on there and go ha ah I can
48:24
fix myself yeah and fix this well right
48:26
now in America there’s 14,500 drug abuse
48:30
treatment centers and what drives drug
48:34
abuse a lot is people running from pain
48:36
and running from trauma and so you could
48:38
imagine that there could be a
48:39
psychedelic there’s an attempt to solve
48:41
a problem as Gabbar Montez
48:43
yeah there’s 6000 hospices right now in
48:46
America where people go to have a more
48:48
humane encounter with death and so I
48:51
think they’ll be you know 6 10 14
48:54
thousand psychedelic clinics throughout
48:56
America and the more through Europe and
48:58
and that vision of how that can be done
49:01
without causing the social disruption
49:03
that people were scared about it’s not
49:05
gonna be everybody goes to get their
49:08
psychedelic experience and then they
49:09
drop out of society it’s people are
49:11
gonna participate even more and so I
49:14
think that’s the key change from the 60s
49:17
is this idea that this is not a
49:20
counterculture phenomena this is moving
49:22
towards the mainstream yeah absolutely
49:24
well as you become a more integrated
49:27
whole healthy happy individual than the
49:30
more you’ll naturally want to give to
49:32
others the more you want to give to the
49:33
community this idea of you know pulling
49:36
away it’s the opposite of what the ethos
49:39
is now the opposite is now is let’s all
49:41
bring everything in you know so you know
49:44
then as you see you know the most
49:46
radically inclusive communities the
49:48
communities like Burning Man are infused
49:50
with psychedelics and it’s not them
49:52
trying to I mean the whole idea is
49:54
radical inclusion it’s not radical
49:56
exclusion it’s not we’re burning man
49:58
fuck the world you know the idea is
50:00
alright let’s take this idea and welcome
50:02
everybody and so it’s really the
50:03
opposite idea and that’s exactly what
50:06
you’re speaking to yeah yeah and even
50:07
with Burning Man with all of the the
50:09
regional events that’s sort of taking it
50:11
away from the center and having it more
50:13
widely distributed but also even at
50:15
Burning Man a lot of people in the most
50:18
you know in that environment that is
50:20
fairly supportive for psychedelic
50:22
experiences a lot of people still get in
50:24
over
50:24
has over their hearts and when you look
50:27
at this as as these drugs as
50:31
recreational or as just to have you know
50:34
entertaining experiences I think people
50:37
are setting themselves up for potential
50:40
problems because you know as you
50:42
described before about the couple’s
50:45
therapy and then up comes memories of
50:47
sexual abuse yes women that that the
50:50
proper attitude when you take these
50:52
substances is that you don’t really know
50:54
what’s gonna happen through your
50:56
unconscious is gonna bring up you might
50:58
think you’re trying to listen to glitch
51:00
mob and then all of a sudden you’re in a
51:03
sexual abuse repressed memory you know
51:04
like that’s the that’s the nature of
51:06
this and that’s why appropriate set and
51:08
setting and care and understanding of
51:10
these is absolutely a sense that’s why
51:13
we’ve started what we call the zendo
51:14
project so in Burning Man
51:16
we have brought therapists and
51:19
psychiatrists and healthcare workers to
51:23
volunteer to help people that have
51:25
difficult psychedelic experiences that
51:28
they intended to have in a party setting
51:31
but then it got a little bit more
51:32
serious and complicated and they didn’t
51:35
know what to do and this last year at
51:38
Burning Man we had 900 people volunteer
51:40
to work at zendo we set it up for 24
51:44
hours a day for seven days we had over
51:47
660 people come for services and most
51:52
people that do that end up leaving
51:54
having learned something important one
51:57
at one of our key messages is well the
52:01
four principles of Zenda the first is
52:02
create a safe space you need a safe
52:04
space to feel that you can turn inward
52:08
that you’re protected from the outside
52:10
world that somebody is caring for you
52:12
and that you can be defenseless in a way
52:14
from the outside world by looking at the
52:16
interior world and then we say that it’s
52:19
important to talk through not talk down
52:22
that you don’t want to bring people away
52:25
like you you know this drug will go away
