Podcast 588 – “Good News on the Psychedelic Front” – Pt. 2


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Guest speaker: Rick Doblin

From Shock To Awe, the moviePROGRAM NOTES:

Date this lecture was recorded: August 31, 2018.]

Today we continue with the second part of the 2018 Palenque Norte Lecture given by Rick Doblin, the president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. In addition to learning some new information about the current state of MDMA research, Rick ends the Q&A session with some information about mescaline that I’d never heard before. As he says, “Mescaline is the most important psychedelic that isn’t being researched.” Also, there is an announcement about a screening of the film “From Shock To Awe” that was discussed here in the salon three years ago when the producers were first raising the funding for the project. It has now been completed and will be screened in select theaters on November 12, 2018. Full details are at the beginning of today’s program.

[NOTE: The following quotations are by Rick Doblin.]

“We got an agreement letter on July 28th, and what it means is that the FDA is legally bound to approve MDMA if we get statistically significant evidence of efficacy from this design and no new safety problems come up.”

“Mescaline is the most important psychedelic that isn’t being researched.”


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From Shock To Awe

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Posted in Ayahuasca, Burning Man, Consciousness, Culture, Death, Family, Future, MDMA, Medicine, Palenque Norte, Psilocybin, Psychedelic Research, PTSD, Rick Doblin, War on Drugs.


  1. Saman tie lähti Chrome laulaa
    Is it international
    Made my day
    I guess
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    Attachment to West-Virginia
    I guess I forgot the rest. Or maybe I remembered

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Although I have no idea what you have been trying to communicate in your recent flurry of comments, I still approved them in the hopes that you would eventually say something that I understood. Until that happens, this will be the last of your strange comments that I approve. Sorry about that!]

  2. Lorenzo
    That sounds reasonable except these senior officers are sending US troops into doomed wars with imaginary enemies. Iraq neither attacked nor threatened our country and about a million non-combatant Iraqis are now dead, with many more wounded and displaced. Afghanistan as a nation or people had nothing to do with 9-11. Pretending that there is something noble or protective about these invasions in order to tell young men that they are defending their home country is a lie. It is unfortunately a lie that the military, media and politicians promote. I believe that Rick is doing wonderful work. The question that David Nickles and I are asking is whether this treatment method should be turned over to those whose primary interest is profit and who are already connected to growing international militarism. The military’s record with PTSD has been very bad. A great deal of denial and even denial of medical treatment to soldiers. I know there are decent people in the military but there is also a great deal of corruption and much of that corruption is in the area of corporate/military contracts. On the corporate side there are many recent examples of corporations ruthlessly raising costs for drugs to obscene levels. Nevertheless I sincerely hope you are right.
    It seems to me from the questions that Rick Doblin has heard the ethical questions and understands the risks of unethical motives via the commercial corporate role in scaling up the treatment. I would simply hate to see decades of work end in corporate ownership.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Although I agree with you about corporate “ownership”, here’s the problem. No one “owns” MDMA. The patent on it expired long ago, and so it is in the public domain. What MAPS does own, however (I think), is the exclusive use of their protocols for some number of years to give them a head start. Mainly, it’s the wounded warriors that I’m concerned with. I’d like to see as many of them receive MDMA therapy as possible, and my guess is that after that therapy few of them will again volunteer for, or even be qualified for, combat.]

  3. I really appreciate with all my heart what Rick is doing and his motive. But his argument that acceptance and interest by corporations means success feels overly optimistic at best. Corporations have interest in profit and nothing else. It is built into their structure.
    He makes a case that we are making progress on many fronts because of hospice care, and several other areas including the environment. The idea that great strides have been made by the environmental movement is unfortunately wrong on the most critical fronts of global warming, toxics, fracking, tar sands, product safety, drilling and mining and local ability to challenge corporate practices. Even the explicit language of the clean water act is simply ignored for fracking. The threat from global warming and acidifying oceans is real and already taking a huge toll. The positive things he cites are the product of humane efforts by groups and individuals, not the product of corporate interest. The argument does’nt hold up under close scrutiny.
    David Nickles just published a new article in Symposia citing Peter Thiel, major investor in Compass and Trump supporting militarist and developer of spy software, urging Compass to seek a monopoly of MDMA therapy. This is not a minor concern. This is one of the most aggressive, unscrupulous, powerful and well connected people on the planet.
    I certainly agree that both perpetrators in uniforms, and victims of trauma and violence should have access to treatment BUT, there really is a legitimate concern that the military will see this as a tool to “fix up” soldiers with PTSD and send them back into combat or claim that war is not so bad and the benefit outweighs the human costs because we can heal our soldiers who are traumatized. This would be exactly the mindset of Peter Thiel who would want to market this to the military. If you think not do some research. There is a danger here and to gloss it is unwise.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: While you make some good points that I agree with, I don’t think that the military will see MDMA as a way to “fix up” women and men with PTSD. As a Viet Nam vet, I’ve seen first-hand what PTSD is like, and I’ve spoken with enough doctors in the VA to know that they are well aware that most of the people suffering from PTSD will never be the same again. Even if MDMA can cure them of this malady, they’ll never go back to war. And I’m confident that the Pentagon realizes this also. I’m not saying that I trust their motives entirely, but I do believe that most of the senior officers in the military sincerely want their troops to return home to a peaceful life.]

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