Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

As a young philanthropist who supports research into psychedelic medicines, Cody Swift is nothing if not hands-on. He has experimented with psychedelics.He has guided clients through trips as part of clinical trials at Johns Hopkins University. He has published in an academic journal. Most important, he has donated millions of dollars. His donations are poised …

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The more I learn about psychedelic drugs, the more I realize how much work lies ahead for researchers who are studying these medicines. Last week, I watched How to Change Your Mind, the four-hour Netflix adaptation of Michael Pollan’s book, which explores the history and healing potential of four drugs: LSD, psilocybin (the active ingredient …

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Mescaline, a psychoactive alkaloid found in the peyote cactus native to Mexico and the southwestern U.S., is the oldest known psychedelic. It has been used for thousands of years by Indigenous peoples–and was a favorite drug of elders of the psychedelic world, including the writer Aldous Huxley, the poet Allen Ginsberg and the legendary chemist Alexander “Sasha” …

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It’s crazy hard to quit smoking. More than half of adult smokers try to quit in any given year, according to the most recent data from the CDC, and fewer than one in ten succeed. Nicotine patches, nicotine gums, nicotine lozenges, medicines like varenicline, cognitive behavioral therapy–nothing works especially well. This is why some scientists are …

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Some $2-billion was invested in the above-ground psychedelics “industry” last year. That’s stunning when you stop and think about it. Most psychedelic drugs — LSD, psilocybin, MDMA — remain not merely illegal but Schedule 1 substances, according to the DEA. That means that they have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for …

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In 1976, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, a brilliant and eccentric chemist who concocted hundreds of psychoactive drugs in a home-based laboratory in the hills of Berkeley, California, cooked up a batch of MDMA, the drug that later became known as Ecstasy or Molly. He then tried some, as was his habit. He loved it. “I feel absolutely …

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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 …

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The act of coming out of the closet has been so important to the movement for gay rights that it is celebrated every year on National Coming Out Day. When people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender share their stories, they change hearts and minds, create new allies and help to dispel prejudices and misconceptions. …

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It is hard not to feel despair this morning, but there was some good news out of the election. Drug reform is the rare issue that can bring the left and right together, as I wrote on Medium: Led by voters in Oregon, Americans from coast to coast voted by decisive margins to take steps …

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