52:27
you know what is the problem talk them
52:29
through the problems and there is a way
52:31
through and we also emphasize sitting
52:35
not guiding which means that
52:38
we provide we’re sitting with people
52:41
we’re providing a safe space for them
52:43
but they know where they need to go
52:45
they’re unconscious as the guide and and
52:47
they’re we’re trying to empower people
52:49
to heal themselves that we’re not the
52:51
experts from the outside manipulating
52:54
and doing and giving them some insight
52:55
they have to come up with itself but I
52:57
think the most important of the four
52:59
principles is that difficult is not the
53:01
same as bad and a lot of times when
53:04
people are out to have a party or they
53:08
take these drugs and something difficult
53:11
starts coming up they think this is now
53:13
going downhill a bad trip they had
53:16
driven I got a block at and what we see
53:19
from zendo and we do this at other
53:21
events all over the world is that those
53:23
can be the most healing and the most
53:27
educational if you can be supported to
53:30
work through the painful emotions that
53:32
are coming and integrate into a larger
53:34
whole and so I think what we’re hoping
53:37
for is that we’re building a
53:40
post-prohibition world we’re building
53:42
tools technologies social systems so
53:45
that once we do start having this
53:48
network of clinics so to sort of go
53:51
further into the future so starting 2020
53:53
starting 2019 with these expanded access
53:55
clinics and then starting 2021 with
53:58
actual approval where insurance
54:00
companies will start paying for this
54:02
then we’re gonna have a period of 10 to
54:04
15 years where there’s going to be a
54:06
rollout of thousands of thousands of
54:08
psychedelic clinics and I think
54:10
somewhere around 2025 some people think
54:13
it’s sooner hard to say I think we’ll
54:16
have federal legalization of marijuana
54:17
and then we’ll have maybe a decade of
54:21
the culture getting used to that and
54:23
then I think 2035 we’ll have the end of
54:27
prohibition for psychedelics and people
54:28
will have the human right to to do it on
54:31
their own and then by 2050 we’ll we’ll
54:34
look back at us and in early 2000 say
54:37
what were we thinking the world is so
54:39
much better now
54:41
yeah and that’s the that’s the future we
54:43
have to build and that’s why you know
54:44
yesterday I was I was saying in that
54:45
speech again like I’m hopeful you know
54:48
I’m hopeful I’m not the pessimist out
54:50
there that the word
54:50
Scholarship because I know how powerful
54:53
these tools are I know how powerful
54:55
these medicines are and I know that when
54:57
they’re deployed in mass with
54:59
intelligence behind it with guided by
55:02
you know people who really know how to
55:04
either hold space through the education
55:06
through the Zenda or actually clinically
55:08
hold space and the medicinal side when
55:10
that knowledge is pervasive and people
55:12
are following those principles and the
55:13
medicine is available I know what the
55:15
potential is and so I’m you know I’m
55:18
very I’m not a I’m not only hopeful I’m
55:20
confident you know I’m confident in
55:22
humans and I’m confident in our country
55:24
and I’m confident in the world and and
55:26
that’s the future that we’re we’re
55:27
trying to build and we got to wrap this
55:30
up but right now you know for the next
55:33
month after this podcast I should be
55:35
releasing it around Valentine’s Day but
55:39
until March 10th right there’s an
55:42
incredible generous offer from a very
55:45
mysterious man named mr. pine we call
55:47
him mister we don’t really know for sure
55:49
but the pineapple fund which is a crypto
55:51
currency kind of donation aggregation or
55:55
platform and they’ve offered to match up
55:57
to four million dollars donated to maps
56:00
for the phase three trials so look
56:02
everyone if you’ve ever wanted to
56:06
contribute to a cause first of all
56:08
there’s not a more impactful cause that
56:10
you could potentially contribute to I
56:11
mean the ease of suffering
56:14
throughout the world that this can
56:17
create and this can facilitate is just a
56:19
tidal wave of a tidal wave of relief for
56:24
the world so there is not a better cause
56:26
and then there’s also not a better time
56:28
right like this is the absolute best
56:31
