Little-known outside the world of psychedelics and drug policy, Rick Doblin is one of the most effective nonprofit leaders in America. Doblin is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, better known as MAPS, which for 35 years has been trying to develop psychedelic medicines and advocating for the responsible use of psychedelic drugs.
Doblin, in my view, is a brilliant strategist who has done more to change the narrative around psychedelics than anyone, with the possible exception of the writer Michael Pollan. He has built political alliances on the right and left, worked closely with medical researchers and, as best as I can tell, made few enemies along the way. MAPS is on the verge of a major breakthrough by securing FDA approval for the use of MDMA, along with talk therapy, as a prescription medicine to treat PTSD.
I tell the remarkable story of Doblin and MAPS at some length in the new issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The story is ordinarily paywalled but it is available for free until April 1. Here’s a link.