time your donations are going to get
56:33
doubled and it’s right at the tipping
56:36
point of these phase 3 we’re so close
56:38
and even even for that enhanced
56:41
compassionate access you know it could
56:43
be 2019 2020 where your friends who came
56:46
back for more those people who’ve been
56:48
dealing with trauma you’ll have a place
56:49
to potentially refer them you know
56:51
there’ll be options on the table and we
56:54
just need to push that Boulder so a
56:56
little bit further a little bit further
56:58
so I really encourage everybody we’re
57:00
gonna have the donation up through March
57:03
10th that go on the Cure is near
57:05
platform so everybody you’re interested
57:07
go to the Cure is near that’s gonna go
57:09
directly to the maps phase 3 for this
57:11
matching fund Wow and V that’s wonderful
57:14
let’s see what we can do everybody let’s
57:15
just do our best and be a part of this
57:17
be a part of this process be a part of
57:19
this genuine revolution together we can
57:22
do it we can fucking do it do it that
57:24
vision that we all got to engage in we
57:26
can do that and speaking of visions the
57:30
whole pineapple fund I don’t know who
57:33
pine is we’ve been communicating by
57:35
email he’s already sent us a million
57:37
dollars worth of bitcoins and now he’s
57:39
given us this four million dollar match
57:40
but I asked him if he would write an
57:42
article for the Maps bulletin about how
57:45
this came about and he’s agreed to do
57:48
that
57:48
and but one of the things he said was
57:50
that he was very struggling with
57:55
personality issues and depression and
57:59
looked around at different kind of
58:02
treatments and decided to try ketamine
58:05
which is being used more and more for
58:07
the treatment of depression and you know
58:09
other indications and under the
58:10
influence of ketamine he had this vision
58:12
that helping others would be good for
58:16
himself and would help him deal with his
58:19
issues and then he decided to create
58:21
this pineapple fund to give away you
58:24
know mega mega millions from his Bitcoin
58:27
earnings
58:28
yeah but it was also if you’re super
58:30
rich and you’re listening to this and
58:31
you’re unhappy hey maybe one of the
58:39
reasons I’m so fucking happy is I’m
58:41
hoarding all this money share the love
58:44
make some people have you need to change
58:46
the fucking world
58:47
no matter how shitty a person you were
58:48
you have the chance right now to help
58:50
change the world you know that’s the
58:52
message yeah and and I think even in the
58:55
early days so you know Maps was now 32
58:58
years old where it wasn’t as clear that
59:01
the world is aligning and things are
59:03
opening up even if for me I wasn’t sure
59:08
that it would work that it you know I’m
59:11
a little bit amazed every day I wake up
59:13
now to see how much progress I mean it
59:15
has been 32 years but I’m just the
59:18
effort itself
59:19
I learned to recognize that trying to
59:21
build a better world was satisfying in
59:24
and of itself and necessary whether or
59:26
not it actually succeeded there we all
59:28
had to try and and I think that’s the
59:30
the moment of courage where you say I’m
59:34
gonna try this regardless of whether it
59:36
works because it’s a worthy mission yeah
59:39
and yeah I mean as long as you’re
59:41
focusing on the process you can’t and
59:44
we’re not responsible for the outcome
59:45
we’re only responsible for those
59:47
immediate choice we’re only responsible
59:48
for the trying
59:49
we’re only responsible for doing what we
59:50
can do you know so don’t worry about
59:52
whether this will happen or this will
59:54
happen or this administration whatever
59:55
we just got to try exactly just gotta
59:58
try best and that’s all we can ever do
60:00
and if we do try our best then we have
60:01
no regrets yeah and I feel I’m just so
60:04
particularly fortunate to be alive and
60:07
seeing this change and I just think
60:09
about the women suffragettes in the
60:11
1800’s or the anti-slavery people in the
60:13
1700s or most people that work towards
60:17
progressive social change don’t get to
60:19
live to see it they’re just building the
60:23
ground tilling the soil planting the
60:25
seeds and you know and these are multi
60:28
generational changes I mean we’re
60:30
talking already about 50 years since the
60:32
psychedelic sixties that our culture is
60:34
just starting to integrate it so for us
60:36
to be alive at a time where the changes
60:39
are happening before our eyes
60:41
as it’s rather an astonishing yeah to be
60:45
able to move past those times of tyranny
60:48
over our consciousness you know to
60:49
liberate ourselves from the slavery of
60:51
others controlling what we can do with
60:53
our own minds and hearts and we’ll see
60:55
that yeah and the world does you know we
60:57
as a species have incredible challenges
60:59
ahead with what we’re doing to the
61:01
planet yeah it can’t come at a better
61:03
time it can’t come at a better time you
61:06
know and uh not just that also you know
61:10
is one of the things that you know gives
61:13
me some gives me some hope and faith to
61:15
it just seems like everything’s lining
61:17
up when we needed to line up you know
61:19
like we need this to happen we need
61:21
people to wake up we need to start
61:22
caring for each other and the planet in
61:24
a much better way because the cost is
61:26
getting higher and higher so let’s let’s
61:29
get this done let’s do our best and you
61:31
know if the whole thing goes up in a
61:33
blaze at least we’ll know we went out on
61:34
our shield
61:35
don’t try and eat those yeah and it’s
61:37
it’s a bipartisan thing too I mean what
61:40
we’re finding is across the political
61:42
spectrum people are sympathetic with
61:44
healing trauma and that that’s really
61:47
something we can come together in a
61:50
democratic the human thing it’s a human
61:52
being thing yeah whatever you want to do
61:54
with your politics or your taxes or
61:56
whatever it is about human being stuff
61:58
right and that’s something everybody can
62:00
get behind and also veterans shit you
62:03
know who’s not grateful for the
62:04
sacrifice they have so well we good
62:06
point we wouldn’t have our freedoms
62:08
without them and so I think it’s a moral
62:12
obligation I mean the the part that’s
62:14
been the hardest for me and I’ve been
62:16
the slowest to wake up on is actually
62:18
the amount of trauma that police
62:20
officers go through as part of their job
62:23
and you know I’ve often felt like the
62:27
prey and they’re the predators and but
62:30
but more recently I’d say over the last
62:32
five six years I’ve really been
62:35
understanding the pressures that the
62:37
police officers are going through and we
62:39
actually had one police officer in our
62:41
study and in a mind-boggling situation
62:45
my own nephew now entered the police
62:46
force from my sister was a bunch more
62:50
conservative than I am and I’ve never
62:52
really been able to get her to do MDMA
62:54
or
62:54
smoke pot or anything but her son has
62:57
become a police officer and he’s an
62:59
open-minded police officer in Washington
63:01
DC and so now I have that in the family
63:04
and so you know we are trying to reach
63:07
out to all segments of society and you
63:10
know even though the police have been
63:12
given the responsibility to patrol the
63:15
drug you know run the drug war they’re
63:19
also suffering under it as well and in
63:21
other ways and so we really need to have
63:23
an alliance I think those of us that are
63:27
really more peace-loving we really need
63:29
the police and we want them to be on our
63:33
you know we want to work together with
63:35
them and if we can end this drug war
63:37
which is you know victimless crimes that
63:40
shouldn’t be crimes then I think police
63:43
can just be heroes yeah instead of
63:45
trying to harass us exactly no then they
63:47
can genuinely be what their intention
63:49
was from the start yeah well Rick you
63:51
got to get to the airport yeah we could
63:53
talk forever it’s been an awesome
63:55
pleasure to have you here in town well
63:57
we’ll have to do this more often yeah
63:59
it’s great to check in on you I mean
64:00
things are happening so fast now it’s
64:02
just I’m just so grateful for everything
64:06
you’ve done and the whole Maps team we
64:08
have Allyson and Jade in the back
64:10
watching this podcast here and the
64:11
contributions they’ve made and everybody
64:13
back in San Francisco and everybody
64:16
who’s been doing the work everybody
64:17
who’s donated all the people all you
64:19
guys who’ve given 10 20 bucks to the
64:21
Cure’s in here like fucking thank you
64:23
like thank you yeah this is a massive

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